Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Bike Shoes

Louis Garneau Granite

87

2015

Louis Garneau Granite

The first thing riders will notice about the Louis Garneau Granite is the surprisingly supple upper. The fit is glove like, hugging every curve of the foot, whether wide or narrow.

Pearl Izumi Men’s X-Project 2.0 MTB

95

2015

Pearl Izumi Men’s X-Project 2.0 MTB

The Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe is for serious riders who don’t want to sacrifice off-bike comfort and performance just to save some weight. Serious racers should consider this shoe as a day-to-day training shoe they can beat up without sacrificing performance.

Specialized Rime Expert

91

2015

Specialized Rime Expert

While the stiffness of the Specialized Rime Expert is certainly not sufficient for serious XC racing, or even hardcore enthusiasts, the shoe remains efficient enough for most riders, even while climbing, due to the majority of the flex occurring away from the foot/pedal interface.

Giro Code VR70

89

2015

Giro Code VR70

The Code is a high-performing, even race-ready, XC shoe that can also handle some more aggressive riding, with its tough, highly water-resistant upper and sticky Vibram lugs. 

Shimano M 163

88

2015

Shimano M 163

While the Shimano M 163 offers excellent comfort, and a secure fit all around, the outsole is too flexible even for the Enduro and Trail riding it’s intended for.

Specialized Audax

92

2015

Specialized Audax

Specialized is very clear in its positioning for the Audax—it’s specifically designed for the endurance or gravel-road crowd and not necessarily for racers or casual enthusiasts. 

Scott Road Team Boa

93

2015

Scott Road Team Boa

If cost is critical, the Scott Team Boa, the lowest priced shoe in our group, is an outstanding option.

Pearl Izumi Elite RD IV

93

2015

Pearl Izumi Elite RD IV

The Elite RD IV is among the best in it’s class for lightweight stiffness. As a racing-level shoe for powerful solo efforts and climbing efficiency it rivals many higher end shoes we’ve tested. 

Giro Trans #70

93

2015

Giro Trans #70

The softest, most supple feeling shoe in the group, the Trans is also a very solid performer, and by no means simply a comfort shoe.

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100

96

2015

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100

The Carbon LS-100 is a rare to find shoe that truly works as well for long, event type riding and shorter more intense racing. Even though it’s one of the less expensive shoes on our list, and the lightest, it outperforms most of the others for intense training and racing purposes, and is definitely the best value at its $200 price tag.

Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe

90

2014

Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe

The Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 is an outstanding MTB or Cyclocross shoe, especially for serious riders who don’t want to sacrifice off-bike comfort and performance just to save some weight. 

Giro Privateer

95

2011

Giro Privateer

Rich Siemer finds a diamond in the rough—a $150 bike shoe that performs like the very best out there.

Specialized Pro MTB Shoes

95

2011

Specialized Pro MTB Shoes

Self-proclaimed Specialized fan-boy Rich Siemer spends two months testing the brand's Pro MTB Shoes and returns with some incisive test results.