I was having pain in my toed due to small toe box on much more expensive Bontrager shoes, and these completely relieved that issue. The shoe fits like a glove on the top and sides, but leaves toes free to move and doesn't compress in the toe box like so many others. Only knock is the shoe can be harder to get on than others, but once on, it feels great; very good stiffness in sole, while also providing good walking surface and doesn't get mucked up in the dirt! Good value vs others as well.
Ridden about 200 miles so far, pretty recent purchase. I was riding Bont carbon XC shoes before...quite a difference in stack height and of course, you play the cleat placement game again, but overall, they are comfortable, stiff enough, and not sweatboxes in hot temperatures.
The shoe is built like a cinnamon roll, where the waist side of the upper/tongue, slides under the Vamp part of the upper, where the tightening system is mounted. The Search for Anatomy of a shoe.
The inner part of the upper, has a thin elastic fabric strap to pull the inside inner half of the upper tighter. While possibly making it slightly easier to secure the Vamp upper, it tends to pull on the sock which can make it bunch up. This can create pressure/irritation issues on a long ride. On the positive note, once tightened, I couldn't sense the strap. (Grabbing your finger after closing a door on it?)
Adjusting your socks takes slightly longer to put on, definitely not for swim/bike biathlons or iron man competitions where seconds count.
Also, the elastic is a weak point in the design, part one in decreased longevity, leading to...
The shoes require tightening at least two times after donning the shoe: Once after walking a bit, and second or third during the ride. You definitely should perform the ski boot maneuver where you tap the heal of your foot against the floor to seat your heal. Otherwise, you'll get rubbing at the heal.
This also concerns me as to how long the shoe will last, as appears the upper stretches over time. I hate to admit that I watch GCN, but one of their videos detailed how the uppers were the weak part of cheap biking shoes, and this is NOT a cheap biking shoe.
The sad part is that they already have the solution.
First, the shoe did solve one of my alignment issues, bringing my pressure point on my Garmin Rally pedals closer to the center line, something my previous Shimano shoes couldn't master, even with the shoes adjusted to the extreme.
Second, they look good.
Be aware that the soles are purported to be carbon fiber, and are not at all flexible, when compared to the mountain biking shoes I've used. Possibly better for power transfer, but it does affect your walk. This may be a consideration for the size of the "gravel' in the terrain you bike on.
This subtle but sharp looking shoe is stiff but still comfortable for fast group rides and racing. I like the extra arch supports (different sizes) to customize the feel and hoping to get some full days in the saddle with them soon.
I needed a new pair of road shoes. These are very well built and well designed. The single BOA works without over-binding on my foot. I am an in-between size usually a 12 (11 34) so I end up in 46.5 or 47's . Many don't come in 12 sizes so on this me and my narrow feet went up to 47, and got the silver camo a fun color pattern option (black bike shoes are so bleh). The fit for my tween-size gives a tiny 14 extra room length-wise and width is roomy, but I have narrow feet, some may not like that room. It works well to be able to layer a 2nd pair of mid-weight wool socks for winter under shoe covers. The binding is super gradual and magically hugs your foot more toward the upper half, but foot shape like plays in here. I have found there is a slight break-in occurring and I'm comfortable increasing tension to very snughammer-time tension. I have a medium arch so stock insoles work perfect without the added high-arch ones needed. The BOA binding then snugs you into the nicely padded heal cup and damn, they fit so good. The sole is super stiff, walk-able when you need to. I am now riding these for everything, road, dirt, gravel. They are flat out the best bike shoes I've ever owned riding 35yrs. The one feature a little non-functional is the toe velcro adjust, I would like to narrow things up a bit more but the adjust-ability there is minimal then the small strap doesn't really have much velcro to grab hold with, but I got a 14 maybe so enough, but a little more would be nice. Also I've had some warm days recently and can confirm these breath nicely with my slightly roomy fit. I saw a review where someone claimed they didn't breath, but could be a case of too snug a fit or a fatwide foot blocking all the vent holes. Get fit for a little toe-box room and not too small and you're in business. I ride a big mix of roads and have pavedgravel all-road options all day long in the Col. R. Gorge (WA side). I also ride lone-ranger 99.9% of the time, and shoes I can walk in without sub-par pontoons adapted for SPD was a must-have, you could need a long-walk to cell signal or to get found somewhere paved or not. With 3 all-road bikes and 1 road bike I shifted to SPD pedalscleats after 30yrs on Look pedals for a decent all-road option. I have some decent Shimano Torbal's that are great low-price shoes and other mid-range shoes over the years, even SIDI, Diadora. These shoes I scored on a killer Christmas sale for more than 2x less than some SIDI's I wouldn't trade them for, not for overpriced $400-$500 shoes. I did not like the SIDIs I had years ago, not enough bang for the buck. When Shimano pops out some new colors, I'm coming back for another pair ) ..... Outstanding shoes, road shoes you can walk in. I'm a total SPD convert
So far so good. Super stiff carbon sole makes for a solid power transfer. It came with two different arch support/insole options which is cool, but neither were supportive enough for my higher arches so I threw some older insoles in. The shoes are light weight and seem to do pretty well in wet weather. The boa and Velcro toe strap provide plenty of adjustment, and they've fit me well from the first ride although they have required a little break in period, and I tend to run them more loose by backing the boa off a bit as they have been putting my feet to sleep. I've only ridden them a handful of times outdoors so I can't say they're a 5star yet, but seem like they'll hold together well enough to sell me on that final star, and only seem to be getting more comfortable as time goes on.
