The SH-XC51 Mountain Bike Shoes incorporate many of the same features found in Shimano's more expensive shoes but with the additional bonus of a more forgiving sole. The XC51s' glass-reinforced polyamide sole falls near the midpoint of Shimano's stiffness scale, meaning it doesn't bend uselessly under load during cross country races, but it also gives a bit of spring when you're off the bike. This springiness, combined with debris-clearing polyurethane lugs and the option to mount a pair of toe spikes, make it ideal for sloppy cyclocross run-ups.
These soles are mated to synthetic leather uppers that resist stretching and incorporate cooling mesh panels. The XC51 also leads into trail furniture with an armored toe, so one unfortunate run-in with a granite slab doesn't leave you with a new, aftermarket vent in your shoe. The actual vents included are limited to the top of the shoe, where the relatively vulnerable mesh doesn't risk the depredations of trail obstacles.
These uppers wrap Shimano's Dynalast technology, which involves lowering the toe-spring and heel section in relation to the arch and metatarsal areas. This creates an optimal pedaling angle on either side of the up-swing, so the dead time spot is shortened, increasing your pedal efficiency by a claimed .56% on each stroke. While that doesn't seem like much at first blush, any cyclist who's ridden for longer than two hours understands that marginal gains like this can be the difference between starting the downhill first or being stuck in a slow-rolling line on impassable singletrack.
A combination of one ratcheting buckle and two hook-and-loop straps let you vary the fit across the length of your foot, giving you more security at the top and more room for metatarsal expansion at the forefoot. The insole contributes to the fit by comfortably keeping your heel stable. You don't have to ratchet the straps down to the point of losing feeling in order to keep your heel from slipping during sprints or uphill runs.
- Dynalast technology
- Glass-reinforced polyamide sole
- Mud-shedding polyurethane lugs
- Optional toe spikes
- Stretch-resistant synthetic leather uppers with mesh panels
- Armored toe
- One ratcheting buckle and two hook-and-loop straps
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Reviews & Community
Rock solid, great deal and solid shoes.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: Runs large
- Size Bought: 45
Really solid quality. Weight is fine. Great looking shoes. Really comfortable but I wear road shoes most often. Sizing seems a little large. A bit tough to adjust the offset middle strap on the bike but not a big deal. I'd definitely buy again, especially at this price!!