Gaerne Lapo Freeride shoes £80

High-value trail shoes packed with clever detail

BikeRadar score 3/5

The Lapo is a good looking trail shoe. The stealthy black outer comprises thick mesh, suede, and carbon effect synthetic leather which – when combined with the armoured toes and heels – makes for a noticeably sturdy construction.

Reflective detailing on the heel section is a welcome touch for road sections, and while the upper isn’t designed to be waterproof, it does a decent job of shedding water and mud.  

A single velcro strap holds the laces in place, and while it’s a bit fiddly to use and slightly prone to fraying, it does the task just fine. The footbed is nicely contoured with comfortable cushioning, and the heel cup is a snug fit preventing any heel lift when off the bike.

It’s a low cut shoe, which has the advantage of allowing movement, but it does mean there’s no ankle protection. The fit is also slightly small, so if you like plenty of toe-wiggle space, or are a habitual thick sock wearer, then go up a size.

The cleats are an easy attachment and on the bike the Lapo gives a good pedaling platform, with the lace and velcro closures holding you securely.

There’s a reasonable amount of forefoot flex, but the trade off is a shoe that’s comfortable for extended push/carry sections. This is where the Vibram sole comes into its own, as it’s brilliantly grippy and works really well for rocky scrambles or tarmac dismounts. 

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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