Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
BOULDER CITY, Nevada (VN) — Shimano, a brand known for its no-nonsense and straightforward products, has launched a specific line of trail shoes — “Enduro” if you prefer — that cater to the specific needs of the trail rider.
The SH-M200 shoes are the shining flagship model in the SH-M line and retail for $180. Two lower-tier models in the SH-M line, the SH-M163 and SH-M089, both lose the carbon-infused midplate and some of the protection of the M200. The M163 and M089 retail for $150 and $120, respectively.
The focus of the line is keeping the rider balanced and efficient, particularly when pinning the bike through corners on descents. Shoes with stiffer soles, particularly carbon cross-country shoes, don’t allow the rider’s feet to flex and be close to parallel to the ground, while the opposite is true for shoes with a bit more flex. Shimano’s Torbal sole (a combination of torrisional and balance) gives the shoe flex near the back of the arch and the heel, while keeping the pedaling platform stiff.
On the M200’s midplate, where the cleat mounts, is a nylon infused with a carbon fiber dust that’s mixed in with the nylon blend while it’s still in liquid form. The lower-level M163 and M089’s soles are purely nylon.
The M200 has quite a bit more protection than the M163 and M089, and somewhat resembles Shimano’s AM gravity shoes. The M200 uses Shimano’s Speed Lacing that pulls the bottom of the shoe tight, and then a padded flap covers the laces. The buckle used by all three models is borrowed from the high-end road line, and it is less bulky than most mountain bike shoe offerings.
The SH-M line uses thick insoles that offer more comfort than traditional mountain bike shoes, especially when walking around. The M200’s insoles are made of two compounds to boost support, while the M163 and M089 use the same single-density foam.