The £120 price is the no-man’s land for mountain bike shoes it’s expensive for a nylon midsole shoe but still £20-40 shy of where the more affordable carbon shoes begin to appear. The Placid RC is a decent enough shoe for all types of MTB riding, though with its cross-country (XC) competition looks it’s going to be the sporty or sporty at heart who’ll bite. Real racers will feel the midsole giving away vital watts of hill stomping power, while the rest of us will still be smiling.
The Placid RC is broad and rectangular, ideal for folk with normal non-pointy feet. It’s a shame then that the ﬁt is quite shallow and we found we were barely getting the micro ratchet strap to engage. The twin Velcro forefoot straps were equally short.
The Placid is more of a ‘race replica’ in terms of stiffness, but this does mean that with its easy ball to toe transition and chunky treaded outsole it makes short work of hike-a-bike sections, where it feels more like an off-road trail running shoe. As ever with Vaude products, the workmanship’s ﬁrst rate, though the uppers are better suited to dryer, warmer climes than those we get for most of the year.