Shimano MT42 shoes £70

A quiet quality shoe

BikeRadar score 4/5

Styled like a general outdoor shoe but with SPD compatibility, the MT42 doesn’t look too extreme. Yet despite the fact that it may be thought of as an entry-level option, there clearly hasn’t been too much compromise in terms of pedalling performance versus off-bike comfort.

The upper conforms well to the foot and doesn’t just rely on the footbed to provide support and security. As a result, your feet don’t slide around, and the addition of a Velcro strap to the lace fastening means you shouldn’t feel too much give when climbing either.

In addition to all that, the sole is light and comfortable enough to wear while walking. You don’t feel the cleat through it, and we’ve found that we can easily wear the shoes for a whole day both on and off the bike.

In fact, we happily did an entire photo shoot in Wales's Brecon Beacons that involved as much clambering as it did riding, with no sore bits or hot spots at all.

A robust toe bumper makes for excellent protection as you kick through rocks, and the mesh-and-leather upper feels reassuringly sturdy without being too hot. The more we wear these shoes, the more we appreciate their quiet, hardworking quality.

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