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.