The high-end Shimano M240 SPD shoes are designed to complement the manufacturer’s own SPD pedals for serious riders and racers. The outsole is carbon reinforced to help maximise pedalling input, and features removable studs for when things get slippy off the bike. However we found that the toes studs were no use at all on local rock.
The sole, as you’d expect, is ultra stiff so pedalling performance is very efficient. As with all Shimano shoes, the cleat positioning is perfect, as is the sole thickness – two things that far too many other brands are still getting wrong. The heel unit grasps your ankle and heel well, thanks in part to the uni-directional grain of the internal fabric. Both the heel unit and insoles are from Shimano’s Custom Fit range, which means they can be heated and moulded to your foot, but even without whacking these in the oven the fit was still good.
To secure your foot in place there are twin offset Velcro straps, a buckle for total security and comfort, and a particularly sturdy toe box. The M240s are a good pair of high-end race shoes, and considering the stiffness of their soles, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they’ve been on longer rides, both on and off the bike.