Mavic touts the XA Elite as an adventure shoe, with good performance on and off the bike. Here Mavic is spot on, with the aggressive Contragrip sole and flex combining to give ample grip and comfort off the bike.
On the pedals it’s also a decent performer, with the sole transferring power reasonably effectively. The flex that is present means there’s still some pedal feel, and I’d definitely recommend using it with a pedal with a platform to maximise power transfer from your legs.
The cleat channel is shorter than the rest of the trail shoes on test here, and it doesn’t extend particularly far back towards the middle either, so riders who are looking for a shoe for sure-footedness in steep, technical terrain might want to look elsewhere.
Where the XA Elite shines is during longer days in the saddle where an efficient position over the pedals and plenty of comfort are vital.
The upper is relatively light and airy, but offers little weather protection. The shoe isn't blessed with lots of foot protection either, other than right at the end of the toes.
The drawstring and Velcro closure gives a good, encased fit around the foot, and the heel hold is excellent. The internal shape feels relatively neutral although there’s little arch support on offer.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.