Monday, January 02, 2012

look sir, droids!

I wanted an additional set of mountain bike shoes, a pair with a slightly softer sole. One so I don't have to ride a very stiff soled shoe all the time (predominately when I'm commuting to work and such) and two because having a second pair of shoes is great when the other pair gets wet from a muddy race or ride.

Enter the 2012 Shimano SH-M162 in what Dicky refers to as "Stormtrooper White". Not quite THE stormtrooper white but... well... close enough. This color was all that was available when I ordered them. Having ridden black shoes all my years of bicycling I was somewhat reluctant to get white shoes but wanted these shoes as they are a step down from my SH-M240s and I wanted a pair with a slightly softer sole. After a few rides with them I actually like the white. There is a proper balance of white, black and gray in them so they do not seem overly flashy.
I believe they take the place of the SH-M161 which is the top model mountain shoe that is not heat moldable. Two velcro straps with a ratching ankle strap. Some additional protection on the outside of the ball of the foot.

The sole has quite a bit of lugs on it. I've found them quite comfortable when having to hoof it off the bike up a steep incline. There are also provisions for toe spikes should you want them.
After a few rides with these shoes I really like the fit. The footbed that comes with them fits the large arch of my feet well. The heelcup provides adequate support for the ankle while I also did not notice any lifting of my foot when walking.
Under heavy loads (steep inclines where I'm pedaling at a very slow cadence) I can feel some flex in the sole but I was anticipating some flex as the soles are not as stiff as my M240s. The M240s have a carbon reinforced sole and these M162s have a glass fiber reinforced nylon sole. The uppers have synthetic leather with lots of mesh.

I switched from SIDI shoes to Shimano shoes about a year ago when I bought my M240s. I've come to like the fit of Shimano shoes better than the SIDIs I have worn for years. I have a long narrow foot so the standard width SIDI shoes was too wide and I have found that the narrow width was a shade too narrow as my feet felt cramped. A size larger in SIDI would have been too big. The Shimanos seem to fit inbetween that and have been very comfortable for me whether I am wearing a thick wool sock of a thin polyester sock. I am looking forward to more time with these shoes.


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