5 Men's Shoes Tested - 2018 Summer Gear Guide

May 31, 2018 at 10:49
by Colin Meagher  


We can’t all be Eddie Masters and send it 60’ sideways in a pair of flip-flops. Most of us prefer to have a nice, comfy shoe securely attached to their pedals. For some people that’s a pair of flats, but for me... well, I’ve never really been a flat pedal kind of rider despite numerous attempts. Instead, I prefer the comfort and security of a clip shoe; knowing my foot’s not going to bounce off my pedal in a rock garden or that I’ll slip a pedal on a hard landing is pretty reassuring.

Picking a shoe type is easy. An XC shoe is stiff for better power transmission to the pedals and to reduce foot fatigue from pushing tiny XC style pedals for hours. But they pretty much suck to walk in. DH shoes are generally the opposite; typically those are a softer flexing shoe for better traction on flat pedals. They tend to be a lot more comfortable off the bike, too. But spend a few hours spinning a tiny XC pedal in them and your feet will be screaming. So pick a shoe type that suits your riding style first. From there, it’s a matter of personal preference on whether you prefer a loose fitting shoe, etc... Then it's price. And just saying in advance: good fitting, good performing shoes usually aren't cheap, but they should last a season or three, depending on how much abuse you dish out.

My personal preference is for a shoe with a moderately stiff sole for efficiency and comfort pedaling the bike on long missions, but I like a bit of a rockered sole and gobs of traction for easy walking off the bike. I like a snug fit with that just right amount of wiggle room in the toe box. Too much room will give me blisters, not enough and I'll get flashbacks to ski racing in boots that were way too small. I usually ride 3-5 days a week when I’m not on the road, although I’ve been slacking of late. I’m not particularly brand loyal, but once I find a shoe that my feet like I'll keep buying that until they quit making it. I typically kill two pairs of shoes per year, but a huge part of that is how much time I spend off the bike looking for angles or snapping photos.

These are all short-term tests to determine fit, function, and performance for both on and off the bike. For each shoe I did an initial two hour ride, and then a few shorter follow up rides to really nail down details. As a result, I can’t swear as to long-term durability for any of the shoes here; I’d need an entire season to be able to assess that. But hopefully this review will point you in the right direction for a shoe that works for your feet. I’ll do my best to try and dumb down all the trademarked buzzwords, too, but shoes are complicated and there’s a fair bit of tech that goes into making shoes.

About the tester: Colin Meagher

Height: 5’9” (176 cm)
Inseam: 30.5” 9 (77.5 cm)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Waist: 33” (82 cm)
Chest: 40” (101 cm)
Foot Size: Between US 9.5/10 or EUR 43.5

Colin Meagher primarily works in the bike industry as a photographer. His foot size measures between a US 9.5 and a US 10, right about a 43.5 on most conversion charts, but depending on the shoe manufacturer, he wears anything from a 42.5 to a 44.5. Colin has a pretty neutrally shaped foot, so pretty much any shoe will fit without creating hotspots, pinching, or other kind of issues as long as it's close to his size. Like most people, one foot is a touch larger than the other, so he fits for that foot first. "My daily driver for the past year and a half has been a Giro Terraduro in size 44, but I step into Shimano SH-MW 70s when it’s cold and miserable out; that shoe tends to run a bit big, so I wear a size 43." He tested all shoes on Crankbrothers Candy and Mallet3 pedals.

Full disclosure: Colin’s worked as a photographer in the industry since 1996, and while he has no industry affiliations (i.e. sponsorships) nearly every company making bikes, bike apparel, or gear has at some point been a client. This doesn’t mean he has any particular bias either for or against any of the clothing or gear reviewed here.





Mavic
Deemax Elite Shoes

$140 USD
Sizes 6-13.5 US/38.5-48 (tested size 43.5/US 10)
Colors: Black/Safety Yellow, Black/Fiery Red (tested), Black/Smoked Pearl
Weight: 530 grams for a size 44

Mavic Deemax Elite

Opening a box shipped to me from France was a treat. Nestled inside was a Ferrari red pair of Mavic’s DeeMax Elite, a durable, speed lace adjustable shoe with a Velcro power strap at the base of the ankle. The DeeMax Elite includes a perforated neoprene cuff for ankle protection, an “Ergo Fit Cushion” midsole for on bike and hike-a-bike comfort with the new “Energy Grip AM” Contagrip outsole (Contagrip is a bit like Maxxis’ 3C tire compound; it has harder rubber in higher wear areas, and softer, more grippy rubber for areas requiring more traction). It’s got an Ortholite insole stashed inside. As near as I can tell, the only difference between this and the top tier DeeMax Pro is that the Elite has a covered speed lace system and the “Pro” has a slightly stiffer sole for better pedal energy transmission. The shoe does have a long and deep cleat pocket, but Mavic includes a pair of 1mm metal shim plate for riders wanting easier cleat engagement and release.

