Downhill 3 oz.What we like: Powerful and ultralight.What we don’t: Lots of compromises for non-racers. There’s decent cushioning underfoot that provides solid shock absorption for long and technical descents, the semi-stiff construction transfers power effectively without compromising performance on hike-a-bike sections, and the perforated upper material does an impressive job of keeping you cool. Compromises include less foot protection than the all-mountain and downhill categories, and the stiff constructions aren’t very comfortable for walking. Cutting away weight reduces the amount of effort required to put the power down, which also helps with fatigue on long rides. These lightweight systems are common on clipless XC and Enduro models. I spent the past three months putting the clipless ME7 through its paces and have enjoyed its grippy Michelin outsole, quick lacing system, and on-bike performance. At the same time, the Foray unfortunately doesn’t truly stand out in any specific category. It’s a tough call and might come down to personal preference, but at $90 cheaper, the Terraduro is a tough value to beat.

For the rest of us, a well-balanced design like the Shimano SH-ME5, Five Ten Freerider, and Giro Cylinder is a better match. For the GR7’s all-important tread, Shimano teamed up with car and bike tire manufacturer Michelin. How does the Cylinder compare to our top-rated ME5? Specialized’s S-Works Recon is designed for cross-country, cyclocross, and gravel racers that want an uncompromisingly powerful and ultralight shoe. Further advancing rider protection and comfort, a new stretch Neoprene ankle collar keeps out trail debris while ample mesh ventilation throughout the front and rear of the shoe ensures ventilation even during long, hot days on the trail. Additionally, the ratchet system itself is a little finicky and occasionally required two hands to secure the shoe, but otherwise everything has held up well and operated seamlessly. All things considered, the new ME7 is one of the most confidence-inspiring shoes I’ve tested. We found the toe box is on the wide side of the spectrum, which means we had to fully cinch the Velcro straps as well as the buckle/ratchet system. Overall, those that prefer a performance-oriented fit (like myself) may find the ME7 lacking in this department, but it should be a great match for those that want a high-volume interior. Just click on any of the seller links above, and if you make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the transaction. Additionally, the shoe goes from an exclusively Boa closure to a mix of Boa and hook-and-loop system over the toe. Taken together, this host of updates makes for a better shoe that works well in a variety of situations. The vast majority of mountain bike shoes come in a low-top style. Additional problems include the tread of a super sticky flat pedal shoe compound wearing down from extended hiking. Ambitious backcountry trips or bikepacking adventures can often involve lengthy climbs, which means you need your bike shoes to play two roles—one as a capable and efficient biker, and the other as a grippy and decently comfortable hiker. What are the shortcomings of Shimano’s MW7? The S-Works Recon essentially is a lightly protected road design, so there is minimal cushioning and reinforcement around the toes and ankle. What pushes the Hellcat Pro down our list is that it’s overkill for most riders.

Shimano and Michelin team up to bring you the new Shimano ME7 and ME5 Mountain Enduro shoes. On the bike, a quality outsole increases your connectedness to the pedal, and can be valuable for moments when you’re temporarily unclipped or trying to quickly reconnect while riding. It also can be comforting to not have to worry about foot slippage while hitting jumps or riding through semi-technical terrain. We do think Shimano could have added a little more insulation for truly cold temperatures and recommend you size up to accommodate a thick pair of wool socks if your feet tend to run cold. and the Freerider weighs 1 lb. Mountain bikes have come a long way in recent years, with trends like 29-inch wheels—and more recently, 27.5-inch wheels—blazing the trail for bikes that are better and more... A quality mountain bike shoe plays a number of important roles. Plus, they’ll cost you a fair bit more than a standard shoe and you’ll give up a lot in terms of versatility. Their most popular mountain biking model, the Dominator, is case in point. It’s true, mountain bike helmet prices are creeping up... Shimano has made a strong push in the mountain bike shoe world of late, releasing a number of quality and functional designs for clipless and flat pedal riders.

And for years, Five Ten’s rubber has stood out from the pack. The strongest performers, such as the Giro Terraduro Mid and Five Ten Impact High, even have a taller ankle height or extended cuff for extra protection. A lightweight mountain bike shoe comes with numerous benefits. Skip that extra bit of carbon instead. The ME7 is rated as an eight on Shimano's sole stiffness scale, compared to an 11 for their top of the line ultra-stiff XC race shoe, the Shimano S-Phyre XC9, and it doe… All told, the ME5 is our favorite one-quiver mountain biking shoe on the market in 2020. In addition, off-the-bike comfort is decidedly average, and traction is limited with the simplistic outsole. But the majority of XC, all-mountain, and even many downhill designs are close enough that weight isn’t a top consideration. Using dual-density rubber and a strategic lug placement pattern, the design draws upon Michelin’s extensive knowledge of tread design to improve grip off the bike without compromising pedaling efficiency. With its taller neoprene cuff and additional lace guard, the ME7 sees a bump in protection and all-weather performance for an additional $30.See the Shimano SH-ME5. Packed with a long list of features, dive-in and check out the new kicks in the press release from Shimano, below. First Look: Shimano ME7 and ME5 Trail Shoes, https://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/18548/avatar/c50_IMG_0045_1428943983.jpg?1428943532, https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/all, https://www.vitalmtb.com/community/FredLikesTrikes,18548/setup, Use code "MEGADEAL" for an extra 15% off an ever-changing selection of products, The World's Hardest Enduro?

The upside is that the shoe was extremely comfortable even when locked down, but the long excess strap hanging off the side of the shoe can potentially catch on trail debris. Our top pick, the Shimano SH-ME5, is a do-everything clipless mountain bike shoe. Overall, I found this combination offers ample adjustment and customization options. The Giro’s average fit also has been a slightly better match for us than the moderately wide ME5 (although cinched down, the Shimano still is plenty locked in). Cross-Country (XC)  For quick and easy micro adjustments while wearing gloves, a Boa dial system or ratchet design is a great option. The second Five Ten shoe to make our list, the Hellcat Pro, breaks from the mold with its clipless pedal design. For some, a fully waterproof shoe can be valuable for surviving the winter season, but in most cases, we think it’s overkill.

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