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  1. #1
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    What is your favorite X-Country Shoe?

    It is that time again to find some new suitable MTB shoes. I am looking for any suggestions. What is your favorite X-Country shoe?

    I ride mostly X-Country 2-3 hour rides, sometimes up to 5+ hour rides. I do a little MBAA racing and some of the longer Epic endurance events as well. I think my last four pair of shoes have been Shimano in the $90-$120 range. In my opinion, they have always been just OK. I did have a pair of expensive Sidi’s quite a few years ago, but they were too tight and killed my feet, so I gave them to my neighbor. I’d be willing to spend up to about $150.00 and go outside the “Shimano” brand.

    I’m looking for comfort and durability…super lightweight "race ready" is not a major concern. I ride mostly here in the Valley, but also do some riding up North throughout the year. Thanks in advance for your recommendations!
    Last edited by azokie; 06-10-2011 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't know if this will help but I love my Specialized shoes. I am on my second pair in the last decade and both pair have been great. The wife just got a new pair of shimanos and loves them. Maybe check them out.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

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  3. #3
    Kathleen in AZ
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    I second the Specialized XC shoe. They're not too expensive, relatively speaking, and they fit my long narrow foot better than any Sidi or Shimano. Since I do so much HAB and am generally hard on gear, I go thru about one pair a year.

  4. #4
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    Pearl Izumi x-alp enduro II. Great for this terrain..

  5. #5
    pedaller
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    I recently purchased a pair of Pearl Izumi Enduro II and I'm really digging them so far. My first ride with them was the Coconino Dirty half-Century and they rocked the hike-a-bike portion!

    There is a PI outlet in Anthem so you can maybe get a deal on them. I got a free pair of gloves with mine.
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  6. #6
    My other ride is your mom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore Ken View Post
    Pearl Izumi x-alp enduro II. Great for this terrain..
    Another plug for the x-alp enduro....but It's a bit soft for an XC shoe from what folks tell me...it's great for epic rides and epic HAB's.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbkracr View Post
    I don't know if this will help but I love my Specialized shoes. I am on my second pair in the last decade and both pair have been great. The wife just got a new pair of shimanos and loves them. Maybe check them out.
    MTBKRACR - I just realized I scewed up in my original post, my last four pair of shoes have been "Shimano" not "Specialized". What model Specialized shoe are you running?

  8. #8
    Need more cowbell
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    I've had a couple pairs of Specialized MTB shoes.

    My last pair were the Comp MTB. They were ok, but the ratchet/buckle stripped out eventually. In Feb, I moved up to the S-Works MTB. The BOA system is awesome!

    I did have some Shimano's in the past, but the Specialized seems to fit me better.

    I'd say go try one of everything....plenty of shops offering variety around town.

  9. #9
    I am Walt
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    Specialized Comp or Pro Mountain...only shoes I've ever worn. The Comps are more affordable, at ~$130, while the Pros add a stiffer, carbon sole, but are like $230 or something (I try to find them on closeout at Landis, with the "30% off" sticker). I go through a pair every year and a half or so.
    Ride more; post less...

  10. #10
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskersOfDeath View Post
    I've had a couple pairs of Specialized MTB shoes.

    My last pair were the Comp MTB. They were ok, but the ratchet/buckle stripped out eventually. In Feb, I moved up to the S-Works MTB. The BOA system is awesome!
    The ratchet/buckle system is better now, vs. previous years, at least on the 2010 Pros that I got last Nov.
    Ride more; post less...

  11. #11
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    I have had a pair of Spec Experts. Had them for three years and apart from having one side stitched, and the need for some Shoe Goo to cover the toe bed over the last year, they have been great shoes. Been through many miles.

    Got the strap only because I was racing Xterra when I got them and foolishly assumed having to deal with the ratchet would have slowed entry during the race. My times were usually slow enough that shoe time during transitions was the last of my worries!

    I think the comp in the $150 range would be great option.

  12. #12
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
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    My Pearl Izumi Enduro II lasted just one year before the sole was trashed by what I thought was fairly little HAB overall. The rocky terrain around here is tough on shoes. Vibram soles are the way to go.

    So I looked around for MTB shoes with Vibram soles and found the Lake Cycling MX190 model. I couldn't be happier with cycling shoes. But these aren't the lightweight shoes you're looking for, move along.

  13. #13
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    For XC, SIDI Dominators , light stiff and last forever.

