This new version of Shimano’s rambler-style MT90 is super-durable but it’s not for power pedallers. The exclusive Vibram sole is as grippy as most you’ll find on a proper walking boot, so even without studs it’s a seriously surefooted piece.
The sole is made with half a stiffening shank and EVA shock absorption for comfortable extended walking sessions, making it ideal for rough hike-a-bikes. It’s soft in terms of power delivery, however, and feels unstable and rolls outwards unless you offset the cleats sideways to compensate for the extra width.
Protection is where this shoe excels. Rubber bumpers front and rear shrug off rocks, and the proper Nubuck leather means we’ve got three-year-old MT90s still going strong. Full height lacing is boosted with a ‘power strap’ for a solid fit.
The Gore-Tex liner keeps wading water at bay while the leather upper and broad toe box add warmth. The gappy top is handy for breathability in summer, but means water can splash in easily.
Unlike Shimano’s winter boots the MT90 lacks an ankle gaiter so stray gravel sneaks in to bother your toes and the absence of a lace cover means that laces snag on passing undergrowth, but there’s no doubt these are comfortable boots if you walk as much as you ride.