This is a great shoe that fits my feet really well. Light, rigid and comfortable. Also comes with arch inserts for people (like me) with high arches. I perfect match for my Shimano XTR PD-M9100 pedals.
You can pay more but, why?
I needed an upgrade from my worn out velcro strap plastic sole shoes. These shoes are comfortable with a firm sole. The sizing was spot on for me with a 46 for my normally 11.5 sized foot. With over 700 miles on them now, I don't regret my purchase and looking forward to many more century rides with them.
I've done only 6 or so rides in these so far but am not blown away by these shoes. As stated in other reviews, the elastic which holds the inside flap drives me nuts. Get cramps in my foot trying to get it inside the shoe. Like the Boa system for ease of tightening and removal. The velcro strap seems sort of superfluous. Power transfer to the pedal is decent. Not the most comfortable shoe yet but maybe it will break in better with more rides which won't come until cooler weather.
I love these shoes so much, I have 2 pairs. One in black, and I just purchased a second white pair for indoor use only. I always use gravel or XC shoes for all my riding, whether it's road/gravel/CX/XC. I like the stability of having lugs next to my cleat for improved walking/running function, especially since I use a leg length shim under my left cleat. These shoes are lightweight, comfortable, stiff, and super functional. Plus, I keep getting them on sale, which increases their value. Plus the subtle camo shimmer looks super polished. Shimano broke the mold with this model.
I got these to use on my new gravel bike and so far, so good. The interior is nice and plush, the sole feels very stiff, which is great because I have a plate in my foot and I'm sensitive to flexy bike shoes. I thought a single boa might be a negative but it works really well and is very simple to adjust while riding. I can't figure out what's doing it but I do seem to have a pressure spot on the top instep of the foot with the plate (so likely not an issue for people with normal shaped feet) It doesn't seem like it should cause problems but it does for me (sometimes) on very long rides. Since I assume that it's specific to my foot issue and not a shoe design problem, I'm going to give it 5 stars.
One of my favorite rides consists of a mix of gravel and road sections and now here's a shoe that suits this mix perfectly. Comfort, fit and function are all here in one excellent shoe. However, I'm not sure if there's going to be enough ventilation in the summertime, time will tell.
I admit I wasn't too sure about the comfort when I first received them since there is an elastic strip that keeps the inner tongue pulled in and with my very high-instep feet it took a while to get used to slipping them on. But now that I've worn them for riding >1000 miles I really like the comfort and figured out how to get them on with little effort. Soles are stiff enough for me. The pop-in/out feature of the Boa clasp is terrific. They run about true to size, if anything err on ordering a larger size. I haven't yet had the need to do a lot of walking or hike-a-biking in them, so jury is still out on that question.
I updgraded to this shoe from a cheaper, plastic sole velcro strap gravel shoe the Shimano XC1 . The fit provides good arch support and I didn't need the provided inserts. I bought a 43. I'm a US 10, and I usually go one notch lower in shoe size for my cycling shoes. 43 is a happy medium between too tight for thick wool socks, and too lose during summer grinders. The single boa is plenty on my top-foot to cinch it down. The bottom velcro piece, is pretty much cosmetic as it does little to tighten the forefoot. All around I'm happy with this shoe after 400 miles.
I use these on my fixed gear and road bike on SPD pedals. I often get off and walk around with my shoes and these make it much easier to do so than traditional road-oriented shoes. I upgraded from old heavy MTB shoes and what a positive difference to power delivery and efficiency with the stiff sole and lightweight package (half the weight of my previous shoes)! The BOA system works really well and can't imagine going back to full velcro straps.
Excellent product by Shimano!
Shoes fit like glove and are very comfortable, light weight, and stiff. I wear a 46 in Bonts and Lakes and the 46 in Shimano fit well. I have narrow heel and relatively wide forefoot. The heel fits well and doesn't slip around. I like the closure as it provides an even pressure across the top of my foot and I can snug it up without causing any numbness or hot spots on my feet. Adequate room around my toes. Would recommend going up a half size if you need to wear winter socks. For me the tread is just right for gravel.
Very comfortable. The single boa works well and produces even pressure. Weight of my size 45 is 604g for the pair without cleats. The stiff sole doesn't cause an issue when walking; it seems about the same as my previous shoes. The shape of the rubber pads on the shoe match the shape of my Shimano M8020 XT pedals.
I really like these shoes. Great fit , lightweight and look good. Here are the cons: hard to get on, the boa straps are not real smooth when releasing and a little hard to get off. The cons are all about their convenience but once they are on and you are riding they are a great shoe. I have a pair of s-phire road shoe and they have a similar fit but not quite the quality, but hey they are half the price. Performance wise they are on the level of the s-phire.