Skip the soccer cleats.
Whereas Shimano's XC line of shoes is aiming for the podium, Shimano also understands that not everyone's aspirations are competitive, and not everyone wants to waddle around off the bike in those soccer-cleat-like mountain shoes that are all too common. The company's solution comes in the form of shoes like the Shimano SH-M065, designed for competent pedaling performance and comfort on the bike, without compromising more practical benefits as simple as off-the-bike traction and "walkability."
Like all M-series shoes, the M065's upper is made of a durable blend of synthetic leather and breathable polyester mesh. Your feet are secured inside by two hook-and-loop closure straps, spaced widely and backed by a panel that spans both straps to ensure protection and comfortable distribution of the straps' fit, so as to reduce pressure and hot spots while pedaling. The M065's are a bit heavier that the more expensive M163s, and they lack the M163's supportive Cross-X brace for a snug fit, but they still promise the same comfort. The relatively high-volume last isn't as snug-fitting as Shimano's competition-oriented XC shoe line, meaning the M065s are more comfortable for longer days and for hiking off the bike. The shoe's sole is made of a polyamide/fiberglass composite to keep it light and stiff without the higher costs associated with using carbon. The broad-area rubber outsole, as mentioned, is designed for ample off-the-bike traction and "walkability," even on smooth surfaces, which affords the added benefit of traction on the pedals even if you come unclipped or can't engage the cleat in time. Overall, they're great shoes for someone wanting a mountain bike shoe without the awkward walking or tight fit associated with most of them.
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