Fi'zi:k might not be known for manufacturing shoes, yet, but it is renowned for excellent anatomic design, craftsmanship, and industry-leading technology. However, we have a feeling that the Italian, handmade M5 Uomo Shoes are a perfect example of Fi'zi:k's drive to be a leader in more places than just saddles.
The M5 uses an intelligent mix of its own Microtex synthetic leather, mesh, and anti-scratch genuine leather. Fi'zi:k places the leather around the toe box and heel cup in order to resist abrasion during hikes on the trail. Meanwhile, the ultra-lightweight mesh fills the voids between the leather sections for a heightened sense of cooling ventilation. And at the interior, the soft Microtex liner provides a lasting comfort over bone-rattling trails in balmy conditions.
Securely forming the M5 to your foot's natural shape are Fi'zi:k's hallmark sail-cloth straps with a ratcheting buckle at the top position. The two hook-and-loop straps control the overall volume of the shoe, while the ratcheting buckle adds security and makes for easy, on-the-fly adjustments. A the insole, we find Fi'zi:k's Superlight. This is the same insole found in the road version of this shoe, the R5 Uomo. And while its not custom moldable like with the M1's 3D-Flex insole, it does incorporate a thoughtful design that assures comfort by absorbing trail vibration and supporting your arch system.
Below the upper, aggressive lugs supply positive traction on dicey terrain, while the stiff, carbon-reinforced nylon outsole ensures that no pedal energy is lost to flex. This also prevents hot-spots forming from the pedal cleat.
The Fi'zi:k M5 Uomo Shoes are available in the color Black/silver/red and in whole and half sizes ranging from 40.0 to 48.0. Please note that these shoes are only compatible with standard two-hole cleat systems.
[uppers] anti-scratch leather
ratchet lock buckles, 2 hook-and-loop straps
[size 43] 329 g
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I got these shoes after trying the M1 and finding the sole was so stiff it was completely inflexible which makes walking or running difficult--no good in either a race situation or having to do any hike-a-biking. Unfortunately these suffer from the opposite problem, the sole isn't stiff enough and I can actually feel the cleat through the shoe. On longer rides it caused me some foot pain on the ball of my foot which I had never experienced before with my older Specialized shoes.
Apart from that though the shoes are pretty nice, they keep little trail debris out and fit me quite well. The rubber on the sole provides better than average traction over rocks and logs. The design of the buckle isn't perfect either. To release the tension requires quite a bit of force and is a little bit too difficult to do on the bike. Compared to my old shoes it's significantly more difficult. It's not a deal breaker at all though you just have to be a bit more careful and aware of how you like them when putting them on. I didn't have any problems with my feet getting too hot even when riding in the 102F heat of Southern California.
If only the sole was a bit stiffer the shoe would be at least 4 stars. A little gripper rubber on the bottom and a slightly redesigned buckle and its 5.
It's unnerving that Fi'zi:k can get away with selling these kicks under $250. Why? Because it makes selling anything more expensive really, really hard. Impeccable construction, double-stitching, and higher-quality materials than many far more expensive dirt boots.
From a comfort perspective, they feel like a pair of Sidis, but are stiffer than their entry-level offerings. Italian slippers that your feet feel immediately at home in. They do get a bit warm - the leather used on the toe, while very resistant to impact, does not breathe. Then again, if sweaty feet bug you, there's bigger things to worry about. Sole stiffness, as mentioned, is quite adequate for most pedaling applications. I wouldn't place them in the same realm as the uber-rigid race shoes available for more scratch, but there's enough flex that off-bike they're quite tolerable.
Fit is slightly wider than the likes of a Sidi Dominator at the forefoot and comparable in length, while the heelcup is narrow. There's quite a bit of volume to work with, and my low-volume forefoot had trouble getting enough retention from the straps - something to keep in mind.
Overall? Styling, comfort, and construction quality win me over on these. At the $200 pricepoint, unless you're seeking something to high-post your way up a fireroad at mach bitch (read: not having fun), I'd put these on the BUY list. If they fit, that is.
I can't speak to this shoe, specifically, but I have the R3s, and I think they fit just a touch bigger, both in length and width, than a Sidi shoe. Width is similar to Shimano, and length is probably close as well, if not a bit longer.
Agree completely I actually purchased these they are about as narrow as Shimano or Mavic but longer. So far great shoe, I have completed 2 lengthy endurance races in them and they are great for the application where you might encounter some long steep hike a bike. Still stiff when you pedal but enough toe flex where you can hike steep unrideable sections of trail.
Some points: They did seem to snug up after being soaked for a long period of time, I wont say shrunk but snigged up. Durability: They are starting to wear already but I am rough on shoes. Will see how they hold up in the long run. Cleat plates: Both mine stripped yes I might have over torqued but not by much, ended up taking some out of old pair of shoes that went into the dump.