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Shimano ME7 Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe ReviewBest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe Review

Best All-Mountain and Enduro Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Speed Lace System and Upper Ratchet Strap, Large Velcro Panel Over Laces

Sole: Carbon Fiber Composite

Outsole: Michelin Rubber

Weight: 425g (size 44)

Upper Material: Synthetic

What We Like: Comfortable, Versatile, Great Power Transfer, Great Off the Bike Traction

What We Don’t: Not the Cheapest Nor the Lightest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe

Price: $200.00

Shimano is a giant when it comes to both clipless shoes and clipless pedals, and the Shimano ME7 clipless mountain bike shoe lives up to Shimano’s reputation. The ME7 is an extremely high-quality clipless mountain bike shoe designed for all mountain and enduro riders. It is one of the most versatile shoes on our list, well suited for downhill laps at the park and stiff enough for long cross country rides. This versatility is no small part of why we named the Shimano ME7 our pick for the title of best all-around clipless mountain bike shoe of 2020.

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Shimano ME7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 80% 80%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

Versatile

Great Power Transfer

Great Off the Bike Traction

Cons

Not the Cheapest Nor the Lightest Clipless Mountain Bike Shoe

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Speed Lace System and Upper Ratchet Strap, Large Velcro Panel Over Laces

Sole: Carbon Fiber Composite

Outsole: Michelin Rubber

Weight: 425g (size 44)

Upper Material: Synthetic

Giro Empire VR90

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 60% 60%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 60% 60%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Ultra-Lightweight

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Too Narrow for Many

Questionable Durability

Best Applicaton: XC

Closure: Laces

Sole: Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Vibram Mont Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 338g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Shimano S-Phyre XC9

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 100% 100%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 40% 40%
  • Comfort and Fit 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Dual Boa Closure

Amazing Power Transfer

Cons

Expensive

Lack of Durability

Poor Off Bike Performance

Best Application: Cross Country Racing

Closure: Dual Boa IP1

Sole: Dynalast Carbon Fiber

Outsole: Dual-density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 390g (size 45)

Upper Material: Teijin Synthetic Leather

Giro Terraduro

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 100% 100%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Well Rounded

Great On and Off the Bike

Great Value

Cons

Fairly Heavy

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Vibram High-Traction Lugged Outsole

Weight: 458g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Privateer R

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Durable for XC Shoes

Lightweight

Good Power Transfer

Great Value

Cons

Narrow Fit

Less Durable Than Terraduros

Best Application: XC, Trail

Closure: Replaceable N1 Ratcheting Buckle Closure at Ankle, Two D-ring Velcro Straps at Midfoot

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: Co-molded Nylon and High Traction Rubber

Weight: 386g (size 43.5)

Upper Material: Microfiber

Giro Chamber 2

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 80% 80%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Pros

Well Protected

Durable

Wide Range of Cleat Adjustment

Cons

Heavy

Narrow for Riders with Wide Feet

Best Application: Enduro, Downhill, All-mountain

Closure: Laces Plus Power Strap

Sole: Tri-molded SPD Compatible

Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Weight: 525g (size 44)

Upper Material: Water Resistant Microfiber

Shimano XC7

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 70% 70%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Top of the Line XC Performance at Half the Price

Cons

Still a Pricy Shoe for Marginal Gains Over the Giro Privateer R

Best Application: XC

Closure: Boa IP1

Sole: Carbon-Reinforced Nylon

Outsole: Dual-Density Michelin Rubber

Weight: 365g (size 45)

Upper Material: Perforated Upper

Five Ten Kestral Lace

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 70% 70%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 60% 60%
  • Durability 100% 100%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Patented Five Ten Grip and Durability

Cons

Heavy

Comfort Issues

Best Application: Enduro/All-Mountain  

Closure: Lace-Up with Hook and Loop Ankle Strap

Sole: Nylon

Outsole: C4 Stealth

Weight: 484g (size 43)

Upper Material: Polyurethane-coated synthetic

Pearl Izumi X-Project P.R.O.

  • Rigidity and Power Transfer 90% 90%
  • Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability” 90% 90%
  • Comfort and Fit 80% 80%
  • Durability 40% 40%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

Great Pedaling Efficiency

Comfortable and Grippy off the Bike

Cons

Expensive

Least Durable Shoe in Review

Best Application: XC, All-Mountain

Closure: Two BOA IP1 dials

Sole: Carbon Composite

Outsole: Molded Carbon Rubber Tips on TPU Lugs

Weight: 419g (size 44)

Upper Material: Advanced 3-Layer Seamless Composite

Rigidity and Power Transfer

The Shimano ME7 is rated as an eight on Shimano’s rigidity chart. This puts it a bit behind their stiffest shoe, the cross country oriented S-Phyre XC9, which is rated at an 11, but not far behind. And that is a good thing for the all-mountain/enduro crowd that the ME7 aims to please. It is stiff enough for all but the most hardcore cross country racers, who are not looking at this shoe anyway.

