And that’s before you even get out the door.
Selecting MTB bike shoes for Enduro racing or All Mountain riding can be tricky.
XC shoes can be super stiff and inflexible when you are off the bike hiking that last 100m to the top or relaxing at some authentic mountain town bar, at the end of your (dare I say it) epic run.
Entry level mtb shoes are super comfortable and flexible, yet may lack some of those innovations on a more developed shoes – like ratchet closures, Vibram soles, offset straps or that snug fit.
Luckily with Enduro racing revitalizing the mountain biking industry (and throw in a new wheel size for good measure), All Mountain riders now have specific gear that has been developed for exactly that – riding all of the mountain.
So what to look for when contemplating that local Enduro race or all day epic?
– Fit: All about that fine line between comfort and stiffness. With an all day epic or several timed stages over a weekend, the comfort factor becomes a major consideration and the appeal of a super stiff XC shoe, goes way down the list. The Boa closure seems to be a popular choice amongst manufacturers for its precise increments, fast operation and lightweight vs the more traditional ratchet system.
– Grip: All Mountain often means all conditions, so a sole that is forgiving (read flexible) when hiking that bike over river crossing or super steep uphill sections yet grippy enough for traction across wet roots, mud.
– Aesthetics: Well you might as well look good while you are riding. Shoe selection is a very personal choice and even Enduro racers and All Mountain riders now have a wide choice of styles and colours to choose from.
The below is a snapshot of some models to consider for your next Enduro All Mountain MTB shoe purchase.
Best Enduro / All Mountain MTB Shoes
Why launch one shoe when you launch a complete range. Shimano have taken the Enduro bull by the horns and launched 3 models catering to the Enduro Racer/All Mountain Rider and Trail enthusiast, with specific shoes, filtering down the technology and price points to have something for every AM rider. I believe that the M089 are some of the smartest looking entry level shoes on the market.
Giro make excellent shoes and their fit is something that other manufacturers need to take note. There is no doubt that the industrial design expertise coming out of Giro are nailing it with their product design. If Jared Graves can win a EWS championship in these shoes, you know that they will be up for whatever your local trail throws at it.
Well hello there. The Crossmax scream for attention and you will get it with these bad boys. Mavic, based in France, have taken mountain bike shoe design to another level, as the only the French could get away with and back it up with on trail performance, used by Jerome Clementz and Fabian Barel.
The new Five Ten Kestrel, due to be launched in April 2015, is a smart looking, low profile AM shoe. With input from riders such as DH legend and now Enduro racer, Nicolous Vouilloz and with the added technology and production expertise that adidas brings (adidas purchased Five Ten in 2011) the Kestrel is a notable move away from that skate shoe style, that has been synonymous with Five Ten MTB shoes and is a welcome move from my view, as they appeal to an older and discerning demographic.
However for those that still want to live out their youth or are in fact, still youthful, then the Impact VXi Clipless may just be the shoes you are looking for.
The All Mountain specific shoe from SCOTT is the MTB Elite Boa. The Boa closure ensures a customized fit with very small increments in adjustment, While the look and feel and colour is on trend with today’s All Mountain rider.
The Rime Expert combines that sleek look of a trail/XC shoe with all the elements of a AM shoe. Featuring a firm, yet flexible Vibram sole for the hike-a-bike sections and a Boa ratchet closure system for a precise fit, the Rime Expert appear to have all the elements to deliver for the AM/Trail rider.
Any missing from the list that is worthy of attention? Drop your comments below.