Like these shoes so much that I bought a 2nd pair on sale. I'm a 9.5 in most shoes and wear a 44 in Shimano sizing (43.5 in Sidi's). The 701s are fairly light and reasonably stiff. Use them for both mtb and gravel. Doing a lot of multi-day epic bikepacking gravel rides this summer and my feet appreciate the large volume of these shoes, especially late in the day when our feet tend to swell. The Boa system works well once you get used to it. Shoes work well as camp slippers too allowing me not to carry extra shoes on extended rides. Keep 'em lose sitting in your tents vestibule then slide your feet in for that 2 a.m. pee while gazing at the wonderous Milky Way.
Insoles are pretty thin. Notice lots of dirt/sand getting in around my toes. Swapped in some green Super Feet insoles which helped a bunch with the dirt and still plenty of room inside.
Light. Stiff enough. Supple uppers.
Only downside is adjusting Boas in the winter with booties on is a challenge but thats true for any shoe.
I am pleasantly surprised at the value and performance of these mtb shoes. They replaced my Mavic Crossmax SL Ultimates, which were trashed after 3 seasons and have become expensive.
These Shimano shoes were about half the price of the Mavic and, also on the plus side, have a more secure heel cup (at least for me). The boa system is great and easy. The grip works really well for hike-a-bike sections.
The only slight drawback is the shoe is more flexy compared to high-end XC shoes that I've used before (Mavic, Sidi), but that also explains why walking with these is easier.
Overall this is a really good shoe. As it typical of Shimano shoes, fit and construction are excellent. Love the stiffness of the sole, which provides for excellent power transfer while mountain biking.
The midsole is well isolated from the cleats, so you don't feel them much when you're pedaling hard or riding long days, and the shoe flexes enough for scrambling.
So far in the few months I've had them, the Michelin tread is proving very durable in my times having to scramble in our rocky and rooty New England terrain.
If there's an area that this shoe can be said to fall short, it would be the lack of more robust toe lugs. I'd have preferred the either had a fixed lug in the screw-in toe spike spot, or at least included better screw-in toe spike there, since the spike is very shallow and provides minimal grip.
All that said, still a really good MTB shoe.
Bought this shoe primarily for cyclocross but it's so comfortable I've been using it for daily commuting as well. The double boa system really locks my foot in well, way better than my old shimano Velcro shoes. Additionally the boas are undone with just a snap, so they're super quick to take off.
The bottom of the shoe is coated in a tire-like rubber (Michelin logo) so there's great traction on road, gravel, dirt, and grass. Haven't tried them in mud yet, but there are 2 spots for studs.
Only downside would be that the lacing can occasionally come out from the guides on the main boa when the shoes are undone, so just have to be a bit careful when putting them on.
Overall these shoes are a great value for the money. Huge step up from Velcro shoes and only a slight weight difference versus the top of the line shoes.
I very much wanted them to work but it was not to be. The big problems mentioned by others are that the top strap comes up too high on top of the foot and the tongue is too short and does not provide some much needed padding. This results in some pretty serious discomfort concerns as the top strap digs into the top of the footankle. I returned them as it was clear that there would be problems.
That said, the shoe looked to be very well made with a grippy sole with reasonable stiffness andand an upper that offered some protection but was not overbuilt. For those of whom the top strap doesn't cause you problems, I think it could be a great/versatile MTB/Gravel shoe.
Heavier than my old Diadora shoes. Nice synthetic leather. I had to trim the top strap as it was cutting into the front of my ankle and the strap could not be adjusted to avoid that. The toe box is better than my Diadora which can hurt my small toe after long rides since I tend to pronate even with the adjustment of cleat angle.
I love these shoes and use them on my road bike which I put about 3000 miles a year on. I prefer to use MTB shoes instead of road shoes because I can walk around my house without scarring up the floor, (since the cleat is recessed.) I use the Ritchey micro road pedals which are as small and light as most top-line road pedals. I like the boa adjusters since I can easily adjust tension while riding.
I have very narrow feet and the only mod I have made to the shoe is to put the forward half of an insole beneath the normal insole to reduce the toe area's volume, lifting my foot another 316 or so. This prevents the top of the shoe from having to pucker when I draw it up tight.
I would get these again in a heartbeat, they are priced very well for the quality and comfort.
If I had any wishes, it would be for some kind of a small fabric tab on the tongue to give me a way to pull it out as I am sliding my foot into the shoes.