A fully fledged trail shoe that thinks it’s a running shoe – or is it the other way round? Whatever it is, the melding of mountain bike technology and sports styling and comfort has carved a unique place in the marketplace for the Cannondale Range.
We liked wearing it off-road for all the same reasons that we like Shimano's MP66 – it just feels like you’re wearing a street shoe until you realise that you’re clipped in and hammering through the singletrack. The fit was a bit weird to start with but oddly improved after the shoe got a couple of quality wettings – this seemed to form the upper to our foot shape.
Traction-wise, the Range’s outsole is okay off-road but heavy conditions test it and when things get wet and slippery the low-profile lugs just can’t cope. The rigid sole makes walking awkward, and while the foot is held in place on the bike, the Range suffers from heel-lift when walking even short distances. On the positive side, it's relatively light for a chunky trail shoe.
The nubuck and mesh uppers make for a cool airy feel, while the toes and heel cup are polyurethane-coated for greater durability. Neat features such as the heel loop make pulling them on easier. The Velcro cover on top of the tongue protects the laces and Scotchlite flashes help with night-time visibility. The look is understated enough for the post-ride pub.
But this shoe isn't just aimed at mountain bikers; it's also marketed for use in spin classes at the gym, and everything in between. On road, the ribbed nylon sole (made by Italian shoe manufacturers Diadora) is stiff enough for longer commutes or light touring and the Duratech rubber tread provides grip and some cushioning. However, the outsole is too chunky for toe-clips and the tread isn’t deep enough to prevent cleats scratching delicate ﬂooring.