The ﬁt is longer than most for a given size, but reasonable width and height in the toe boxes keep toes wriggling and circulation intact. There are no toe studs, but the aggressive, medium-compound tread is adequate for most scrambling and more surefooted than most in the wet.
Dog’s nose toe bumpers help kick protection and mesh is limited to the top of toes and upper sides, so they’re more puddle and splash proof than most as well; stout upper panels on the bike side give lots of support and keep the foot anchored on a reasonably stiff sole without pinching.
Offset Velcro straps and a broad wrapover strap and carrier plate for the ratchet buckle mean they’re not painful if you crank them down for climbing or competing. Even walking in them is pretty comfy, thanks to the tall, X-style heel-wraps that keep the back of your feet well anchored and minimise rub.
The short lever buckles are tucked out of the way and ratchet down the strap with a very positive action, while the buckles can be moved to a second position to allow those with shallower feet plenty of scope for adjustment. Buckle and strap are replaceable.
Shimano’s build quality is what really clinches it for these shoes. Time and again our Shimano test shoes have far outlasted other offerings, however badly we’ve treated them. These are no different.