Shimano ME7 Enduro SPD Shoe Review
October 10th, 2016
Product Full Name | Shimano ME7 SPD Shoes
Retail Price | £149.99
Available From | Madison
Shimano ME7 Enduro SPD Shoe – the best burly trail shoe of the lot
As bikes have become more capable and Enduro style riding has demanded more protection from kit, there has been a battle between brands to produce the ultimate clipless shoe that offers maximum pedalling efficiency; protection and great off road hiking ability.
And it looks like Shimano has just trumped the lot with the brand new Shimano ME7 SPD shoe – which takes the best features from the top shoes out there, and put them all in to an incredible new shoe…
With it’s 3/4 height and lace flap, the Shimano ME7 looks similar to the M200 from last year – though is noticeably burlier.
Based on a Torbal carbon reinforced shank, the Shimano ME7 features a dual density Michelin rubber outsole with an aggressive tread pattern and a wide heel for proper hiking performance. Chunky lugs are shaped directionally to aid walking down steep banks, as well as scrambling up – and dual density rubber means no more terrifying ice skating moments, just predictable traction.
The sole is easily as stiff as the top trail shoes – but has a good amount of toe flex for hiking, that also prevents heel lift.
One of the issues with the M200 was the ratchet mechanism was on the side of the shoe, making it subject to strikes that could tear the unit off. The Shimano ME7 sees the ratchet moved to the strap – which means a hard hit can undo the unit, but reduces the chance of it ripping off. It is also replaceable. Smart move.
In combination to the ratchet is a quick lace system and a toggle, which tuck under a well shaped flap that helps keep your foot protected – and the laces clean.
The toe box has a tough bumper to protect from rock strikes, and has a burly kevlar covered vent that works well – the shoe might be on the warm side if this was completely covered. The heel cup is rock solid and is probably the burliest we’ve seen – your foot has complete support with it, and the high neoprene cuff stops debris getting in to the shoe – and also wards off those excruciating ankle bone hits.
Out on the Trail
Slipping in to the Shimano ME7 is like putting on a well worn glove. It just feels great – the regular fit will work well with all but the widest of feet, and you can really crank up the tension on both the laces and ratchet without constricting your blood flow.
Long (35mm) cleat holes allow for a rear ward mounting position – I like mine quite far back but didn’t need to go all the way. Like the excellent Shimano AM9 (check our review right here) the cleat recess is really long to not only allow for excellent engagement, but to allow the shoe to sit on the pedal without clipping in. As expected, support even on minimal pedals is excellent.
Pedalling is a joy in these shoes – no effort is wasted through sole flex, and they feel so bombproof that you’ll be happy pedalling through rock gardens knowing you won’t batter your toes in the process.
Off the bike, the Shimano ME7 really comes in to its own – the Michelin dual density sole is a revelation. They grip on everything except the slickest of wet rock – not once have I done the Bambi on ice walk that previous Shimano soles are known for.
With total trust I’ve scrambled up some incredibly steep and loose banks, and thanks to the wide supportive heel and decent legs have come back down them with just as much confidence.
I’ve used the Shimano ME7 in dry, hot conditions and more recently some wet and slippy conditions. Ventilation is enough to keep you comfortable – though on the hottest days you do get a little warm. I’ll take that for the added protection any day. They do let moisture in though; but for winter rides I tend to use Sealskinz socks and they work just fine as long as you use the MTB Mid version that isn’t too thick.
I have to say, I found the M200 a disappointment as it didn’t offer much more than the ME5 model – but the Shimano ME7 is simply brilliant.
It takes the best bits from all the great shoes and merges them together in one kick-ass new trail shoe.
A blinding bit of kit.
I’ve quite literally been on the search for this shoe for years, and have tried virtually every variation of flat style clipless shoe and trail style clipless shoe to get close to it.
Mavic was there first with the Alpine XL – which still rates as one of the best shoes of all time, but is a little flexible for competition riding. They improved on this with the Crossmax XL, featuring a far stiffer sole – though it lacked toe flex so wasn’t quite as good. Then there was Giro with the excellent Terraduro – which looked and performed like a regular trail shoe; but had a burly Vibram sole and sturdy heel and toe boxes. It did lack heel protection and the tread pattern wasn’t amazing for off bike hiking though.
Without a doubt, the Shimano ME7 is the best high performance MTB trail riding shoe on the market right now. It ticks all the boxes that modern trail riders want – and it looks good too.
Thank you Shimano.
Now can you hurry up and release the Winter spec version of this same shoe please?