With its plush internal liner and generously wide toe box, Mavic's Crossmax SL Ultimate has been the most comfortable on our long-term test, keeping our feet happy after many hours in the saddle. Mavic’s Ortholite insole also adds to the comfort, perhaps at the expense of feeling slightly disconnected from the pedals, but we didn’t feel any loss of power due to this.
The outer sole has plenty of rubber tread to protect all that carbon fibre, and there’s the option to add studs for your cyclocross needs. The shoe is almost unyieldingly stiff too, so you won’t be wasting any of those precious watts.
Mavic’s new Ergo Dial retention system is said to offer accurate adjustment and a customised fit. We found this mostly to be true, but the thin wires and small micro adjustments meant we had to crank the dials very tight for a secure fit.
Similar to the rest of the shoe, the heel cup is very plush and comfortable, but did seem to slip occasionally. Although this was more apparent when walking and we had minimal slip when pedalling.
Being light, comfortable and secure, the Mavic’s would have scored more highly were it not for one unfortunate issue appearing after only three rides. The inside of each shoe suffered badly from crank rub, immediately wearing through the black finish to the yellow rubber below. For such a high-end shoe this is a big deal and we’d like to see some more protection where the shoe inevitably hits the crank arm.