Mavic’s XL is a new protective trail/freeride crossover shoe that’s comfortable enough to walk in but light enough to see you through long days on the bike. It’s based on the basic Alpine trail shoe and shares the same two-tone Trail Grip outsole for decent grip in mud, snow and on rock without the treads or cleats getting clogged.
It works fine with platform-style clipless pedals and the front is flexy enough to make clambering up stuff you can’t ride comfortable too. you’ll be able to feel the cleat under your foot when pedalling hard though, and the cleat slots are further back than on most shoes, so set position carefully.
At 948g per pair – with cleats – they’re much lighter than the classic Shimano MP66 shoes (1,232g apair), which will please trail riders. While the cordlock slips if you’re working hard, the single wrap-over strap and well shaped heel cup keep the shoe feeling secure.
Like its Shimano rival, the Alpine XL gets a protective flap, though mesh panels in the upper mean it doesn’t keep weather or wind out for long. The Neoprene sock and fat tongue keep your ankles cosy though, and a useful toe bumper protects you from any flying rocks.