April 7, 2014
All-day pedalling comfort with that secure, adjustability of the ratchet strap. You must like yellow though
Enduro-specific shoes? Really? OK, let’s look at them as bright yellow mountain bike shoes instead. Better? Then we’ll begin…
These Mavic shoes are a development from its popular Alpine XL shoes. They’re a low boot with ankle protection and a neoprene cuff to keep gravel out. The lacing system uses the quick but secure Salomon quick-lace system, where a speedy tug on the lace and a push of the central tab secures the foot. In addition, there’s a plastic ratchet to make sure your feet aren’t going anywhere. There are rubber bumpers front and rear and a chunky, lugged sole with ‘Contagrip’, Mavic’s proprietary rubber sole compound. Compared to the Alpine XLs (which we’ve been pretty happy with) there’s more padding, better ventilation and a stiffer sole (50% fibreglass, compared to 30%).
Oh, and they’re yellow. Did we mention that they’re bright yellow? And they say ‘Crossmax’ on them, too.
On the foot, the shoes are very well padded and have a slightly over-stuffed feel if you’re coming from the world of race and trail clipless shoes. Coming from flat pedal shoes, though, they’re spot on in feel, with more airflow than heavier shoes. The extra sole stiffness is immediately noticeable over the regular Alpine XL shoes, which I’ve found a bit too flexy after a couple of hours. Long trail rides are comfortable and you don’t feel like your feet are being bent over the pedals. The Contagrip rubber does a good job on mud and green rock scrambling. Heel grip is pretty good for hikes, especially if you crank the ratchet strap down. It doesn’t offer much more security over the velcro strap of the Alpine XL, but it does make it very easy to tighten or loosen by a click or two as you choose.