SH-XC7 Cycling Shoe - Wide
The SH-XC7 Cycling Shoe - Wide might sit just below the XC9 in Shimano's hierarchy of cross-country shoes, however, it does offer a performance to dollar proposition that's hard to ignore. We'd compare it to its XT M8000 groupset, sacrificing a few high-end features to XTR M9000 yet it's still plenty capable for most folks and we'll happily pocket the cash saved for future upgrades or travel expenses later. This particular version of the SH-XC7 comes with a wide last that's a blessing for those of us with higher volume feet and receives the latest updates including the addition of a second BOA dial versus the hook-and-loop strap of the previous model.
Wide last aside, the XC7 Wide is the same as the standard XC7 meaning it rides atop a sole comprising of different materials. Given that the XC7 is a race-ready shoe, the carbon-reinforced midsole is the most important of these layers as it places the XC7 near the top of Shimano's stiffness index. It clocks in at a nine out of 12 on Shimano's stiffness scale, and the only Shimano XC shoe that's stiffer is the S-Phyre (11 out of 12). This is made all the more impressive when you realize that only three of Shimano's road-specific shoes are stiffer and the next stiffest XC shoe ranks a lowly seven.
Though it's not as stiff as the S-Phyre, the XC7 does feature a more robust complement of lugs, so it's better suited for navigating sloppy run-ups or trails on foot. The rubberized outsole also features toe spike mounts for days when not even the lugs are enough, and the compound comes from the rubber experts at Michelin. Michelin uses two different durometers throughout the sole, targeting different qualities of grip and durability depending on how the lugs contact the ground, just like with the brand's tires.
As with its standard model, Shimano builds the wide last with its proprietary Dynalast construction, a design that increases pedal efficiency by a claimed 0.56% on each stroke. While that doesn't seem like much at first blush, any cyclist who's ridden for longer than two hours understands the importance of marginal gains like this. They can be the difference between finishing at the front or struggling to hang on. Dynalast 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 stroke, so the dead time spot is shortened.
The upper is secured with two BOA L6 dials, letting you quickly dial in the fit on the fly as needed. This is especially important for cyclists with wider feet. It envelopes your foot rather than simply strapping it down, creating more uniform support and further reducing pressure points.
- A mountain bike and cyclocross race shoe
- Wide last provides comfortable space for big feet
- Carbon-reinforced sole puts a premium of stiffness
- Dynalast construction increases pedaling efficiency
- Rubber outsole features dual-density Michelin compounds
- Dual BOA L6 dials micro-adjust the fit on the fly
- Finished with reinforced toe spike mounts