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Having proper gear for mountain biking can make the difference between having a great ride or ending up in the dirt, and MTB shoes are no different. Thankfully, Crank Brothers recently developed their own shoes that go perfectly with their pedals - Bret got his feet in a pair and has been loving them. Read on for more!
I recently upgraded my shoes and pedals. I had been riding SPD 5.10 shoes and Shimano Enduro pedals. I am now running Crank Brothers Mallet E Speedlace and the Mallet Enduro pedals. I feel like the Crank Brothers pedals are a more stable platform for clipping in and unclipping, especially in dicey terrain or when there is a lot of mud. I actually ordered the regular lace Mallet shoes but liked the additional Velcro closure and ease of the speed lace.
I can quickly get the shoes off and on and like that the extra speed lace tucks easily into the tongue.
I may try to shorten up the laces a few inches to make stowing the extra lace just a little bit easier. My first ride on the shoes was straight into the fire for a wet weekend at Wind Rock bike park. My feet actually stayed pretty dry and I feel like the traction in the mud was pretty decent and it was some serious mud on Sunday. The fit of the shoes works well for my lower volume foot. I have not had any issues with hot spots and the stiffness of the shoe is good for the climbs and descents. I do have a pretty high arch and feel like there is good support underfoot for the arch. There are also some grippy little rubber dots on the inside of the heel.
I found that getting used to the mechanism of the Crank Brothers style of the clip was very easy to adjust to. I may consider trying out the clips with less float, but the standard clips seem to be working fine. Over the next couple of months, I will probably mess around with the placement of the cleats underfoot to even further refine the pedal stroke and riding stance. Even when I had substantial mud in both the pedals and shoes, I was able to get clipped in without too much trouble. I think that the extra pins on the Mallet E match up very well for enhanced stability when riding, especially rougher stuff and when jumping. The tread on the shoe was very beneficial when having to dismount in sketchy wet and muddy terrain.
I have the black shoes, which easily came clean when we hit the carwash to pressure wash everything down. I did bring my skit boot drier, which made for dry and comfy feet on day 2 of riding. I also like that the overall size of the shoe is a little less clunky than my previous 5.10 shoes, which are overall wider and closer to a skate shoe shape
I ride mostly in GA and NC, so it will be interesting to see how they breathe in the heat. There is some ventilation in the shoe, so I assume some air is moving through. However, I don’t put a ton of emphasis on airflow when considering mountain bike shoes, as I feel like my feet are going to sweat substantially regardless.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase and hope to get several years of use out of these shoes.