18 SPD Shoes From Eurobike 2017

by
September 7, 2017

There were some interesting trends in footwear that we spotted at Eurobike last week, including a growing range of trail-specific SPD shoes. Rather than the traditional tap-dancing race shoes of old, there’s a number of brands who are developing dedicated SPD shoes for everyday trail riding and enduro racing, with chunky rubber outsoles that are designed for proper hillside scrambling, and not just poncing around at the pub afterwards.

Another big theme that emerged at Eurobike was the introduction of the knitted shoe. We first heard about it from Giro, which has developed both road and off-road models that are made with a combination of nylon and polyester fibres that have been woven together to form a knitted-style fabric that promises better breathability and comfort. Vaude has also gotten in on the act, and we also discovered some knitted kicks from Northwave.

If you’re the type of mountain biker that clips into their pedal, then this is a shoe list for you!

Vaude TVL Skoj

vaude spd shoes
Vaude uses a knitted fabric to build the upper on the TVL Skoj.

No, Vaude’s Skoj doesn’t stand for the Savez komunističke omladine Jugoslavije (Alliance of the Communist Youth of Yugoslavia) like we thought. It’s actually just the name of a brand spankin’ pair of trail shoes that are using a new style of knitted upper that promises greater ventilation via its use of tiny micro holes throughout the upper.

vaude spd shoes
We’re quite liking the look of these!

Vaude claims the TVL Skoj is a ‘comfortable everyday trail shoe’, and inside you’ll find Ortholite Eco Plush PU foam insoles that are designed to give a soft and unobtrusive feel underfoot. There’s a BOA L6 closure mechanism for making adjustments, and the shoe is reinforced with an external toe cap and heel cup. The tread is made of Vibram rubber, and it’s cut with nice open tread blocks for real-world grip.

vaude spd shoes
BOA IP6 ratchet dial for making quick trail-side adjustments.
vaude knitted shoe
Pull the BOA dial out to unlock the cable when you need to pull the shoes off.

Vaude MTB Snar Pro

The Snar Pro is a high-end XC racing shoe from Vaude.

On the racier tip, we spotted the new Snar Pro shoes that use a more conventional approach to building the synthetic upper, along with a stiffer and lighter shank for increased power transfer between your foot and the pedal. We’re liking the teeth-shaped rubber tread blocks for the sole, which are bonded on.

vaude spd shoes
The high-cut heel cup features an anti-slip lining for security.

The Snar Pro shoes get an anatomical fit that cups the foot more securely to resist movement under hard pedalling efforts. The heel cup is quite deep, and it features an anti-slip lining inside to help minimise any untoward rubbing, while the BOA LP6 dial can be ratcheted up nice and tight along with a secondary velcro strap.

BOA ratchet dial for making quick adjustments while on the bike.

Vaude MTB Snar Advanced

vaude spd shoes
Crocodile green shoes.

Slightly cheaper is the Snar Advanced shoe, which uses a very similar fit and finish to the Pro, but with two velcro straps over the forefoot instead of the additional BOA lacing. These croc-shoes also get the anti-slip lining for the heel cup, along with ventilation holes through the forefoot and along the tongue to reduce heat build up.

Same fit and finish as the Pro version, with a close-fitting upper that’s designed to hug your feet more securely.
vaude spd shoes
Proper rubber tread blocks on the underside of the Vaude Snar Advanced shoes.

Vaude Downieville Low

Vaude goes the moon boot-style with the new Downieville Low SPD shoes.

Moving into trail-territory, the Downieville Low shoes borrow the storm-flap design from Shimano’s moon boot SPD shoes. Hidden underneath is a set of laces for getting the fit fine-tuned, with a top velcro strap used for additional retention duties, and the storm flap simply covering the laces to keep them (and your forefoot) better protected.

High inside coverage keeps your ankle protected from the crank arm and other sharp pointy objects.
vaude spd shoes
Another nice and chunky rubber tread pattern used for the outsole of the Downieville Low shoes.