Jameson Florence riding trails in Leavenworth WA
I tested these in a size 43.5 (US ten on Mavic’s site). Mavic’s site advises that these shoes are designed for a high volume foot but that they run small, and that one should “choose a size above your usual size”. As I said, I typically run a size 43-43.5 but I don’t have a particularly high volume foot so I opted to test a size 43.5. I should perhaps have stepped up to a 44, as I received a shoe that had a smaller toe box than I like. Despite that, the overall fit of the shoe was all good. There were no hot spots, the speed lacing was super easy to use, and it breathed well despite the neoprene cuff. Heel cup retention was excellent. That cleat pocket is pretty deep, so I used the supplied shims and had zero clip issues.

This is a surprisingly stiff shoe compared to some others I reviewed, but not too stiff. My power to the pedals was pretty good, and I got zero foot fatigue. I did a bit of hike-a-biking—nothing too serious, just a bit off the bike to see how they felt—and the Deemax Elites offered excellent traction and good walkability despite the somewhat stiff sole. The neoprene cuff in a previous version of this shoe tended to chafe the back of my ankles when off the bike but this latest version had none of that. I liked the fact that the laces never loosened up, either, even when I was off the bike.

I only wore these for just over two hours, but the Deemax Elite shoes during that time frame seemed to offer the right balance of stiffness required for hours of pedaling mixed with just enough flexibility to be super comfy off the bike. My only complaint was the tight toe box, but Mavic was upfront about the sizing on their website, so that’s my fault. They’re light, perform great, and seem to be built for the long haul.





Giant
Line MES Composite Off-Road Shoe

$140
Sizes: 40-48 (tested 44/11)
Color: What you see is what you get
Weight: 492 grams (size 44)

Giant Line MES Composite Off-Road Shoe

Giant has quietly been dabbling in apparel and footwear for a number of years. The Line MES (Motion Efficiency System) Composite Off Road shoe is the current apex of Giant’s trail riding shoes. At first glance it’s the usual two Velcro straps with an “exo wrap” style of closure (the straps pull from opposite sides for a form-fitting wrap) and an upper ratchet strap for secure closure. But Giant also uses a “MES ExoBeam”—a molded nylon beam that stretches fore-aft in the shoe—to offer that Goldilocks combination of stiffness and flexibility to maximize performance in technical terrain both on and off the bike. There’s a hydrophobic, ventilated upper for breathability and an armored, rubber toe box to protect the piggies from rocks tossed off the front wheel. The single density “ErgoComfort” insole is removable (and washable). Seems as if it’s ticking all the boxes, right?

Jameson Florence riding trails in Leavenworth WA
My first impression was that these shoes fit pretty damn well. I really liked the way that the exo wrap straps cradled my foot vs the standard doubled over straps typically found on shoes like this. Heel cup retention was good, and the toe box had just the right amount of wiggle room to allow the foot to flex comfortably when off the bike. The sole has a bit of rocker to it, too, to make walking fairly natural. The tongue has a nice split to it that allows a nice, natural movement on and off the bike. The release for the buckle is intuitive and easy to use. The metal buckle offers a nice, reassuringly solid feel, too vs. the composite buckles found on some other shoes.

I took these for a good, two-hour spin, and they were a solid performer. I had zero foot fatigue, and they breathed well. I did, however, get a weird pressure point on the top knuckle of my big toes which turned out to be a seam in my socks—note: these are not a high volume shoe. Follow up rides confirmed that solid performance, minus the pressure point. Off the bike they were pretty good for billy goating about, offering reliable grip on slick, wet rocks. I did experience some slippage climbing back uphill in thick, greasy mud, but short of full toe spikes that’s to be expected. The cleat pocket is a bit longer than most, offering a wide choice of cleat placement. Overall, the Line MES Composite is a nice, solid choice as a trail shoe.





