Select Page

Table Of Contents

Shimano GR9 Flat Mountain Bike Shoe ReviewBest Flat Mountain Bike Shoe Review

Tie for Best All-Around Flat Mountain Bike Shoe

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 100% 100%

Rubber Type: Michelin

Rubber Pattern: Full Tread

Weight: 365  grams

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Price: $150.00

What We Like: Comfortable, amazing grip, great in wet weather

What We Don’t: Difficult to readjust on the pedals.

Shimano is a titan in the mountain bike industry, particularly renowned for their drivetrains, brakes, and SPD pedals. They recently partnered with Michelin to create a new lineup of flat mountain bike shoes, and the result was some of the best flat mountain bike shoes on the market. The two shoes are extremely similar, with the GR9 being the slightly more expensive and more full-featured option.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Flat Mountain Bike Shoe Review!

Shimano GR9

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 100% 100%

Pros

Comfortable

Amazing Grip

Great in Wet Weather

Cons

Difficult to readjust on the pedals

Rubber Type: Michelin

Rubber Pattern: Full Tread

Weight: 365g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Freerider Pro

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Breathability 50% 50%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Amazing grip without making it difficult to readjust foot position

Cons

Sole is too stiff for some riders

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 396.89g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Shimano GR7

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 90% 90%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Comfortable

Amazing Grip

Great in Wet Weather

Very Breathable

Cons

Difficult to readjust on the pedals

Rubber Type: Michelin

Rubber Pattern: Full Tread

Weight: 396.9g

Upper Material: Perforated Synthetic with Mesh

Five Ten Freerider Contact

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Protection 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 30% 30%
  • Wet Weather Performance 50% 50%

Pros

Unbeatable Grip

Easy to adjust feat

Comfortable

Cons

Worst in review durability

Rubber Type: Stealth Mi6

Rubber Pattern: Half Dot

Weight: 389.8g

Upper Material: Textile/Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Freerider

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 50% 50%
  • Protection 50% 50%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Wet Weather Performance 80% 80%

Pros

Amazing grip without making it difficult to readjust foot position

Cons

Not as durable as Freerider Pro

Sole lacks rigidity for maximum power transfer

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 418.15g

Upper Material: Suede/Mesh

Afton Keegan

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 60% 60%
  • Protection 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Breathability 50% 50%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 80% 80%

Pros

Mono-directional shank makes for unbeatable rigidity on the bike and comfort off of it

Cons

Less grippy than top picks

Rubber Type: Intact Rubber

Rubber Pattern: Skate Style

Weight: 396.89g

Upper Material: Synthetic Leather

Five Ten Impact Pro

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Protection 90% 90%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Breathability 30% 30%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Wet Weather Performance 90% 90%

Pros

Unbeatable power transfer and foot protection

Great grip on and off the bike

Cons

Sole is too stiff for some riders

Rubber Type: Stealth S1

Rubber Pattern: Multi Dot

Weight: 550g

Upper Material: Synthetic

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch

  • Grip 40% 40%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Breathability 70% 70%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Wet Weather Performance 30% 30%

Pros

Durable, Stiff

Great Foot Protection

Cons

Vibram rubber lacks grip

Rubber Type: Vibram Megagrip

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 406g

Upper Material: Bonded, Seamless

Giro Riddance

  • Grip 50% 50%
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Protection 80% 80%
  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Breathability 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Wet Weather Performance 30% 30%

Pros

Durable and Breathable

Cons

Vibram sole lacks grip

Rubber Type: Megagrip ISR

Rubber Pattern: Full Dot

Weight: 430g

Upper Material: Microfiber

Grip

The Sole of the Shimano GR9 is the result of Shimano’s recent partnership with Michelin. While Michelin has been making rubber to grip the road for years, they are a recent addition to the world of footwear, and traditional sole manufacturers had better take note.

The rubber itself falls short of being as grippy as the Five Ten Freerider Contact, but so does every other shoe on the market, and the Sole of a GR9 will be in mint condition after your Freerider Contacts are dead and gone.

