A Burly Trail Shoe That’s Light on Your Feet

Shimano-1When Shimano’s designers set out to create an aggressive trail shoe, they didn’t simply take a hiking boot and bolt some SPD cleats to it, nor did they take one of their roadie-inspired cross-country offerings and add some rubber lugs to the bottom and call it good. Instead, they built a new- from-the-ground-up shoe that’s designed to deliver the lightweight construction and pedaling efficiency that trail riders demand, combined with the durability, protection and off-the-bike traction that aggressive riders require. The result is the all-new SH-ME7 shoe—a shoe that’s designed for adventures anywhere on the mountain, no matter how far into the backcountry or how steep and technical the terrain may be.

Tech Info:

The ME7 shoe is a relatively low-profile SPD trail shoe that’s designed with an aggressively lugged rubber sole and an armored upper. The shoe offers a stretch-proof synthetic leather upper mated to a specially designed carbon sole with Michelin rubber lugs for stiffness on the bike and improved traction on hike-a-bike sections. The shoe uses a speedlacing system to adapt to a wide range of foot sizes with the pull of what can only be described as a locking drawstring. The speed-locking system is concealed with a Velcro leather cover to keep it out of the way of the cranks. The unique, reverse-mount buckle has a low profile to avoid snagging rocks on the trail. The shoes also come with a stretch neoprene ankle collar and extra-cushion insole for comfort. Our test pair of size-45 shoes weighed in at 498 grams (just over 2 pounds) with SPD cleats mounted. The ME7 shoe retails for $200 and is available at your local bike shop.

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 2.48.03 PMOn the Trail:

The ME7 is a shoe that looks burly and aggressive but feels lighter than you’d expect. At first glance the shoe looks impossibly hot; however, on the trail, the multiple covered vents drive airflow through the shoe, making it comfortable even on long rides. The fit is very true to size, with a mid-wide profile and a roomy toe box. Thanks to the armored toe box, the front of the shoe is very stiff, so be sure you get the sizing right. Don’t expect them to “pack out” much. The speed-lacing system works very well with the shoe’s wrap-around tongue that’s designed to “wrap” your foot and create the most comfortable fit for your mid-foot. The reverse buckle takes time to get used to, because the ratchet feels upside down compared to every other buckle we’ve ever tested, but after a couple rides it became a non-issue.
On the bike, the ME7 works as promised, with a stiff carbon sole that’s capable of delivering power and offering plenty of protection for super-aggressive trails. It’s not the lightest pair of shoes out there, but the shoes feel so light and airy that you’ll forget all about them when you’re pedaling. The armor will protect you should you decide to punt a rock, and the Michelin sole grips as well as any other sticky rubber we’ve tested should you need to dismount. In fact, the shoe could even be pushed into gravity riding for the down-hill racer who likes to clip in. Riders looking to ride smooth singletrack would be better served with a lightweight cross-country shoe, but for aggressive trail riders, this is the best choice from one of the most reputable shoe brands around.


• Stiff and extremely grippy sole
• Nice fit with low-profile and easy to use closure system
• Lightweight


• Ankle protection can rub on cranks


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