  14. #14
    Shred...it's the new drug
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    5.10's for everything! DH, AM, 29r rigid DC shredding, pumptrack...proper pedal technique and you'll never need clips again...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    Another plug for the x-alp enduro....but It's a bit soft for an XC shoe from what folks tell me...it's great for epic rides and epic HAB's.
    Maad - Thx! Did you buy your shoes local or online? I'd like to try these x-alp shoes on and test the stiffness.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Specialized Comp or Pro Mountain...only shoes I've ever worn. The Comps are more affordable, at ~$130, while the Pros add a stiffer, carbon sole, but are like $230 or something (I try to find them on closeout at Landis, with the "30% off" sticker). I go through a pair every year and a half or so.
    Walt - Thanks for the info. I'd take a year and half....I think my last two pairs of Shimanos have barely made a year each. $230.00 seems like a lot for the Pro, but if they lasted a couple years and were comfortable, I think they would be worth it.

  17. #17
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    Quote Originally Posted by azokie View Post
    Maad - Thx! Did you buy your shoes local or online? I'd like to try these x-alp shoes on and test the stiffness.
    +1 on the X-Alp Enduro II's!! Maad's assessment is spot on IMO.

    I picked mine up through REI, they had similar models in the store but I had to go through their online ordering for the exact model. It helps that I also had one of those nifty 20% off coupons!! I've been thrashing mine hard now for about 1 1/2 years & still no issues. Super HAB friendly.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
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  18. #18
    meow
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    X2 on Sidi Dominators. I've had 2 pair and each has lasted at least 5 years, averaging 2,500 miles/yr. My better half is STILL wearing his original pair when he started riding 12 years ago.

  19. #19
    vmb
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    Buy two pair of shoes....

    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    I second the Specialized XC shoe. They're not too expensive, relatively speaking, and they fit my long narrow foot better than any Sidi or Shimano. Since I do so much HAB and am generally hard on gear, I go thru about one pair a year.
    I ride xc during the week and freeride on the weekends. Over the years, the shoe strategy I have found that works best is buy one pair for each style of riding.

    I like shimano, so wear the SH-MT21 for freeride because they are not too expensive (wheelworld.com has them for $59.99), they have a one piece rubber sole (shoes with lugs don't stand up in AZ because the lugs get ripped off the soles on rocks). This shoe has good traction on smooth rock i.e. National Trail. The drawbacks are weight and laces (takes a little longer than strap shoes).

    I wear something like the Shimano SH-M077 for my weekday rides because they are relatively low cost (I have a real issue speading too much money on shoes or other gear that wear out fast in our environment), they are lighter weight, they are fast to slip on (they have velcro straps).

    I ride just over 2,000 miles per year (all MTB) and since I switched to this model, my shoes are lasting much longer. It's been ~18 months since I last bought shoes and the ones I have are still going strong.

    I've also found having the two shoes types reduces compromise between the riding styles and adds longevity to my shoes.

  20. #20
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    My mtb shoes are one step below the Pros ( they have the buckle and Velcro) but my road shoes are the pro models with the boa system and they are sweet. I would go with the higher end shoe with the boa system.
    Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.

    96 Huffy Dr. Shock
    01 Magna girls hybrid

  21. #21
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    I personally love the Shimano shoes, currently have the M087's. I feel that their rachets are very user friendly on the move. I've owned Specialized shoes, and tried on a lot of others, but I love the Shimano's the best. I do have a relatively wider foot, though, which does seem to limit my selection.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    X2 on Sidi Dominators. I've had 2 pair and each has lasted at least 5 years, averaging 2,500 miles/yr. My better half is STILL wearing his original pair when he started riding 12 years ago.
    Wow! 12 years on a set of shoes, that is unreal. I think the Sidi's I had a few years ago were Dominators, they were just not wide enough and killed my feet on long rides. They were fine for about a 2 hour ride, anything longer than that and my feet started to hurt. I'm sure I just had the wrong size. Thanks for the intel.

  23. #23
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    I like the Specialized Tahoe... the only shoes I found that actually fit my feet comfortably. The only downside is that they are not the stiffest and after 1500 miles they almost feel like normal shoes.

  24. #24
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    I am getting near a new pair too. I have been running some Shimano $120 shoes for about 4000 miles. I do HAB alot and I believe the super hard rubber sole is why they lasted. Those and the replaceable "spikes" on the front. However- the hard soles translate to poor traction when walking on rocks-and I have been running steel bolts instead of spikes. The ratcheting buckle (which at the time was concerned about) has given me some trouble only in the last year. Sometimes it doesn't want to release. One of these times I will be driving home from the trailhead in one left MTB shoe- til then, I am shopping for Shimano again.
    Find a ride on FB> AZ MTB

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by azokie View Post
    Wow! 12 years on a set of shoes, that is unreal. I think the Sidi's I had a few years ago were Dominators, they were just not wide enough and killed my feet on long rides. They were fine for about a 2 hour ride, anything longer than that and my feet started to hurt. I'm sure I just had the wrong size. Thanks for the intel.
    My Doms are going on 10 or so years and still going strong. Many of the miles were in the mud and snow of the midwest.

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