Afton
Vectal

$120
sizes 7-13 (tested size 43/10)
Colors: Black/Gold (tested), Black/Heathered, Black/Turquoise, Black/Red
Weight: 492 grams (size 42.5)

Afton Vectal Shoe

Afton is a young, California based company founded by a TJ Parcells, a product manager and designer with a lot of miles in the industry who wanted to step out on his own after wandering Eurobike for a day in 2015 and not being able to find a shoe he wanted to mountain bike in. He started Afton with the goal of taking urban styling to the woods, and creating a shoe he personally wanted to wear—and one that didn't "look like puffy skate shoes from the early 2000s." Afton makes two shoes: the flat pedal oriented Keegan and the clip oriented Vectal. Can you guess which one I tested?

The Vectal is a low cut shoe designed for performance and is meant to fit snug. It’s a lace shoe with a split power strap, and features Afton’s proprietary Intact rubber for optimized durability and traction. The clip zone is said to be 35% larger than most shoes, allowing more engagement positions (I have no way to measure that, so the grain of salt index is a seven on a scale of one to ten, but visually it's definitely a bit longer and wider than most). The shank thickness varies from 4 to 12mm to offer maximum support for both pedaling and walking. There are reinforced toe and heel boxes to protect the foot from impacts, and an anti-microbial insole that will combat foot stink and resist break down for a consistent feel on and off the bike. There is venting to keep the feet cool, too.

Jameson Florence riding trails in Leavenworth WA
My first look at the gold trimmed Vectal shoes had me laughing—I am so not the guy who wears gold anything. Rolling my eyes, I slipped these on and... Oh. Wow. Super comfy. Definitely NOT the fit I was expecting, as they looked big. However, the fit was pretty much spot on, cradling my foot as if custom made for me. They laced up easily, and the split power strap secured my laces nicely. Pedaling was nice—zero foot fatigue, although the shoe flexed a bit more than most in this review. Off the bike, the shoe is easy to walk in, too; the shank design is the key there. It's tapered in the toe to allow for flex there, but it also allows the heel to flex.

This makes them super comfy for walking but keeps them stiff for pedaling. Despite that heel flex, the foot stayed securely in the heel pocket, making the shoe fit and feel like a low cut approach shoe, not a bike shoe, when off the bike. Traction off the bike was good, too; Afton put good rubber on the bottom. I have misgivings about traction in mud—the sole has lots of square edges for tons of grip on rocks, roots, and loose over hard kitty litter; but no deeper lugs to bite into softer soil.

I rode these shoes the most, trying to get them sorted out in my head. They aren’t particularly stiff, but they offered a surprising amount of pedaling support—the kind of support I typically expect from a stiffer shoe. They breathed well despite the lack of massive venting, too. And they were incredibly comfortable. The only weak point was the power strap. The split made it difficult to add a lot of pressure to the top of the shoe (a strap that doubles back like those on the Giro Chamber IIs allows one to use more leverage when cinching that strap down). It’s also worth noting that the cleat plate is a lot looser in the sole than some other shoes. That, combined with the longer cleat pocket, made cleat mounting a bit finicky (on a plus note, the cleat plate is replaceable should you ever strip one). But overall the fit and performance were great. If you’re in the hunt for a stylish clip shoe for park, DH riding/racing, or everyday trail riding that doesn't even whisper "bike nerd", the Vectal is your shoe.





Giro
Chamber II

$150 USD
sizes 35-50 in whole sizes (tested 43/US 9.5)
colors: Dark Shadow/Black (tested) and Blue Jewel/Midnight
Weight: 510 grams (size 44)

Giro Chamber II Shoes

Following Giro’s 2019 MTB catalog shoot in Hurricane, UT, last April, I snagged a pair of their 2018 late release (but available now) Chamber II shoes for testing. This is the re-tooled version of the original Chamber, and is the same shoe seen on Richie Rude and Aaron Gwin’s feet. Its design is the direct result of their feedback. In addition to its predecessor’s secure fit and water resistant upper, it now offers more cleat set back (10mm) for optimal stability and control in technical terrain, a Megagrip Vibram outsole, an updated SPD Shank, lace upper with power strap, and an EVA footbed with arch support. Oh, and a camouflage sole. Can I say “Hell yeah?!?”

Typically I wear a 44 in Giro shoes. I was advised that the Chamber IIs tend to run a bit large, so I downsized to a 43. Good call - they fit perfectly. The laces allowed for a custom fit, and the power strap cinched down securely. The cleat pocket was the longest by far of any of the shoes tested, but at the same time, the narrowest cleat pocket of the shoes I tested. The actual cleat track was also the shortest in the test. The heel pocket is deep and comfortable.

