Spiuk ZS11M £90

Race-ready mountain bike shoes with toe studs

BikeRadar score 4/5

Definitely eye-catching, these Spanish racers back up head-turning looks with really strong performance. They’re definitely breezy shoes rather than cosy ones, though. 

As you’d expect from such racy looking shoes, the soles are stiff enough to get plenty of power through to the pedals without obvious flex or long-day hotspots. The hard tread slips on wet roots and green rocks, but it’s widely spaced for easy clearing. 

We appreciated the extra outer edge tread that makes them more stable and ankle-friendly on rough ground, and you get full metal toe studs – like they banned from school footy boots in the 1970s – for blasting up the steepest climbs.

Broad reinforced toe ends for rock proofing and stiff, really well-shaped heel cups make them tough and practical for thrashing trails as well as tapping out cross-country miles. There’s no instep shaping, but the multi-part uppers give a really good fit around the sides and top of the foot so they feel firmly supportive and secure, even with light pressure on the front two straps. 

The twin-button releases on the cam strap aren’t easy, though ratchet action is really firm and positive even when filthy. Buckle and straps are removable and replaceable.

Cloven tongues with neoprene centres cushion the main straps well and stay put, while the tall ankle cuffs mean limited heel lift – they’re snug under the ankle bones, though. Lots of mesh keeps them cool but inevitably means wet feet. 

The gloss finish cleans up well, they dry quickly and come in three other colours besides this – white/red, black/silver and silver/white. 

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

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