Very few shoes are stiff enough to genuinely add an extra gear to your riding. Then again, very few shoes are as expensive or as yellow as Mavic’s fast and furious whippet slippers either.
Pretty much every race shoe we test comes complete with ‘stiffest sole ever’ claims, but we’ve never tried a shoe that clacks into your pedals as rigidly as the Fury XCs.
It’s not just the super-rigid Energy Grip carbon sole either. A T-shaped carbon fibre Energy Lock heel brace, reinforced toecap and seamless Energy Frame upper exoskeleton create a vice-like grip on your whole foot. Twin forefoot straps and metal ratchet closure complete the total lockdown.
Apart from some sting through your feet on rockier trails, overall comfort is excellent, with the automatically adjusting memory foam keeping us happy on even the most epic days. The Contragrip sole gives good scrambling grip too, and they weigh less than 800g (for a pair of 44s with SPD cleats).
The result is a truly outstanding shoe that gives us a proper smug smirk at the bottom of climbs or the start of sprints. Bear in mind that you’ll need plenty of prizemoney to pay for the Fury XCs, but then ultimate performance is rarely cheap.