Jameson Florence riding trails in Leavenworth WA
Again, I took these on about a 2-hour tour with a lot of pedaling, one creek crossing, and a steep, kinda loose pitch that I opted to hike. There was also a 30 minute stop at a local bar in order to test the shoe’s ability to blend into an urban crowd (camouflage sole, ya know). While riding, the shoes were reasonably stiff resulting in minimal foot fatigue. Breathability was great. Cleat engagement when stepping onto the pedals was super intuitive—I never had to hunt for that sweet spot despite the larger cleat pocket. They also released from the pedals easily despite the narrow cleat pocket. Heel retention while pedaling and when off the bike was solid—I had zero chafing or unwanted heel movement.

The big surprise for me, though, was the Megagrip Vibram outsole. The traction it delivered blew me away, and on the slick as snot rocks of the creek crossing they offered the kind of grip I’ve seen nowhere else other than on a pair of FiveTen water shoes.

These were my star performers from the review (although the Afton Vectals were a close second). They fit and performed flawlessly. With some Giro shoes I’ve needed a shim under the cleat to easily engage/disengage the pedals but neither I nor my body double had any issues with this shoe. I did shift my cleat back further than normal to take advantage of that extra cleat setback and liked it quite a bit; the forefoot of the shoe is a bit flexy for easy walking, but the set back cleat is in the stiffest part of the shoe. My only nitpick is that while the Megagrip offers great traction, even in wet conditions, like most shoes in this review, there are no deep lugs to penetrate goopy mud. But that’s a nitpick I can live with - for overall fit and function, these things are pretty damn bomber.





Five Ten
Kestrel Lace

$150 USD (although online it’s currently offered at $120)
Sizes: 6-12 US (tested 42.5/US 9.5)
Colors: Onix/Yellow, Black/Red (tested), and Black
Weight: 461 grams (size 44)

Five Ten Kestrel Lace Shoe

The Kestrel Lace is Five Ten’s answer to enduro racers and trail rider’s desire for a more streamlined shoe that offers the same clip in performance of Five Ten’s other clip compatible shoes while still offering Five Ten’s legendary Stealth rubber grip and ease of walkability. The original Kestrel kinda failed: it was stiff as hell which was great on the bike but not so much off the bike. This latest version has a more flexible shank for better walkability but still retains the rigidity required for time on the pedals. The upper uses a polyurethane mesh for improved breathability over its predecessor, too, as well as a non-slip heel for greater torsional rigidity. There’s also a wider SPD pocket for easier clip in/out performance. It secures with standard laces and a power strap. These were the lightest shoes of the test bunch.

I tested the Kestrel Lace in a size 42.5/US 9.5. The initial fit was as if they'd been molded to my foot. It was stiff and snug, but offered that "just enough" wiggle room for my toes. The laces allowed me to customize the fit around my foot, while the power strap locked everything down securely, except the heel. I definitely noticed a bit of movement in the heel after first slipping them on, but only off the bike. The cleat pocket was long and deep but the width of the pocket made clip in/clip out nice and easy—no shim required.

Jameson Florence riding trails in Leavenworth WA
I rode these on a pretty hot day (30ºC) but the mesh top breathed well so my feet were super comfortable. Torsional flex was pretty minimal, as was fore-aft flex, reducing foot fatigue and offering good power transmission to the pedals. Despite that stiff sole, walking was still reasonably comfortable; the sole had just the right amount of flex combined with a bit of rocker in the forefoot to give an almost street shoe feel. The looser fit in the heel was a non-issue when pedaling on the bike, but I definitely noticed it when pushing the bike back uphill a few times to session a harder section of trail.

The Kestrels are another solid performer. Fit and function were spot on, both on and off the bike, minus the loose heel cup. Stealth rubber is still the standard for traction (although that Megagrip Vibram is pretty damn close), and it shines on the Kestrels; they offered reliable traction on the wet, slimy rocks of the same sketchy creek crossing that I tested the Giro's on. Like most of the shoes in this review, though, they don’t have the lugs required to dig into loose muck with absolute confidence, so pick and choose your hike-a-bike battles accordingly.




