At lot has happened in the mountain bike world in ten years. Bikes have got lighter, travel has got longer, and clothing has got more technical.
One area that has received a lot of development is the shoes we wear. The advent of the clipless pedal system has brought about a sea of development in footwear, which this photo of two Shimano shoes, separated by 10 years, shows nicely.
At the top of the photo is Shimano’s latest mountain bike shoe, the M621. It’s not the lightest or stiffest shoe the company makes, but instead is pitched as an all-mountain choice replete with a raised ankle section, reinforced sections, small bumpers and an aggressive sole. It’s a sign of the direction mountain biking has been taking recently, less race-orientated that in the early days.
And then we have the M153 at the front, unearthed recently by Roadcyclinguk.com. They’ve never been used, hence the fact that, considering they are a decade old, are in such good nick.
It was a shoe first introduced in 2001 and represented the pinnacle of Shimano’s shoe range, billed as a competition shoe with a stiff sole, a polyurethane-coated leather panels and a reinforced nylon mesh upper and triple velcro-fastening system. While it looks fairly basic and simplistic, it’s not a far cry from what many brands are offering in their latest ranges.
It does go to show how much shoes have changed in the last 10 years. The difference in weight is really noticeable, and the quality of the newer shoes is really a huge leap forward. The sole in particular shows a dramatic path of development.
But there’s something about the simplicity of the 10 year old shoes that is appealing. We particularly like the simple round blocks on the heel.
Did anyone have a pair of the M153 shoes first time around?