ION Rascal

vaude spd shoes
ION is killing the style stakes with its 2018 range.

First released earlier this year alongside the Raid_AMP flat pedal shoe, the Rascal is a casual-style SPD shoe designed for trail riding and enduro racing. It’s got an injected toe cap for protection, and features a lace-up design with an additional velcro strap for snugging them down on your feet. The Rascal is unchanged going into 2018, but there’s a new colour that may well be the best of the whole show: Ruby Rad. Oh yeah!

For further information, check out our review of the Rascal SPD shoes.

Giro Code Techlace

giro shoe spd
Not quite laces, not quite velcro, the Techlace is some kind of mysterious hybrid.

We haven’t been able to confirm pricing on these new lightweight cross-country racing shoes from Giro, but we’re hoping they’ll be coming to the UK. Based on Giro’s Sentrie Techlace road shoes, the Code Techlace also uses an EC70 carbon fibre sole, but wrapped with Vibram rubber lugs for traction in the dirt. BOA L6 dial for reefing up the tension, while a combo lace/velcro strap setup is used for making adjustments over the forefoot.

Giro Empire VR70 Knit

vaude spd shoes
More knitted shoes! These ones have carbon soles and an ankle scree guard.

Easily the most polarising SPD shoe we saw at Eurobike was the new knitted version of the popular Giro Empire VR70 shoe, which possesses both a distinctive aesthetic, and a distinctive construction method. Using an upper that Giro calls Xnetic™ Knit, these may look like a shoe that your granny made, but it’s actually quite a high-tech fabric. The knitted fabric is made from a combination of nylon and polyester fibres, which are then heated in an oven and wrapped around the mould. As the nylon melts and then cools, it takes on a firm shape that provides the structure and support for the upper.

vaude spd shoes
Just like your nan used to make?

Why the knitted construction? According to Giro, it’s the comfort and breathability the supple and perforated fabric provides. With all of those tiny holes throughout the woven fabric, there’s plenty of opportunity for air to pass through the uppers, supposedly making for a nice and breezy feel. Probably not great for winter mud-plugging in the UK though.

As for the rest of the Empire VR70 Knit shoes, they feature a full carbon fibre Easton EC70 midsole along with Vibram rubber tread and a bonded TPU toe cap and heel guard for increased protection. Unlike the road version of the knitted shoes, these ones come with a stretch-knit ankle scree guard.

O’Neal Session SPD

oneal spd shoes
Chunk DH-worthy SPD shoes from O’Neal.

Also brand new for 2018 is this chunky SPD shoe from O’Neal. Called the Session SPD, these are O’Neal’s top-end mountain bike shoes for those who like to clip-in to their pedals, and particularly for those who like to go downhill very fast. O’Neal has flipped the usual adjustment configuration on the Session shoe by placing the velcro strap around the top of the upper, with a BOA-style ratcheting dial used for the mid-foot.

oneal spd shoes
Lycra scree guard and a handy pull tab for sliding them on.

The synthetic PU upper has been designed with durability and protection in mind, and the Session is generously padded to provide a comfortable fit with plenty of squish. O’Neal has also added a lycra gaiter around the ankle as a further barrier to annoying little stones and debris that might be keen to get inside your shoes and socks.

o'neal shoes spd
There’s a rubber cleat cover that can be removed to bolt on pedal cleats.

Like O’Neal’s flat pedal shoes, the Session gets a sticky Honey rubber outsole, which has been dimpled to provide additional grip with traction pins on large-profile SPD pedals. Inside is a nylon sole insert to provide stiffness and stability when hammering away on the pedals. Also available in a more discreet all-black colour option too.

Afton Vectal

  • Price: $119 USD (British pricing TBC)
  • From: Afton Shoes
afton spd shoe
Afton is new to the footwear market, but brings with it some effortless skate-style inspiration.