MENTIONS: @GiroSportDesign, @mavic, @aftonshoes




139 Comments

  • + 258
 "clipless" should be in the title.
  • + 104
 Yes, after seeing ALL clips I stopped reading.
  • - 89
flag IllestT (Jun 26, 2018 at 1:58) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah but this is a mountain bike website.
Surely the majority of mountain bikers use SPD pedals anyway?
  • - 7
flag deli-hustler (Jun 26, 2018 at 2:34) (Below Threshold)
 @IllestT: you would think that wouldn't you.
I use both by the way
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Really ... maybe if you move in racing circles??
  • + 4
 @IllestT: I would wager it's the exact opposite.
  • + 1
 @gkeele: huh strange? So why don't most people use SPDs?
  • + 55
 Waiting for the companion article "6 best razors for shaving your legs".
  • - 9
flag ShailyCR (Jun 26, 2018 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 @employee7: oooh so macho! So manly! "SPD's are for dweebs hahaha! I fear things that are different"
  • + 16
 @ShailyCR: It's just a joke. Unbunch your panties. (Also just a joke).
  • + 20
 I mean he did start the article by qualifying that he doesn't ride flats.... so..... I'm not sure why he'd test a shoe on a pedal he never rides. I don't imagine that'd yield the best consumer advice either.
  • + 5
 And the same in the women's article. Time for a Flats Liberation Front! Pinkbike comment section at the forefront of the Flat Revolution!
  • + 14
 @IllestT: Pinkbike comments are 90% kids who build shit jumps in the 100m strip of scrub behind the local supermarket.

Most have never ridden for more than an hour, let alone tried SPD's.
  • + 4
 The subtitle literally says "Our summer guide looks at SPD/Clipless shoes.."
  • + 4
 @IllestT: Most people here don't run clips because Sam Hill.
  • + 2
 Would be sweet to see a poll of clips vs non clips. I think the results might clip that argument in the butt.
  • + 1
 SPDs 4 lyf. All u flats riders are suckerz
  • + 1
 @jclnv: hahaha, harsh but probably fair!
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: you could call it FALAFEL
Flats Angry Liberation Anti Front Evangelically Loud

"2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate: FALAFEL!"
You could have Sam Hill as your deity. This could be big!
  • + 1
 @IllestT: yes I think the cultist base (both flats' and Sam's) is big enough to formalise it. I volunteer to manage the donations for the new church. I can even promise I will use them for FALAFEL.
  • + 3
 @samoooli: Here's the poll:

Hit the up arrow if you ride clipped in, the down arrow if you don't.

Let's see how this goes.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Too true.... lol
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Heterosexuality. Wink It's for ease of use and versatility, there's no thinking, just trying to avoid barked shins and keeping your foot well-positioned.

I've never used clipless off-road as I've never felt the need to - the combination of FiveTens and spiky pedals is a reassuring combination. As for their popularity, most 'casual' riders would sooner buy cheapish pedals (or even just use the stock rubbish) and use their skate shoes than buy expensive shoes purely for clipped-in riding.
  • + 1
 @makdthed: doubtful! Most all circles use clipless other than dj and the anomaly that is Sam Hill! Hell even most dh are on clipless now.. I ride both to work on skills
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Haha... So true.!
  • + 1
 @taquitos: That's complete and utter bs! Most do and Sam Hill is the anomaly bud!
  • + 1
 @jclnv: ha ha, pretty on point. I'd say it would average out to 50/50 give or take 10%, why we have so sectarian pedal animosity I'll never be able to work out.
  • + 89
 Still waiting for boa or strapped flat pedal shoes with 5:10 level rubber
  • + 37
 Same here.
  • + 7
 Get pestering Adidas then
  • + 11
 I'd love to be proven wrong but boa is super overrated in my view. I had the Kestrels last year which use the boa system. I have wide feet so found I couldn't tighten the top of the shoe without crushing my toes. I also found out the hard way that if you snap the wire on a multi-day ride way out in the middle of nowhere you're screwed. I had to zip-tie my shoes for three days to keep them on.
  • + 8
 Laces, stuck in the shoes. BOA only makes sense if you need to tighten up your shoe well (ie snowboard boots), which in flat pedal shoes is pointless imo
  • + 1
 yes mate
  • - 1
 Still waiting for a pair of 5.10 shoes to not fall apart. I have the Boa Kestrels and the soles delaminated around the cleat after about 15 rides. Comfortable shoes but they should be sold (as with their other models) with a bottle of glue.
  • + 5
 Never understood the boa system. Just looks waay to flimsy for repeated use. Laces or a Velcro strap, if you please.
  • + 1
 Yes! Me too!
  • + 2
 @adal9087: ditto - got the Kestrels w/boa. having purchased many 5-10's over the years bc they were really comfy these were a big disappointment, not anything like the 5-10's i was use to. And based on prior experiences with buckles failing and witnessing others with broken boa during a ride I should known better, boa started slipping early. Got fixed but only laces for now on.
  • + 4
 @ryan83: try 5.10 Freerider Pro, really well made and super comfy.
  • + 2
 I've had boa for snowboard boots before and they are a huge pain in the ass. They have wierd pressure zones and yes, they break and fail. There's a reason it's not mainstream. At first they were just on high end boots now mid tier boots have them lol
  • + 1
 @slabrung I’ve owned 4 pair including the newest impact pros, which are starting to come unglued after 3 months above the sole around where the pinkie toe is, both shoes. I also have 2 pair of Adidas Terrex (high and low)which are very well made but the rubber isn’t close to the same level of performance. I love them but don’t expect more than 5-10 months of use.
  • + 3
 Am I the only one loving the original kestrel? Stiff and comfortable maybe not for walking but it's a bike shoe don't walk with it
  • + 2
 @adal9087: I'm not too bothered by Boa, but I agree with you on the Kestrels. They are awful for high volume feet. Not only are they way too narrow, they will not accommodate a high instep. Unless you crush the tops of your feet your heel will always try to lift out of the shoe.
  • + 1
 @ryan83: Right, I heard horror stories about the durability of 5.10s. I never used any other 5.10, but last year after much deliberation and trying different models I bought Freeriders Pro and couldn't be happier. I was dubious at first but this model is pure gold (for me at least). BTW, in my experience the rubber in Adidas Terrex seems to wear out faster than in Freeriders Pro.
  • + 1
 @ybsurf: I like them too. Took a couple of months to break in, but now they're super comfy and I don't think they're that bad for walking.
  • + 1
 @mentalhead: Exactly! Tuck the laces, takes just a second and you can pretend you are a fully developed adult human being.

