Shimano M300 shoes

Item: Shimano M300 “custom fit” shoes
How long used: 4 months
Where used: Singletrack, fireroad, sealed road, bikepath around the ACT.
What similar product have you used: a bunch of sidi, northwave, lake and other shimano shoes. I cant remember the model names, though only the shimanos had ratchet closure.

My brother came to visit the other day, and as we do, we started looking at the current situation in the bike shed, talking about projects and what-have-yous. The moment that I got most excited was when I told him about how my new shoes had been going. I thought about that, and thought maybe it’d be a good idea to post here about them.

Simply put, these shoes make me feel like I can go a lot faster on my bikes. No wheels, groupsets, or any other parts (other than a full bike) has made such an impression on me before. For real.

The fit and sole result in very noticeable stiffness and the feeling of having another control point on the bike that can react with great modulation. I can finesse the rear half of the bike much more finely in these shoes, and with better feedback than I ever could before. I never even really thought about it before, to tell the truth. When I switch back to old sidis, the difference is very noticeable.

The stiffness of the sole seems to be absolute, I can’t feel any flex at all, even when cranking and flicking at 20 or so RPM on steep pinches singlespeed. As well as this, with the custom fit, I dont have any (ANY) heel movement when pulling up, again, not something I thought about until i had these shoes.

The one thing that everyone says is a downside to the shoes is the lack of grip around the arch of the foot. Its true that there is nothing at all there except smooth and slippery carbon, and I’ve wanted more grip there a few times. Would I be willing to add some weight to the shoe to get it? probably not. They are racey shoes, and if you cant locate your pedal first time everytime they probably arent for you.

In terms of longevity, I can’t comment yet. I’ve probably ridden 100hours in them offroad and they still look and feel new. The minimal outsole doesnt seem to be wearing too quickly, ss I thought it might. They clean easily and dont have the same mesh that I put my toes through on my old shimano mtb shoes.

The custom fit process is, in my opinion, worth paying for and is free if you buy the shoes from a shop with a shimano oven. I got the shoes from a French ebay store and a local bike store was happy to fit them to my feet for under $61. The difference between the brand new and custom fit shoes is huge, especially around the middle of my foot. There is a nice little toe box that they use while moulding so that your toes still have room to move. Other than the fit process, I also moved the buckle position to the lower one and cut off two of the bars at the end of each velcro strap. I have narrow feet and this made the shoe look more like it was my size, having less flappy straps in the breeze.

Overall, for a shoe to go real quick in, these are easily the best I’ve ever tried.

A quick follow-up for this review.

Shoes are still going strong. Had a couple of crashes laying it down sideways and buckles have been chewed up a bit. Directly after these crashes I needed to whack the buckles to dislodge dirt so I could adjust them. The buckles are removable and so I guess replaceable but I’m not at that stage yet.

edit: far out, that review was 11 months ago! I’ve done heap more riding since then, of course, and I still think of them as my “sweet new shoes”. Time flies. These things are holding up super well. I’ve replaced cleats once, so I guess the tread around the cleat is wearing a bit.

also, I got a second hand pair of M240s this week, a similar but slightly lower priced shoe. I post this because I wanted to let you know that the custom fit process still works on well used shoes. After the heating and fitting the new shoes fit just like my other ones. The differences in 240s and 300s seems to be the 240 has some tread under your arch so if you miss clipping in your foot doesnt shoot off like a bullet, and the 240 feels a little less structured on the upper… I guess it feels slightly less tenacious in its grip on your foot. Not a major deal, but the 300s feel like slightly more solid connection when giving it heaps.

I’m going to keep getting these shimano custom fit shoes as long as they keep making em.