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Shimano SH-XC90 Shoes - Men's

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Item # SHI001Y

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Item # SHI001Y

For the speed-hungry trail racer.

If the name of your trail game is pure unadulterated cross-country competition, you want a shoe that's designed for just that — lugged and durable, with all the features of a high-end road race shoe. Shimano's SH-XC90s are the marriage of on- and off-road perfection, and they'll be sure to give you a great view from the podium.

Shimano has incorporated heat-moldable custom-fit technology, similar to that found in speed skates or ski boots, into the uppers of the XC90. This allows the Rovenica uppers to mold to your feet for a virtually custom fit. Rovenica is a supple, synthetic leather. Unlike traditional leather, it features a bit of elasticity that allows it to mold to your foot without stretching. Additionally, it is highly abrasion resistant so you won't have to worry about scuffing it on rocks and branches. Designed into the uppers are multiple layers of moisture control mesh. These help to evaporate moisture away from your feet. Also incorporated into the shoes is an anti-slip heel lining to keep your foot secure in the shoe. The uppers have been constructed into Shimano's Dynalast XC last. This puts the foot in the most efficient position possible to maximize the upstroke — keeping the power on the pedals, where it needs to be.

The outsole of the XC90 is Shimano's race-specific carbon fiber. It features a low stack height that provides enhanced power transfer to the pedals. The outsole lugs are mud-shedding polyurethane, and metal toe spikes may be added for increased traction should you be forced to hike. The XC90s are secured to your feet with two hook-and-loop straps and one ratcheting buckle. The Cross X strap across the midfoot is specifically designed to relieve pressure on your foot as you pull up through the pedal stroke.

The Shimano SH-XC90 Shoes are compatible with 2-hole mountain bike cleats. They are available in regular and wide widths in sizes 39.0 to 48.0 and in the color Black.

  • Carbon fiber sole
  • Heat-moldable
  • Synthetic leather uppers
  • Polyurethane lugs
  • XC-focused shoes
  • Two-bolt cleat compatibility

Size chart


Cycling Shoes
  35 4.5
4 36 5
4.5 37 5.5
5/5.5 37.5  
5/5.5 38 6.5
5.5 38.5  
5.5/6 39 7/7.5
6 39.5  
6.5 40 7.5/8
7/7.5 40.5  
7.5 41 8.5
8 41.5  
8.5 42 9.5
8.5/9 42.5  
9 43 10.5
9/9.5 43.5  
9.5 44 11
10 44.5  
10.5 45  
11 45.5  
11/11.5 46  
11.5 46.5  
12 47  
12.5 48  

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Phenomenally stiff, REALLY freakin' blue

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 45.0

I've used these shoes for about a month now. Man, I am in love. I have slightly wide feet at the toes, and a fairly high arch. These fit like a glove--and surprisingly I did not need the "high arch" custom insert (the medium does fine).

I've never had mountain biking shoes this light and stiff, and they are phenomenal for pedaling. The first week I had them I wore them for a 6 hour day and a 4 hour day back to back while on vacation in Pisgah. My feet stayed comfortable the whole day...except when hike-a-biking. That stiffness is no fun when you're pushing your bike up a steep, rocky, rooty trail. But I don't have to do that very often, and the comfort these provide for long periods of pedaling more than makes up for that.

One thing: the blue ones are BLUE. Like, bright metallic blue. I hadn't seen a pair in person before buying them, so they took me a bit by surprise. I think if I were going to do it again I might have gone for the black ones. But the GF says I need to step out of my comfort zone with my colors, so maybe this was good for me.

I see some of the reviews have negative comments about durability. Obviously I can't speak to that, other than to say I hope I don't encounter the same problems, because I love these shoes and hope they last.

Still too narrow

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 48 Wide (E)

I've tried several "wide" shoes, the XC-90s came close at 108.5 mm wide, but the toe box is still too shallow, putting pressure on the outer toes. Other than that, the shoe felt good and was an adequate length at 48. Unfortunately, I didnt keep these due to the shallow toe box.

Blue Shimano SH-XC90 mtb shoes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 44

This was an insurance buy on my part b/c I love current pair so much. I have a thing for blue shoes and did not feel the new s-phyre design. There are not the lightest shoes but they are durable, stiff, and are very capable when off the bike. Look baller

Avg. ride time: 5h 26m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Perfer fit of Sidi or Specialized

  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: 45

The quality of the shoe is very good but the foot volume is a bit too much for me. The toe box is much wider the Sidi and Specialized. I didn't get a chance to ride in them though so only commenting on fit.

This is correct. The Shimano fit is a dream come true for those of us with a high instep and wide foot. The regular width is comparable to the Sidi shoes of many years ago before they changed.

Avg. ride time: 4h 25m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

The best I have tried so far

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

I have worn these for about 6 hours at this point so it is an early review, but they incredibly comfortable. The sole is stiff, my heel stays planted, I don't have to over tighten to have a slipper like fit, and I have not even had them molded yet. They are a bit stiff to walk in, but are manageable, and don't foresee any issues with some extended hike a bikes. I have owned similar Sidi, Lake and Giro's and these are the best of the bunch for me. I don't have overly wide feet but I have higher than average arches, wear a 10-10.5 in regular shoes, and the 44E is perfect. Highly recommended.

