Costing just £50, the B’Twin 500 shoes were by far the cheapest we tested in our shoe grouptest, but after giving them a thrashing we’ve definitely learnt that cheap doesn’t necessarily mean poor performance.
Unlike pricier models, the 500s come with a Velcro fastening system, while this might seem a bit old fashioned it suits me just fine. It’s simple, cheap and won’t get damaged in a crash.
Dialing in the fit either stationary or on the fly is very easy too, if anything I wish fancier shoes still came with old faithful Velcro.
The fit on the 500s isn’t quite as refined as more premium options; being slightly narrower in the forefoot and without any arch support — which wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. The sole is fairly stiff and the shoe last has a nice contoured shape, which conforms to your feet.
There are only two bolt holes for your cleats, instead of the usual four, so if you run your cleats extremely far forward or back this could be an issue.
Much like the Scotts, the B’Twins have a low stack height which gives a nice connected feel when pedalling.
During hard sprints I could detect some flex in the sole, but some compromise is to be expected and on the whole they’re a great budget performer.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.