Do you know who has velcro shoes? My 2 year old.
  • + 3
 I hate laces.
  • + 2
 @Dethphist: Haha - velcro was space-age when invented and it's still space-age now. I love a good velcro shoe because you can independently adjust each zone of the shoe and it's not an inherently fragile system. Giro Terraduro is a good example.
  • + 1
 @adal9087: Not fragile up until the point that one half of your velcro is full of dirt and fluff and grass and hair and assorted other crap so badly that it doesn't stick anymore.
  • + 1
 Shimano’s New GR9 checks these boxes....

DB@EB
  • + 2
 When I used boas (xc racing) I broke them at least once a season . . . going on season three with the same pair of laces.
  • + 2
 I ride the 5.10 Maltese falcons and just don't cut the rubber patch off the bottom, bam. There's your strap and your 5.10 rubber.
  • + 1
 @Dethphist: you can clean the velcro with a brush occasionally, takes 5 seconds.
  • + 47
 What are those chunks of metal screwed into the outsoles?
  • + 39
 Spark-generators
  • + 20
 @SmashedFungi: thanks for clarifying, I was thinking they were meant for tap dancing!
  • + 11
 Bottle openers!!
  • + 18
 Where's Shimano ME7? It's very comfortable, lighter and less bulky than the Mavics (think summer riding), and has very good stiffness.
  • + 4
 ME7 just the best.
  • + 2
 ME7 to me have been a big disappointment, lasted 6 months before both began falling apart.

I have the Mavic Deemax Elite now and they are certainly a bigger/heavier shoe, but are super comfy and nice to pedal in.

