- Shimano MW02 Winter boots
Cold wet and numb toes are no fun and can really ruin your riding pleasure. While this can be prevented by various methods (waterproof socks, overshoes, carrier bags taped over shoes), by far the easiest is with Shimano’s MW02 winter boots.
The previous SH-W101 was good, but Shimano has improved on it in a number of areas. Most notably is a new sole which is now has a deeply grooved and aggressive pattern, a criticism of the previous offering. Those occasional spots of trudging through bogs and over rocks are made much easier with the improved sole as the grip is now far better, and mud clears easily too, particularly around the cleat area.
Stopping water from breaching shoes is a tricky problem to solve, and so Shimano have several solutions that really work well together. You have to try pretty hard to get your toes wet. First line of defence is a totally sealed outer, with a polyurethane leather to keep out the worst of the muck. A thick neoprene cuff sits high up the ankle, and finally a Gore-Tex lining prevents any rising damp.
A fibreglass sole doesn’t provide a race level of stiffness, but with the added width now in the middle section of the shoes they’re a supremely comfortable shoe for all-day riding, and for occasional spots of hike-a-bike. The sole is flanked at both ends with a reinforced toe and heel box, ideal when you’re up to your knees in mud and can’t see the rocks for cack. Two wide Velcro straps keep the whole lot snug, and the final surprise is the weight of the shoe – they’re actually very light considering all the damp defences.
Positives: Dry and warm toes, great fit, mud-plugging sole, good support
Negatives: You’ve got no excuse to stop riding now
The only way to guarantee dry toes through the winter muck. Stick a pair of waterproof socks on and you’ve got no excuse for not riding this winter.