Every now and again product comes out that pretty much seems to have read your mind as to what you are looking for in it. The Maltese Falcons didn’t get the grand launch that their siblings the Hellcats and Minnaars received; they kind of just crept onto the scene. But looking at early press shots it looked like it was going to be a pretty solid trail shoe.
Based on the popular flat soled chase shoe, but with a stiffened sole, reinforced upper a strap for the laces and space for your cleats. It does however retain the sticky rubber sole.
For those of you who are a bit confused by the need for sticky rubber on an SPD style shoe, you just need to ride it. Best suited to bigger platform clip-in pedals, once you start to get a bit looser with your riding and start to unclip for some corners, getting your feet back on the pedals even without clipping in is pretty confidence inspiring. Check out Danny Hart on his world champs run on the sticky clip-in’s, having the best of both worlds!
So after a couple of rides in I am blown away by their performance, they feel a lot more solid than any other trail shoe I have used, with the strap helping transfer a lot more power than others, the sole is plenty stiff enough without feeling too noticeable off the bike.
They are super comfortable and I am looking forward to getting the miles in on them. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay is that on their first night ride I totally forgot that I was in a new shoe.While I am yet to get them wet (or feed them after midnight) I am looking forward to seeing how they will stand up to a Peak winter.
Full test to follow once we can see in the evenings again.