Bontrager RXL MTB shoes

Bontrager RXL MTB Shoes

The RXL is the top of the shop in Bontrager’s three shoe racing range. As such it gets all the benefits; heat-mouldable insoles, a ‘multi-position medial adjuster to dial-in top pad placement’ and a ‘rider adjustable Heel Trap’ (which appears to be a metal band you bend). First off, these shoes are a million times […]

Brand:
Bontrager
Product:
RXL MTB shoes
From:
Bontrager, bontrager.com
Price:
£179.99
Tested:
by Chipps for Three months
Word count:
281

The RXL is the top of the shop in Bontrager’s three shoe racing range. As such it gets all the benefits; heat-mouldable insoles, a ‘multi-position medial adjuster to dial-in top pad placement’ and a ‘rider adjustable Heel Trap’ (which appears to be a metal band you bend).

First off, these shoes are a million times better than the poorly-fitting, heel-lifty, uncomfortable, previous offerings from Bontrager. The fit is snug and secure, with easy and sensible adjustment from the heel cup and the very moveable main strap. Despite the stiff carbon sole, there’s a good level of comfort, making long rides only as hard as they’re meant to be. The sole itself is racer-minimal, but adequate for run-ups. Toe studs will mount and the lugs either side of the cleat are replaceable when they wear.

The straps and the heel’s special one-way ‘velvet’ do a great job of holding your foot in place. The micro-adjust buckle ratchets up in the usual way, but discreet pushes on each black button will loosen the strap exactly one click. Great for micro-adjusting on the fly. However, I did find that brushing past rocks or crossing feet in the café had the same effect, as the buttons are rather proud and easy to release with a touch.

In general, though, they’re stiff, efficient, well vented, race shoes and I can’t stress enough how improved the fit is. With the adjustment to the heel cup, and improved strap placement as well as tension, it should be possible to dial up the perfect ride.

Overall: Not your everyday trail shoes, but hardcore, flat-out racer slippers. As such, they’re just as good as Bontrager reckons.

Chipps

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