The grip of the Michelin rubber might be slightly less than Five Ten’s Stealth rubber, found on the Freeriders and Freerider Pros. However, the Sole of the Shimano GR9 is patterned very similarly to a car tire, with an assortment of grooves not unlike the tread pattern of an off-road tire. These grooves allow your pedal’s pins to lock into the Michelin sole and provides a grip that even Five Ten’s famed Stealth dot pattern can’t match.

The flip side of that coin is that once your feet are locked in, you actually have to pick them up slightly to reposition them, making this more difficult than with the Five Ten Full Dot pattern. I am a clipless rider at heart and prefer the locked in feeling of The GR9’s Michelin sole, but some will undoubtedly prefer an easier time repositioning their feet.

The lug like pattern of the GR9 also means that it maintains its grip very well in wet conditions, as well as in hike a bike situations. These situations are where Five Ten’s rubber and tread patterns fall well behind the GR9’s Michelin soles.

Rigidity and Protection

The Shimano GR9 is an all mountain shoe and it shows here. It has a fairly stiff sole that provides great power transfer and will keep your legs feeling fresh on those 20+ mile days in the big mountains. The sole is a bit softer than the Five Ten Impact or Freerider Pro. Unlike those shoes, however, the Shimano GR9 does not seem to dull the feedback of the trail at all. It also allows your shoe to better contour to the shape of your pedals, particularly when trying to really grip the pedals for bunny hops and jumps.

The Shimano GR9 also features an extremely stiff toe box and heel area, as well as ample padding around the ankle. This all works in synergy with the stiff sole of the GR9 to create a shoe that will allow you to dust yourself off and try that gap again, rather than heading to the emergency room after bailing.

Comfort and Breathability

While comfort is very subjective, the Shimano GR9 is a comfortable flat mountain bike shoe by just about any way of reckoning. Its sole strikes the perfect balance between being soft enough to walk comfortably off of the bike, while remaining stiff enough not to fatigue your feet on long rides.

The GR9 also features a very wide toe box, which makes it our top recommendation for riders with high volume feet.

The Breathability of the Shimano GR9 is good, but not quite as good as the cheaper GR7. If maximum airflow is your thing, then the GR7 might be a better bet, but they will definitely let your feet get wet when a GR9 will keep you dry.

Durability

Not surprisingly for a piece of rubber made by Michelin, the sole of the Shimano GR9 is extremely durable. As a slightly harder rubber compound than that found on Five Ten mountain bike shoes, the Michelin sole of the Shimano GR9 is about as durable as any shoe on the market, and we are willing to say that no sole strikes the balance between grip and durability that the GR9’s Michelin sole does.

The synthetic leather upper half of the shoe also holds its own as well, with very little wear after many miles of abuse.

Additional Features

The Shimano GR9 uses a speed lace system to make getting your shoes on and off a cinch. This is covered by a nifty lace cover, which keeps out dirt and debris, water, and also makes sure that your laces don’t accidentally find their way into your chain.

The Shimano GR9 also features a raised ankle collar that does a surprisingly good job at helping to deflect bits of dirt and debris that might otherwise find their way into your shoe.

The Bottom Line

Are you a downhill junky, an enduro racer who wants maximum control on descents and maximum pedaling efficiency while climbing, or just a guy or gal who likes to shred with your friends after work? Whatever your style, the Shimano GR9 flat mountain bike shoe and its Michelin made soles will do the job for you. The GR9 is a rare product that does everything extremely well and doesn’t give up a huge loss in any one category. It pedals well, it grips exceptionally well, and it is comfortable on and off of the bike. Furthermore, its sole is the best in our review in wet conditions.

All in all, we think that the Smith Quantum MIPS is the best ski and snowboard helmet of 2019. Furthermore, you can sometimes catch the Smith Quantum MIPS on sale for around $180, and if you do it is an absolute steal.

Compare Prices From Retailers Below

You help support Gear Hacker by purchasing from our retail partners.