Shimano MP66 MTB SPD shoes look like a cross between old-school skateboard shoes on the uppers and mountain bike SPD underneath. Generally speaking, things that try to look like something they’re not can be highly suspect (such as those ‘bike shaped objects’ you get in superstores which pretend to be off-road capable). But I like these because they’re practical, their aesthetic is a big departure from other SPD shoes and they come in white, satisfying my unfathomable love for white cycle products.
An added bonus of white is that it’s easier to tell when they’re dirty. Keeping them clean and treated will make them last longer because dirt and sweat in stitching encourages bacteria and wear, degrading shoes faster. So where white seems to be less practical, it can be a great help.
The lace covers on top are brilliant for keeping muck out of the shoe and the laces out of the way. One of the plus point of laces over Velcro straps is that they give a more even pull when tightening, and they’re fine tunable. The soles are stiff, as they should be, and as you would expect can use a standard Shimano cleat.
The Shimano MP66 rises higher around the inside of the ankle, which is a nice feature for preventing ankles knocking on the crank arms. Unfortunately, something about the way I pedal makes these rub and wear quickly which isn’t great for longevity or comfort.
There are a couple of vents above the toes but I’m not sure if these do anything other than let water in (the similar AM versions don’t have vents). I always ride with SealSkinz socks when there’s any sign of rain so this isn’t a problem for me, but it could be very annoying. The MP66 seem to work with any kind of sock as the laces let you adjust to whatever you need.
Summary: I went from a Shimano winter SPD boot to these without finding any lack of performance or comfort. They’ve been a good all weather shoe so therefore a bargain at the very reasonable price that they are. I recommend these to anyone who’s steering more towards the all-mountain/trail/downhill rider style rather than sporty XC whippet. Improvements would be no toe vents and something that would minimise crank-arm wear on the ankle padding.
From: Chain Reaction Cycles
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