Rewind to our Issue #107 review of these Vaude Moab shoes.
For me there have always been two main downsides to riding flat pedal shoes: an inability to stand up (off the bike) when the going gets too slippery or steep for pedalling, and a lack of waterproof options. So when I saw this offering from Vaude, I put my name down for a test pair.
The flat section on the foot compares favourably in stickiness to my favourite flat (but no grip when walking) shoes and my feet felt solidly in contact with the pedals. The heel and toe areas of the sole do indeed provide extra traction when walking, but most effectively so on steep ‘tip-toe up in small steps’ type terrain. A normal walking pattern or quick dab off the bike is probably going to result in you catching the smooth mid-section, but concentrate on getting your heel or toe on the ground instead and the difference in grip is noticeable. They’re no cyclocross style spike-soled shoes though, and in mud you’re still going to be sliding somewhat – though I think still less than in a completely flat sole. I had been concerned that if I didn’t get the flat section aligned perfectly with the pedal the tread would get in the way, but I’ve not found this to be the case as the flat section is large enough to give a decent margin of error.
One of the first rides I did in these involved a significant hike-a-bike through deep snow – which would have been a slippery misery in my usual flats, but was a much better day out in these. Another feature of the Moabs which improved that snowy experience was the waterproofing. It took a long while for the water to find its way in to wet my feet – but it’s inevitable that it will, given there’s a hole for your foot at the top and your socks are also going to wick the water down into your shoes. Once they do get wet, however, drying time is not as long as with my usual shoes, and even spells on the radiator have not resulted in that unpleasant stiffened feeling that sometimes comes with drying quickly.
The Moabs don’t offer welly-boot levels of waterproofing, but certainly will fend off spray from puddles and a tramp through mud. Wearing these I have discovered there is a certain pleasure in being able to pedal through a deep puddle while listening to the cold-shock gasps of others behind you in inferior footwear.
Fitting is, I would say, in line with other cycling shoes I’ve tried, so go true to size if you’re running thinner socks, or size up if you want room for woolly (or waterproof) socks. That said, the shoes are fairly warm, and combined with the waterproofing I didn’t miss not having room for my usual waterproof socks. The upper part of the laces are held in place by the Velcro strap, but I did find I wanted to tuck the lower part of the loops of the laces into the lower lace section to keep them out the way of snaggy undergrowth.
Overall: Flat shoes suited to UK riding conditions. What on earth took the market so long to come up with them?
|Product:||Moab Mid STX AM|
|Tested:||by Hannah for Four Months|