shimano gr5 flat shoe review

Shimano GR5 Flat Pedal Shoe Review

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The Shimano GR5 flat pedal shoe is an affordable mountain bike shoe perfect for dry Summer conditions.

Shimano has a shoe for almost every foot with cycling-specific footwear for all types of 2 wheeled fun. For riders who ride on flat pedals, Shimano has 3 shoes to choose from and the GR5 is the most affordable of them all.

Available for both men and women and in a variety of colours, the GR5 is aimed at riders wanting a quality flat pedal shoe but aren’t interested in paying a premium for them, but where your wallet saves your feet do lose out on a few features.

shimano gr5 flat shoe review

I’ve been riding in this pair of GR5 on and off over the past year, swapping between these a pair of Five Ten shoes and some Ride Concepts that I’ve also had on test.

Compared to the 2 more expensive shoes, the Shimano GR5 is much more lightweight. They aren’t overly wide like some shoes, and they don’t pinch like others giving a really nice neutral, but comfortable fit. The lightweight and flexible design of the shoe make them great to ride in or wear as a normal everyday pair of sneakers.

The sole is made of Shimano’s own rubber compound with two distinct tread areas. The central area for the pedal is very flat with a shallow hexagonal pattern. Each hexagon is around twice the size of the pattern found on a Five Ten or Ride Concept sole, but the spacing is wide enough for pins to wedge in and offer traction.

At the heel and toe ends of the sole, the rubber is a slightly harder compound and there is a deeper tread designed for grip when you’re forced to walk or climb a section. The traction is good in all but the muddiest of conditions, but the GR5 is really better suited for dry days on the trail.

Shimano’s rubber isn’t anywhere near as soft and tacky as a Five Ten, or even the Michelin grip found on more expensive Shimano shoes, so you don’t have the same sensational Spiderman-like grip, it isn’t bad though and the tougher compound easily outlasts grippier shoes.

The blue synthetic upper wears very well, much better than some more expensive shoes, and all the stitching is of a high standard that looks just as good today as they did when new. However, a large mesh toe cover does mean that the GR5 get wet even if there’s just a sniff of moisture in the air. The simple tongue design doesn’t feature any gussets so dirt and debris can sneak in, but on the flip side, this makes the GR5 a cool and airy shoe great for summer riding.

Because the GR5 is the entry-level Shimano flat shoes, a few other features that we would like to see don’t make an appearance. The toe box and heel area are made of the same supple material as the rest of the shoe and what you get in comfort you lose in protection. There’s also not much in the way of heel protection on the GR5, so if you’re someone who tends to catch their toes or whacks their feet, the GR7 and GR9 are probably a better bet.

shimano gr5 flat shoe review

Lastly, there isn’t a lace tidy on the GR5. I understand that adding protection to the shoe would increase the price, but a hoop of elastic surely wouldn’t break the bank.

With all that said though, the GR5 is a very well made, quality shoe and the price is less than the competition. If you’re looking for a pair of quality, lightweight shoes for the summer I’d certainly have the Shimano GR5 on my list.

Things that could be improved

  • A simple shoelace tidy would be great.
  • Some toe protection.
  • Not ultra grippy.

Things we loved

  • Excellent quality.
  • Long-lasting sole.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.


Affordable, lightweight and comfortable. The GR5 offers great quality and they are a long-lasting pair of shoes, but they don’t offer the same features or grip as more expensive flat pedal shoes.

Review Info

Brand: Shimano
Product: GR5
From: Freewheel
Price: £79.99
Tested: by Andi Sykes for 12 months

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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