Earlier this year we brought you news that Shimano is taking its shoe range at the £100 price point way more seriously for next year. With three very different shoes, there’s something for all mountain bikers, whatever style of riding you’re into.
Of the three, the M162 is probably the most appealing. The reason we say that is the combination of the tough outsole, bumpers around the shoe made from a tough rubber, and the raised height of the ankle section on the inside of the shoe not only make for a really good looking shoe (not something we’re used to from Shimano) but won’t fall apart at the first impact with a rock.
Words like ‘tough’ and ‘aggressive’ spring to mind, and ‘durable’ is certainly another high on the list. It’s the sort of shoe designed to withstand the hardest use yet survive unscathed to fight another day. It’s reinforced in the key areas to provide a shoe that feels military tough when you slip it on. You feel like you could kick a few rocks into submission.
Two Velcro straps with an off-set shape combined with a low-profile ratchet secure the shoe into place. Fit is excellent, with the test size 45 fitting our feet just right. Along with the raised ankle protection, it’s a very snug and secure environment for your delicate tootsies.
Flip the shoe over and there’s a tough rubber sole which has been reinforced with a polymide shank plate. Mounts for studs are there, but the tread pattern looks aggressive enough for all but the stickiest condititions.
Stiffness wise they’re not up there with Shimano’s racer fave the M315, but it’s more than stiff enough for most people. There’s just a degree of flex which is something we feel we’ll be appreciated in the real world, when the occasional bout of walking/pushing the bike/sitting in the pub is on the cards.
We’re going to scrabble around in the bottom of our parts bin, find some cleats, fit them and then log some miles in the new shoes right away. Full verdict soon.