There are lot of players in the mountain bike shoe game now, so Shimano are having to work hard to stay a step ahead (shoe pun #1) – the unveiling of two new ‘Mountain Enduro’ series shoes hot on the heels (#2) of their recently released AM9 and M200 shoes proves that Shimano aren’t putting their feet up (#3).
It was only a year or so ago that Shimano dipped a toe (#4…ok, no more) in the waters of the Enduro world, but already they’re following up with the ME7. (You can read our full review of the M200 here).
The ME7 continues to use many of the features found on the M200. M200 users will be familiar with the speed-lacing system, and the large flap for keeping things dry and protecting the laces. The sole gets the Torbal treatment, which allows a nice amount of foot roll laterally without compromising pedalling stiffness, perfect for aggressive riding where you tend to twist your feet about a lot.
New features include a neoprene collar around the ankle to keep crap out of the shoe, and the ‘reverse’ ratchet strap that has been used on Shimano’s road shoes in the past (it’s super neat, and means you don’t have any strap ends sticking out). But the more notable new addition is the Michelin rubber sole. Shimano and Michelin have partnered up to produce a very grippy, aggressive sole. We heard reports of riders ripping tread blocks off their M200s, so it’s good to see Shimano have taken the bull by the horns and really improved this area. We’re sure other Shimano shoes will follow suit with the Michelin collaboration too.
The ME5 is follow up to the M163 (which we reviewed here) and is a little more low-key on the technical features front, more of a traditional trail shoe. It still scores the Torbal sole, and retains the ‘cross strap’ system which disperses pressure nice and evenly across the foot. It also gets the ‘zero dangle’ reverse ratchet strap. We like.
Both shoes are quite light for their category too; the ME7 is 375g and the ME5 is 385g for a size 43. Prices are approximately (and subject to change) $279 for the ME7 and $239 for the ME5.