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  • New MTB shoes. Any opinions on chunky Shimano vs, specialized?
  • tall_martin
    Full Member


    After many years my Shimano am9 shoes need replacing. I’ve glued them several times and now the inside is dying.

    – clattering about the peaks/ lakes
    – occasional bike park riding at dyfi/ Antur Stiniog
    – clattering about the woods doing jumps and berms.
    – very occasional all day (8am to 10pm) bike packing 2 day rides

    They should be stiff enough for all day riding, warm enough to ride in winter and flexible enough to push up some slippy rocky lake District pass. Ideally they should last several years.

    Last two pairs of shoes have been Shimano with the lace covers, great they have kept lots of water out.

    In budget
    Shimano am 9 (903)
    Shimano ME7 (ME702)

    Specialized 2fo Roost Clip- with laces
    Specialized 2FO CLIPLITE MTB – with boa dials.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Full Member

    Not DHB Troika. I bought a big pair for winter. Loose enough for thick socks. Great for urban cycling. I was away last week on an overnighter involving a bit of hike a bike. Very noticeable poor friction on mixed surfaces. Possibly the sole material is too hard. Anyway wouldn’t recommend them. They were slipping in places my Shimano and Specialized shows would be 100% planted.

    Full Member

    I’m a Specialized fan; my last couple of pairs (spanning 10+ years?) have been Spesh, and although I’ve tried a couple of pairs of Shimanos on, I found them a bit plasticky and boat-shaped in comparison.
    But we’ve all got different feet, so what works for me may not work for everyone!

    Full Member

    My ME7 seem indestructible, they’re comfy, reasonably water repellent (nothing a pair of additional sealskins won’t deal with), very adjustable, grippy soles, OK for walking a couple of miles in certainly, long cleat box so you can adjust them to your liking. Plenty of room for thicker socks. Good for minus a couple of degs, get a bit hot in July/August

    I’ve a pair of Spesh XC disco slippers for high summer and hot dates, but the rset of the time I live in ME7

    Full Member

    Not the same shoes exactly but I got myself some MW5 as winter boots and I’ve been super impressed with the fit and comfort of them.

    They seem similar in construction and features to the ME7 which has me mulling those as an option for MTB use over the rest of the year. I’d be interested to know just how water/splash proof they are, the MW5 have been brilliant on that front…

    I’m starting to become like a cycling Emelda Marcos with the number and variety of bike shoes in the Garage now.

    Full Member

    To echo the user above, the DHB’s do indeed have a shiny slippery sole. Fine in mud as the tread is deep but no fun on wet rocks.

    Full Member

    2Fo cliplites here, they recently changed them from the old cliplites, the shoes seems a bit wider which is good for me. Had 4 pairs of the old ones, two pairs of the lace up DH’s and two pairs of the new ones. Fit is good, comfy and boa dials are replaced FOC when they eventually break 18months in.

    Full Member

    I’d be interested to know just how water/splash proof they are

    They’re OK through an average puddle, in that you can feel the shock of the water getting in around the flap onto the top of your foot, but your shoes’ not instantly filled with water, and they dry out pretty rapidly. In full on winter, a pair of sealskins will be fine for a couple of hours of weather with the temp in the low single figures. Properly wet cold days you’ll still get cold wet feet after a while.

    I’d call them decent 3 seasons wear. They only really get replaced by the Northwave winter boots on properly minging days, but they do get left on the shelf for lighter weight summer shoes when the temp starts climbing

    Full Member

    @nickc, that kind of tallys with my thinking, I’ve got the MW5 for winter (and they’ve been fantastic) but they’re going to be far too hot soon (pretty much now) and my summer SPD shoes are either a very XC Gaerne disco slipper (more use on the gravel/CX bikes, with zero splash protection) or a lace-up trainer type thing I got in decathlon ages ago that doesn’t quite cut it for MTB use anymore…

    ME7 feels like the obvious choice to me now.

    Full Member

    yeah, they’re my go-to unless super cold or super hot 👍

    Full Member

    Really like my ME7s, as above used for pretty much everything. I do have light shimano XC some ‘disco slippers’ too but I find they just end up on the turbo, and I use the ME7s year round.

    Once you’ve got your cleat position, seal the slots up with silicone and then they are pretty much waterproof, or close.

    I really like the ratchet too.

    Full Member


    -2 for dhb
    +2 for the Shimano ME7
    +2 for the specialized laced
    -1000 for boa dials that fall to bits

    Thanks 👍

    Full Member

    For flats the new model ion scrub amp. Just got a.pair and they feel awesome

    Full Member

    Another vote for the ME7. Spend years in Sidi, which I still like, but for the money the ME7 are the best shoe I’ve ever worn. Good protection on the toe box, comfy (enough) to walk in, very secure fit and a genuinely grippy sole. I’d buy another pair without hesitation.

    The only odd problem with them is after their first very dirty ride and hose down they were left to dry in the airing cupboard and they stunk the place out with a very, very strong damp smell which has never really gone away.

    Full Member

    I love my ME7 (I think that is what they are), but they really don’t work in any wet weather/conditions without waterproof socks – the toebox section is brilliantly airy so feet stay cool, but no use in the wet. Saying that, very comfortable and can easily be worn all day. Decent for walking, feel stiff whilst riding, but they aren’t the stiffest.

    I’d have another pair (I probably will be getting some soon), but my feet have changed slightly and they are a touch narrower, so I’d need to try new ones on to mke sure they still fit snugly like my current (4 year old pair do).

    Full Member

    @tall_martin I’ve had 2 pairs of Spec Cliplites, worn lots, till they had holes in or the soles falling off and never had a Boa dial fail.

    Free Member

    My ME7s are great, not particularly waterproof, but perfect summer shoe for me. Shop about as you should be able to get a load off RRP. The neoprene cuff can get a bit stinky, so I wash them regularly

    Have you considered boots for the activities you’ve described?

    I’ve had a pair of MT91’s forever that refuse to die.

    Will go with XM9’s if I decide to replace them

    Full Member


    I’ve thought about those as a replacement for my winter boots that are 15+ years old. My boots might last another winter so they are a thought for another day.

    The shoes for now will get ridden all year round. I was out in the lakes this weekend up to my knees in snow. So the me7 not being warm/ very water proof rules them out.

    I’m well aware the perfect shoe doesn’t exist, and I’m not under any illusion any of the will pe perfect for me and my range of use.


    Good to know. How long did it take to wear them out?


    Thanks, I don’t ride in flats much and have some 510 sleuths that are fine. The flat pedals are on a bike with a kids ride shotgun seat. It doesn’t come out on the cold and wet :⁠-⁠)

    Free Member

    I find Specialized and Shimano shoes to be quite different fits. If Shimanos fit you, I’d stick with them. Specialized shoes are far more comfortable for me.

    I find Specialized and Shimano shoes to be quite different fits. If Shimanos fit you, I’d stick with them

    I’ve got both and don’t notice any issues tbf

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