Shimano class their SH-M076s as “off-road sport shoes” but we think they’re a great option for the daily commute too. At 672g (size 40) they’re lighter than Shimano’s off-road race shoes, but without the drawbacks of full-on road footwear.
Unlike some smooth-bottomed road shoes, the aggressive rubber sole pattern will still grip if you hit a muddy section of towpath, and while the fibreglass-reinforced polyamide midsole means you can still put the power down when the lights turn green, it’s not so stiff that walking becomes uncomfortable.
There’s enough space around the cleat area that you can clip in and out of pedals with ease, and the synthetic leather upper can be easily wiped clean.
Triple Velcro-style hook-and-loop straps ensure you’re not going to slip out when you pull up on your clipless pedals, and nylon mesh sections allow hot air to get out. The drawback is that wind and water can get in, although this takes longer to happen than you might expect. For really wet and miserable conditions you can always wear overshoes, or invest in a pair of Shimano’s MW80s, which combine a similar design with a warm and waterproof Gore-Tex and Duratherm liner.
The silver and black colour scheme looks good in town or on the trails, while not heading into full-on ‘disco slipper’ territory or making you look like you’re wearing hiking boots. The silver highlights also help make you more visible at night. If you’re heading for the hills, there are holes for toe-studs for extra wet weather grip.
As with all Shimano shoes, it’s a good idea to go up a couple of sizes from your normal shoe size in order to get a good fit. All in all, if you’re after a pair of simple, hard-wearing shoes to use with clipless pedals, these are just the ticket.