The Shimano ME7 is plenty stiff enough for those who want to run a pedal with no platform, but it also has just enough flex to make it a great choice for mini platform pedals or full platforms like the Crank Brothers Mallet E.

Traction and “Hike-a-Bike-Ability”

Shoes meant for all mountain and enduro riders need to function well off of the bike, whether this is to scale a weird rock that you plan to ride down, or for hike-a-biking your way to a  mountain top. The Shimano ME7 provides one of the best combinations of rigidity and power transfer on the bike and traction and hike-a-bike-ability of any clipless mountain bike shoe in our review. The other shoe to achieve this was the Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro, but it was undermined by durability issues.

It has just a bit of flex at the toe and heel, which make for a comfortable shoe while walking without taking away from power transfer while pedaling.

The Michelin sole of the Shimano ME7 does a great job of gripping rocks, roots, dirt, or wooden features in the case of a dismount. This is a particularly important feature to us because the last thing you want when you unclip in a sketchy situation if for your foot to slide out from under you, causing you to fall and tweak your knee, adding injury to insult. The sole’s lugs are also widely spaced, which helps them do a great job of clearing mud.

Comfort and Fit

The Shimano ME7 is a decidedly unique looking clipless mountain bike shoe. While most either copy the look of a flat mountain bike or skate styled shoe, or the look of a more traditional road bike shoe, the ME7 does its own thing. That unique look could rightly make you wonder just how the shoe would feel on your foot. And? It feels great.

The upper is made of synthetic leather with a rubberized heel area and a rubber toe cap for added durability and protection. This all makes for an upper that is pliable enough to remain comfortable, but one that also provides a great deal of protection for your foot. Additionally, Shimano doubles down on both the comfort and protection of the ME7 by using a padded sole, so that the shoe will help your foot take a blow from just about any direction.

The Shimano ME7 uses Shimano’s speed lace system and a “low profile reverse buckle” to dial in the perfect fit. This is covered by a large velcro strap that protects the speed lace system and helps to keep debris out of the shoe. Speaking of keeping debris out of the shoe, the ME7 uses a sleeve-like ankle gaiter that extends from the shoe to wrap your ankle and keep mud and other debris out of your shoe. We were skeptical of how this would work, and whether or not it would chafe our ankles. As it turns out, it does a solid job of keeping your shoe debris free and is hardly noticeable while riding, particularly if you are wearing socks with more ankle than footies.

Large vented side panels make the Shimano ME7 a breathable shoe, but not a terribly water resistant one.

Finally, Shimano’s new mountain bike shoes have taken a decided turn toward favoring the large footed rider. Wide-footed riders will appreciate the ME7’s ample toe box, but it is not so big as to make it too large for riders with narrower feet, though they might try sizing down a half size.

Durability

Shimano is known for making quality products, and the ME7 clipless mountain bike shoe is no exception. The velcro strap protects the speed laces, and the “low profile reverse buckle” keeps the buckle out of harm’s way. This keeps the two most vulnerable parts of the shoe safe, while the Michelin rubber sole seems fairly bombproof, and the upper is on track to live a very long life.

Weight

At 425 grams, the Shimano ME7 is not the lightest clipless mountain bike shoe on the market, but it brings a lot of things to the table that the lightest clipless mountain bike shoes on the market don’t. And while it might not be ultralight XC shoe light, it is on the lighter end of what you would expect an all mountain and enduro focused shoe to be, falling right on par with other shoes in its category.

The Bottom Line

We are huge fans of the Shimano ME7, and I think that it will be my go-to clipless mountain bike shoe in the future. While it might not offer quite the power transfer or ultralight weight of the most expensive XC shoes on the market, it excels as an all mountain and enduro oriented shoe, and it is well rounded enough that you could ride or race just about every discipline with it.

At $200, the Shimano ME7 is not a terribly cheap clipless mountain bike shoe, but it is far from the most expensive. As with anything, you get what you pay for, and we think the Shimano ME7 is worth the money, particularly when you consider that it should last you several years of frequent riding.

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