hotrodsurpluswrote a review of Shimano SH-GR7 Cycling Shoe - Men's on August 31, 2018
Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
I had really high hopes for these; they're super cool. So I was disappointed that they didn't work for me. But it's more a problem with my feet than the shoes.
My feet are somewhat wide and they have a slight curve to them that pushes my big toe against the inner wall. So I'm really picky about toe-box space. I feel best in a 12W but that doesn't exist in most shoes. So I just size up to a 13. I got size 46, the Euro equivalent to 13.
And to be honest, these still felt a little tight and even a little short. But take that with a grain of salt; I have funky feet. They were tightest just forward of the laces and jammed my big toe against the inside wall when the shoe flexed. They also have a somewhat abrupt, if small, arch that my feet disagreed with. It also felt like the bed was a little lumpy under the outside of my foot.
The ankle gaiter is rad. I never got to ride in these so I don't know how the stiff construction translates well for me. But just know that these are REALLY STIFF. Like darn near cleat-shoe stiff. I did stand on my pedals in them to see if they felt better. They grip the pins really well but I could still reposition my foot. This is in contrast to some other shoes that grip so hard that you have to leave the pedal to reposition.
The synthetic topside has thin padding that should work well. I was disappointed that the soles had no padding beyond the thin insert. If I had more room I would've tried a Dr. Scholl's but that was out of the question.
If Shimano worked a little more padding into these and made the toe box just a little bit wider, the company could put a real hurt on the flats market. As I mentioned, I was disappointed that they didn't work for me (which is on me more than the shoes). I had very high hopes.