At almost half the price of most of the other mountain bike shoes we’ve tested recently, the Shimano GR5s are worth a look if you’re on a tight budget. And thankfully, that lower price tag doesn’t equate to a cheap feel on the trail.
There’s a decent level of grip here, courtesy of Shimano’s own rubber sole, and so far they’ve handled all the abuse I’ve thrown their way.
While the GR5s don’t offer a vice-like attachment to the pedals (and aren’t quite as tacky as Shimano’s pricier, Michelin-soled GR9s), they perform better in the traction department than a number of the pricier offerings available.
The ‘pedal zone’ of the outsole has a very shallow, almost smooth-treaded section for the pins to bite into, while both the toe and heel treads are more widely-spaced and slightly deeper, which aids grip off the bike. This helps when you’re scrabbling back up the trail or faced with a hike-a-bike section.
When it comes to fit, the GR5s are a very neutral, but comfortable, shape. Those with really broad feet will appreciate the toe box, which is nice and roomy, and offers plenty of space for your feet to splay out.
That said, they’re still secure enough once you’ve cinched up the laces (the GR5s don’t get the Speed Laces seen on the GR9s, sadly), with no movement inside the shoe. Considering the quality on offer here, there’s certainly no knocking the GR5s’ value for money.