Choosing Eurobike as a launching platform, new footwear brand Afton delivered two brand new kicks aimed at mountain bikers who are after a more casual skate-inspired look for trail riding. These shoes here are the new Vectal SPD shoes, which is built with an injected nylon shank that has been adapted to offer stiffness around the ball of the foot where the cleat mounts, with flex through the toe area to increase comfort for walking off the bike.

afton spd shoe
Big ol’ cleat area for improved compatibility with more pedals.

The cleat box has been opened up both width-ways and front to back, in order to increase compatibility with a wider variety of clip-in pedals. Having experienced compatibility issues with some SPD shoes and certain pedal combos, we can see the benefits of opening up the cleat mounting area like this.

afton spd shoe
Mo’ colours.

The Afton Vectal has a soft synthetic leather upper that’s wrapped with a nylon reinforced toe box and an injected interior heel cup for added tootsie protection. Laces do the adjusting, with a thick velcro strap providing additional security up top to minimise heel slip.

Lake MXZ200

lake hiking boots
Now that’s a boot!

For the incoming winter season, Lake has broadened its range of winter cycling boots with the new MXZ200 – a tan leather waterproof boot designed for proper cold-weather riding.

lake hiking boots
We feel warm and fuzzy just looking at this.

The MXZ200 shoes are bolstered with a Thinsulate-lined toe box to keep your toes from freezing up when the temperatures turn negative, and Lake has built in a waterproof membrane to serve as an additional barrier to stop splashy puddles and snow from moistening your feet and ruining the ride.

lake hiking boots
Hiking boot-style Vibram rubber tread.

The Vibram rubber outsole basically looks like what you’d find on a hiking boot, providing the necessary traction when it’s time to jump off the bike and push uphill. These are currently available in the UK in a limited range of sizes, though more stock will be arriving in October for those who are preparing some epic winter riding trips.

Northwave Yeti Boots

Boots for the abominable snowman.

Speaking of boots, we also spotted this new pair of Northwave SPD shoes, called the ‘Yeti’. Designed for use down to temperatures as low as -20°C, these are proper deep-winter boots built with a waterproof membrane, a high collar and a full velcro-backed storm flap for keeping the awful out. These will either look like exactly what you’ve been searching for, or the most pointless shoe you’ve ever seen.

Rated for use down to very f’ing cold temperatures, the Northwave Yetis get a grippy Michelin rubber sole for ice-skating.

Much like the latest shoes from Shimano, the rubber outsole comes from Michelin, with chunky tread block shapes that have been borrowed from Michelin’s off-road tyre range. There’s a bolt-on cleat cover for use with flat pedals, otherwise it can be removed to install cleats on for the winter bikepackers and fatbikers who are running SPD pedals (if SPD pedals actually work at -20°C?)

Northwave Raptor GTX

Racy shoes for riding in cold-ish temperatures.

Also for winter use, but with a very different execution was the new Raptor GTX shoes from Northwave. Based on Northwave’s XC racing shoes, the Raptor GTX lines the inside of the shoe with Thinsulate padding to increase warmth for riding in cold (but not soaking wet) conditions. The insulated fabric wraps up high over the top of the ankles, with a small loop on the back of the scree guard to help ease the shoes on.

northwave boots spd
Insulated with a high ankle collar that’s designed to slip underneath bib tights.

Shown here alongside the road version (Flash GTX), the Raptor GTX has a carbon fibre-reinforced midsole to provide stiffness from front to back, though overall stiffness is a little lower than a full-blown race shoe (Northwave rates it as an 8.0 on the stiffness scale). Weight is impressive at 378g claimed per shoe,

Northwave Enduro Mid

northwave spd shoe
No excuses for riding slow when you’ve got Cedric’s name on your shoes.

Northwave’s Enduro SPD shoes remain in the 2018 product line, and are available in both the standard version and the Mid version shown here. With additional ankle coverage and a sticky Michelin rubber outsole, the Enduro Mid shoes are ideal for trail riders and enduro riders who need a lightweight and efficient shoe for pedalling, with sufficient protection and stability for rough ‘n’ tumble descending action.