Should last longer

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Destroyed in 3 months


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 42.5

Some may call these mountain bike shoes, I call them slippers. I have a serious issue with getting a good fit with shoes. I have some sort of issue whether it is too narrow or wide, or foot-beds that have no reason for being with the shoe. Shimano has incorporated heat-moldable custom-fit technology, albeit I didn’t have to mold them because they fit so good right out of the box. The foot-beds with interchangeable arch support are the best I have ever used, I actually used them in my running shoes for a while. I have used this shoe for over a year and they are built to last, ratcheting buckle and hook & loop straps are still like new. Of course they are stiff using Shimano's race-specific carbon fiber, and light at 627g

Size: 42.5 (True to Size)

Terrain: Park City, Ut

Avg. ride time: 43m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Not satisfied, at all.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Durability is poor.

Another pic

Not satisfied, at all.
Avg. ride time: 43m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Beyond disappointing.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I'm 51.

I ride buff, southern California singletrack. No roots, smooth rocks, and mostly hardpack.

I'm, pretyy lucky!

Not with these shoes.

7 months after purchase and they are LITERALLY "falling apart at the seams".

Check out the pics.

The shoes have gotten wet a couple of times, at most. San Diego, remember?

That said, they have afllen aprt really quickly.

These shoes were expensive, and super light, but ridiculously "fragile".

I'm going back to Specialized shoes, I think, because they are pretty indestructible.

Beyond disappointing.

Shimano Performance in a Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

The best part about this Shimano shoe is that they offer it in a wide version. The footbed can also easily accommodate inserts to fit your arch as well.

I did not have these shoes modeled. I had a earlier version of this shoe modeled by a shop and they did a horrible job. I had to adjust the modeling bag because they shop employee did not have it air tight so the vacuum modeling didn’t work. After that I had another pair that I did not have modeled and they worked fine after a little break in period and the same is true for these new shoes.

Performance wise, these shoes are outstanding. The stiff soles transfer your power to the pedals rather than flexing and stretching the shoe material. It’s apparent these shoes were designed to pedal and pedal well they do. Walking across rocks/creeks can be a little sketchy at times but it’s not bad.

The ratchet is easy to use and smooth. The velcro tabs work well and are simple to adjust. If you are looking for a solid performing shoe, look no further.

Shimano Performance in a Shoe

Tuneable Arch Support

Easy to install shims allow you to fine tune your arch support.

Tuneable Arch Support

Do these shims come with the shoes? Or sold separately?

Hi Scott, the shims come with the shoes.

Much improved design. Very good fit.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have wide and completely flat feet. These were the best fitting shoe I could find since 2008. I had multiple revision of this shoe and I always get them molded to my feet. I wished the wide comes in 1/2 sizes. Previous size was 43 wide, but it doesn't fit as well, so I went to 44 regular as 44 wide was too large. For my feet, by itself, fit was "ok" after molding. I went ahead and got custom Sidas cycling specific insole molded and the shoe now fits extremely well. I also have the road version of this shoe and I noticed that it fits slightly "looser" than the mountain version. If you do go ahead with this shoe, I recommend you get them molded to your feet. It basically breaks the shoe in immediately and it will conform to your feet. You can mold the shoe up to 3 times based on my LBS tells me. Like most stores, my LBS do not carry high end Shimanos and will not order them to try. Take advantage of CC and its awesome customer service!

Get Them Molded!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these in a panic for the Wilmington Whiteface 100K. My Nike shoes had put in over a decade of service and had given up a week before the big race. I treated myself to a pair of Sidi shoes, but was concerned when the left shoe fit just a bit tight. They didn't have the next size up in that style so I decided to give these a try. When I put them on the first time, I found the left shoe to fit well, but the right one was just a bit large. Obviously one of my feet is larger than the other. I decided to keep the Shimanos with the thought that too loose was better than too tight, but I was still disappointed that I didn't have a pair of shoes that fit "just right" like my old pair. When I got to upstate NY, I visited a bike shop in Lake Placid and my buddy noticed they had the oven needed for heat molding. The next day I returned with my new shoes and Brian, the owner of High Peaks Cyclery, took the time to dial my shoes in. Now they fit PERFECT. Even better than the old ones. They are an investment, but if they last a decade like the ones they replaced, it will be worth it.

Avg. ride time: 0m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Maybe the Platonic form of CX shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Light, super stiff, and seriously comfortable (if you can get a shop to vacuum fit them)--these make racing life better. Tried forever to find kicks that fit, including options from Giro and Fizik, but neither had enough volume for my wide feet and were becoming seriously painful. The difference the XC90s made was night and day.

Like the other reviewer, I wish you could get the wide option in half sizes, but am managing with the regular. Ventilation is good enough for hotter days and then just use a bit of electrical tape over the vents for cold, muddy ones. Plus, the sole design clears mud as well as anything reasonably could.

Avg. ride time: 50m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

A great mtb shoe!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have wide feet so I tried these in the wide sizing option. Unfortunately they do not offer 1/2 sizes in wide but the 45 ended up fitting well enough. I am used to stiff carbon soles and I will say that these are super stiff! That said, I love them and they are very comfortable.

Tread lightly if you have not owned shoes with full carbon soles or if you are off the bike much on your trails as these forgive nothing while you're walking. The power transfer is incredible though!

I love these shoes and my only dislike is that the carbon sole is not designed for Atac cleats and will start to crack if overtightened. They could have made the cleat mounting area better but I imagine that will be improved in the coming years. If you ride Atac or a similar cleat, file down the bottom of the cleat a bit at the contact points before mounting.

Perfect for Cyclocross

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love Shimano shoes. Everyone has different feet obviously, but Shimano has always fit my feet well. I upgraded from the silver M-315(?), and had to go a 1/2 size down. I almost think I might need to go a full size down, but just haven't slipped my foot in a full size down yet to confirm. I have a low volume foot and run E-soles in these to build up a bit of space. Stiff as hell, but I can run fine for cross. Great shoe all around. Shimano knows the deal.