I ride here in SA in them which is far warmer than Europe in general and don't have any real heating issues.
  • + 1
 Maybe because of Shimano's odd sizing that doesn't fit some people. I stopped wearing my ME7s since they just don't fit well.
  • + 2
 @matadorCE: should of got the AM9, super comfy, wide toe box.
  • + 1
 @Beez177: I don't like wide toe boxes, my issues is that the last that Shimano uses has too many gaps so you can end up with a shoe that's too big or too small for a very common shoe size.
  • + 1
 @Robinwoolley: mine lasted about 4 months, big let down.
  • + 17
 Flats for life!
  • + 50
 Try tire inserts!
  • + 1
 @colincolin: MOAR air inserts also work
  • + 10
 I’d go for Shimano AM5 anytime. Great price, they hold well and they have the freaking cuff on the inside of the ankle. I don’t know what will it take for most companies to
learn that there is a moving crank arm on the inside when the shoe is placed on the pedal. It applies to both flat and clip in pedal shoe
  • + 2
 That is the top of list when looking for new bike shoes, that's why I only get Shimano shoes. Mavic's look tempting.
  • + 1
 Yes! That and a sturdy toe design for rock strikes
  • + 11
 how do you flat peeps feel?
  • + 42
 Sad
  • + 7
 @emptybox: just buy vans
  • + 13
 I feel fine. Sometimes there is an article that doesn't apply to me. There is an article about womens' shoes too. Don't need those either. Didn't mean that article hurt my feelings.
  • + 0
 I identify as a 3 year old giraffe, if that means anything to you.
  • + 1
 I'm not a flat person, but IMO flats people feel bad for a quite long period of time because clipless people have way more shoe options and can get a setup for a much lower price. Plus zero maintenance: the soles and pins are not worn out, only the cleats themselves.
  • + 1
 @eugen-fried: Not really. We've got a lot of choice because we're not limited to anything marketed as being cycling specific. The wear pattern from walking and cycling is so different that some fiveten freeriders I've been using for general day to day use, I'm now using specifically for mountainbike, bmx and unicycling.
  • + 1
 @eugen-fried: Not true at all... Myself and many I know just rode street shoes ( Van's, trail runners, hikers....) for ages and I know a few that still do. That gives you 10+ times the options wearing flats. Cheap deck shoes and expecting wardrobe malfunction is what started this sport.
  • + 4
 Fool me once with Five Ten below the article title, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But in hindsight, I guess shame me regardless knowing flats only require FiveTens anyway. Unless, of course, you forget them and run your Van's Wink
  • + 5
 Oy. Is there a 2018 flat shoe test comming up? Don't like shoes wiv botlle openers on the soles.
  • + 5
 Just keep wearing your new balance shoes for flats
  • + 2
 Will you be reviewing the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevates? I noticed they made it onto the ladies' 2018 Summer list, and they've been well received elsewhere.

I just picked up a pair today and was amazed how well they fit my difficult-to-fit high-volume foot.
  • + 1
 Any thought on the Sidi Epic/ SD15 ? They seem to fit in the same mold and to me, Sidi is to the clips what five-ten is to the flats. Plus, they look reaaally good.
Could throw in a pair of Northwave as well. My Missions are nearly 10yo and still going strong
  • + 3
 Another good point of the Mavic Deemax is that they are very efficient when you walk on mud, whereas that is a weakness of a lot of Enduro shoes.
  • + 1
 I was skeptical about the unproven Giant Lines shoes. However after nearly 10 months of hard riding and several enduro races. I must say they are hands down the best shoes I have ever owned. I had the previous version of the DeeMax and they were too roomy. My foot slipped and moved inside the shoe. My Giro Terraduro came apart at the sole in just 2 months.
  • + 1
 Appreciate the review, however when testing any shoes size in mm should be mentioned, that the only parameter potential buyer could measure by himself i.e. 45/11.5/295mm like all ski/snbd manufacturers;