The upper is constructed with a ‘Thermowelded Layer Construction’, which conceals hidden internal reinforcements for added protection without adding loads of bulk. Adjustements are carried out by Northwave’s own quick-release SLW2 dial and a top velcro strap.

northwave spd shoe
Jazzy blue camo tread pattern.

We’re digging the look of the Michelin outsole, which gets aggressive tread blocks at the front and back for predictability when lunging through soft and muddy terrain. The cleat area is also textured for extra shoe-to-pedal grip, though not so much to cause heavy interference for clipping in and out.

Northwave Outcross Knit 2

Northwave also gets on the knit-train with the Outcross Knit 2 shoes.

It would seem that knitted cycling shoes are becoming quite the thing! Also shown at Eurobike was this knitted option from Northwave, which is designed as a sporty XC/trail riding shoe with a reinforced nylon shank that’s been tweaked to flex through the medial zone for more comfort while walking. Northwave claims its knitted upper is extremely breathable and offers a higher level of comfort, and it’s been reinforced with thermowelded TPU panels across the toe box and for the outside faces of the shoe.

northwave spd shoe
Michelin rubber soles were everywhere at Eurobike this year.

The Outcross Knit shoe goes for a slightly less aggressive Michelin rubber outsole, while an integrated heel system and non-stretch laces ensure a snug and secure fit.

Shimano MT3

Shimano ditches the fuddy-duddy look of its old MT series shoes, going for a much sleeker ‘Active Wear’ stye for the new MT3 and…

Shimano had an almost entirely new lineup of mountain bike shoes at Eurobike, including the new MT3 shoes. These are the entry-point in the ‘Mountain Touring/Leisure’ category, though we think they look rather svelte with their lace-up design and perforated upper.

Shimano MT7

…the sporty MT7. Complete with mesh uppers and BOA ratchet dial, these are a far cry from the old MT43s and MT44s.

Further up the range is the new MT7 shoe that also goes for the hybrid running/cycling shoe look. It’s a nice streamlined upper that makes use of a BOA dial and cable system to make adjustments.

Shimano is embracing BOA dials in a big way for its latest shoe range.
Multi-purpose rubber outsole gives the MT7 a sort of SUV look about it.

There’s a textured rubber outsole, but it’s much less aggressive than the tread you’ll find on Shimano’s ME or AM shoes, making the MT7 more of a casual mountain biking/commuting shoe.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch SPD

  • Price: $160 USD (British pricing TBC)
  • From: Madison
Pearl Izumi crosses the running shoe look with an SPD-compatible rubber outsole.

A brand new shoe option from Pearl Izumi, the X-Alp Launch shoe comes in both flat and SPD versions. This is the clip-in shoe, and it’s available in both mens and womens (pictured) sizes. The X-Alp Launch features a lightweight and breathable upper that is made up of seamless synthetic panels that are bonded together for a very streamlined look.

The clear area is devoid of any tread blocks to make pedal entry and release as seamless as possible.

Inside is a nylon composite shank to reinforce the midsole for stability with cleats and pedals, and a Vibram rubber outsole promises useful grip for walking around off the bike. The rubber surrounding the cleat holes is a softer compound called MegaGrip, which is designed to grip into traction pins used on large-platform SPD pedals.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate

  • Price: $180 USD (British pricing TBC)
  • From: Madison
Pearl Izumi’s new X-Alp Elevate is a sporty-looking high performance trail shoe.

Also new from Pearl Izumi for 2018 is the new X-Alp Elevate shoe, which is a high-end trail/AM shoe that offers pedalling stiffness via a carbon/nylon reinforced shank. The midsole is wrapped with a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, with chunky tread blocks that’ll appeal to backcountry riders and those who frequent the Lake District where hike-a-biking is a non-negotiable part of the ride.

Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole promises loads of usable grip.

The lightweight upper uses the same bonded construction that many of the new Pearl Izumi shoes are utilising, and adjustments are performed via a BOA IP-1 dial and a single velcro strap. Available in a women’s version, with sizes ranging from 36 through to 49.