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Shimano ‘Mountain Enduro’ SPD shoes

Revamped clipless options for trail or race use

More new shoes from Shimano – here we look at the new ‘Mountain Enduro’ ME7 and ME5 for the clipped in trail and enduro rider

With the growth of enduro racing plenty of riders are looking for improved efficiency on the bike. With this trend we’ve seen plenty of developments in clipless (SPD) style pedals and shoes over the last few seasons. The two bolt Shimano designed system has been an industry standard for over twenty five years with many brands such as HT and Crank Brothers producing pedals to suit this style of cleat. Shimano have always been a benchmark in pedal design and their footwear often hits the spot for UK riders with shoes that work well year round. Many offer good protection from the muck and water that we often see on the trails too.

With recently updated favourites such as the AM9 having a leaning towards DH and gravity riding, Shimano have now revamped their trail and enduro range with an emphasis on improved pedalling efficiency, control and all-day performance. With two new models, the more expensive ME7 takes over from the M200, an established favourite and a pick in our ‘Best trail SPD shoes’ feature.

SHIMANO ME7

If you’re a dedicated clipped-in rider you’ll know that the key is getting a good blend of stiffness in the sole and purposeful traction when of the bike and pushing up hill. Many ‘skate style’ SPD shoes give great comfort and are often stiff enough but lack the traction of a lugged sole and are often bulkier than needed. It’s here that a shoe like the ME7 has a true advantage – so what improvements have Shimano made over the previous M200?

Combining the low weight and pedalling efficiency of an XC shoe with the durability, grip, and armour aggressive trail riders require, the ME7 looks very much fit for action.

Shimano ME7 shoe 2

OUTSOLE

Shimano have been using Vibram sole tech on their flat pedal shoes for some time but here they go to Michelin for a tread compound that performs in all conditions. Shimano and Michelin in collaboration have developed this new sole that combines dual-density rubber and a careful lug placement for better grip without compromising pedalling efficiency.

This high performance, dual-density rubber sole offers superb traction in both the wet and dry along with great durability and stability.

MIDSOLE

Shimano understands that aggressive trail riding and racing demands the right mix of protection, stability, and a certain amount of flex when the going gets really tough.

Their recently developed TORBAL (Torsional Balance) improves balance and bike control by letting the heel section accommodate some lateral movement. This also optimises pedalling efficiency at the cleat interface. This flexibility connects the rider and pedal in a better manner, giving good feedback on what the bicycle is doing underfoot. With a hard contact block above the cleat area and carbon reinforcement to the midsole this shoe has a stiffness index of 8.

Comfort is maintained and there is flexibility through all ranges of rider motion. A highly cushioned insole is ventilated and supportive – an area that is often compromised on cheaper footwear.

Shimano ME7 shoe 3

 

FASTENING AND ADJUSTMENT

All Shimano footwear closures are anatomically designed to reduce pressure and tension on the highest points of the foot. The upper is adjusted with a speed lace system giving even tension across the top of your foot and adapts to wide range of foot shapes with a secure fit. The weatherproof flap then covers this lacing keeping muck and water out.

A ratchet top strap uses a cleanly designed, low-profile, reverse mount buckle to securely hold the foot and leaves no trailing strap to get caught up.

The highly cushioned insole is ventilated and supportive – an area that is often compromised on cheaper footwear.

UPPER

As with the Shimano M200, the ME7 has plenty of protection on the upper. A high quality synthetic fabric shrugs off wet weather and the inevitable puddle splashes with small perforations to aid breathability. The upper has a lightweight yet durable feel without going over the top with bulky armour. A reinforced toe-box gives added protection.

Whereas the M200 shoe had raised ankle protection on the crank side of the shoe, this ME7 design uses a raised and stretchy neoprene cuff which closes around the ankle keeping out trail debris and moisture. A weather-proof flap over the lacing adds more weather protection and adds to the easy to clean nature of this shoe – footwear for all year round action.

Shimano ME7 shoe 4

A Revamped clipless option for trail or race use

The ME7 is a very well designed shoe that shows Shimano’s constant evolution of products. This new shoe is purposeful at putting the power down yet has the right amount of give in the sole when off the bike. For the trail and enduro racing, this shoe looks like it will hit the spot for all year round use but for DH use we’d go for Shimano’s AM9.

WEIGHT: 375g each (size 40)

SIZES: 38 – 48 (Black/blue only in the UK)

PRICE: £149.99

 

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

SHIMANO ME5

One step below the ME7 is the ME5, a more regular looking trail shoe that sits in Shimano’s ME shoe category. It’s not a great deal cheaper, has a regular (not a Michelin) compound sole and a fairly conventional strap and buckle system.

Shimano ME5 shoe 1

The ME5 does however, inherit the sole from the older M200 shoe with the TORBAL tech and a good grippy compound but without the carbon reinforcement midsole. The longer cleat slots are there too as is the hard contact block but the stiffness index of 6 is a touch lower than the ME7. The buckle is the new reversed designed and the two straps use the offset design now proven across most of the Shimano footwear range.

Shimano ME5 shoe 2

The upper has more ventilation than the ME7 (using Shimano’s quick drying 3D mesh) making this a potentially better shoe for riding or racing in hot and dry conditions.

WEIGHT: 385g each (size 40)

SIZES: 40 – 48 (Light grey only in the UK)

PRICE: £109.99

shimano-lifestylegear.com

madison.co.uk

 

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