Bike industry needs at least 5 more years to be on the same page
  • + 1
 Anybody have recommendations for a gravity shoe for narrow feet? I've been running the Shimano AM45s for five years for everything from downhill racing to trail rides to cyclocross. Best looking and bombproof. But they are nearing the end of their life and they were always too roomy for me...
  • + 2
 The Giant shoe works for my low volume foot. I still have 2 or 3 clicks left in the ratchet unlike Shimano, Giro, or Mavic.
  • + 2
 @OzarkBike: I have wide across the toes but otherwise large, low volume feet. Basically flippers. I find an extra pair of insoles lets me use a ratchet or strap without maxing it out.
  • + 5
 it's that damn GG smash! it's so hot right now!
  • + 0
 To all mtb shoes companies what is needed a good flat peddel shoe with some lugs (grip ) where the peddel is not so out of shape pepleo likes me that push up the steep don’t end on are ass. Right now I use a trail hiker shoe it took me a long time to find one with the grip close enough to still grip on my peddel. It has a nice balance between peddel grip and off peddel grip had 5 10 great peddel grip but when not on bike slipped all the timw
  • + 1
 My teva links finally need rest after 5 years of riding. I'm waiting for a local handmade flat shoes for replacement, good looking at good price..but let see the performance later..afton looks legit too..
  • + 2
 Wish they would bring these back. I love mine but they are strictly a yard work shoe these days as the soles are falling off.
  • + 2
 +1 for Teva Links
  • + 1
 @JonnyTheWeasel: Probably the best shoe ever made, mine are about 5 years old and still going .
  • + 1
 My Tevas are also 5 and the sole is starting to come up . I bought the adidas lows and there pretty good also.
  • + 1
 I do have to say 5.10 does have the best warranty and customer support. I've got two pairs of Kestrel BOAs, best shoes ever IMO. I did try the lace Kestrels but the strap is placed too high, hopefully they've fixed that.
  • + 1
 YES! I had that problem with the strap too high as well and returned them.
  • + 1
 Do you people have issues with the BOA cable digging in to the top of your ankle when you flex your foot forward? That's the biggest problem I have with the Kestrel, apart from them being really hard to get on and shitty to walk in. Nice shoes to pedal in though!
  • + 1
 @toddball: I haven't had that issues, but I do have to re-adjust the tension a couple of times so that it's not so loose in the forefront and too tight at the tongue.
  • + 0
 This comment was posted by accident and I can’t delete it. Disregard
  • + 3
 Still loving my Teva Links
  • - 1
 STUPID PRICES! Go ahead, someone tell me about how much it costs for the R/D and the die's and the lay up process and the exotic costs of thread and materials. Turning us into man bunned bro pursed, effeminate fashionistas to spend this much on mtb shoes. Gloria Steinem would be proud.
  • + 2
 No flat pedal shoes here either!... OH COME ON!!!!!! PB your failing me......
  • + 2
 it would have been nice to see how ION shoes could perform in comparison to these shoes
  • + 2
 The women’s article has the Ion SPD shoes in it.
  • + 1
 Damn people are still using laces? Do these same people also use smoke signals to communicate? Do these same people still get their local news from the town crier?
  • + 2
 @tbubier lace shoes appear to be making a comeback. They do offer a customized feel that you can't get with a ratchet or boa. I tend to prefer speed lace systems or velcro straps/ratchet but I was able to appreciate the tailored feel of laces.
  • + 1
 @meagerdude: in regards to going down a size in the camber 2, can you say how the fit compared to the original terraduros? They fit me perfectly in a 45 but are now old and frail.
  • + 1
 @meagerdude: my bad, just reread the article and you already provided all the information I've asked for. Excellent set of reviews, detailed and practical information with useful comparisons. Keep up the great work.
  • + 2
 So in summary: all of these shoes are great.
  • + 1
 @tgent yup. Pretty much like bikes and bike apparel, no one's making anything awful. At least not with the companies we tested or the products from them we tested. It all boils down to what you like. Hopefully I was descriptive enough to steer any shoe buyers in the right direction.
  • + 1
 @meagerdude: Will you be reviewing the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevates? I noticed they made it onto the ladies' 2018 Summer list, and they've been well received elsewhere.

I just picked up a pair today and was amazed how well they fit my difficult-to-fit high-volume foot.
  • + 2
 @abercrave: I won't be reviewing them, unfortunately. We were only tasked with 5 pair of shoes each. I'd loved to have included them, the Sidi Defender, and the Shimano SHME700 or ME5; but I took the first five responders to my query and left it at that. Plus the Sidi's were reviewed here: www.pinkbike.com/news/sidi-defender-shoe-review.html
  • + 1
 @meagerdude: Good to know. Thanks for the reply!
  • + 2
 Are those the new Jordans? Oh wait , those are the new Mavics..
  • + 2
 Doesn't ride flats and his picture looks like a tinder profile....SKIP
  • + 1
 How do the Giros compare in breathability to the terraduro?
  • + 1
 @naisemaj They breathed just fine.
  • + 1
 So you're telling me there are shoes other than 5.10s?
  • + 1
 2fos are all you need in life
  • + 1
 @mavic wish you did a flat version of that shoe
  • + 1
 Are those the new Yeezeys? Oh wait those are Aftons. Gold? Alrighty then.
  • + 1
 my Mavics are going strong after 5 seasons.
  • + 2
 I miss Teva ????
  • + 0
 Looks like all shoes will give you soggy feet, but dont work with flat pedals, so who cares?
  • + 1
 I have the Deemax Pro and I am very pleased with them
  • + 0
 Anyone notice the cleat on the Afton shoe is on backwards
  • + 2
 No it's not. CB cleats are reversible to control release angle.
  • + 1
 I'm hoping this was a brilliant troll.
  • + 0
 Those Giant shoes look " Crocs" inspired.
  • + 1
 Where are the hightops?
  • + 0
 flat pedal shoes tested?
  • - 2
 Those Mavics look awesome
  • + 2
 They are! I “stole” them from Colin as they were my favorite shoes we shot in. (15 minute impression anyway) I’ve been riding in them a lot lately and find them super comfortable yet stiff enough to put down power efficiently. As a side bonus they’re a amazing bike photographer shoe! They walk very well and have a very aggressive tread so traction is great.
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