Mavic Chasm MTB shoe, reviewed
Ok, so I admit it - I decided on these Mavic Chasm shoes because of their fine and dandy looks - and before I'd even seen a pair close-up. But I guess thats not unusual, although if you have none-standard feet it isn't always the best idea.
Shoes, they're something you have to get right first time; get an ill fitting or ill suited pair and you're stuck with them, because a decent pair of shoes really are a major investment, and will play a huge part in your riding experience and efficiency, yet in these days of mail order they're something we all too often take a gamble on.
So, what was the upshot? Well, I have wide feet, shoes are always an issue, as they always seem to be made for nimble footed ballet dancer types with snake like skinny feet - not size 12 clob-hopping pedal pounders like me. Anyway, I decided on a size 46, as I often do - as getting a 47 can be an issue, and and is near impossible in Asia - where anything above a 43 is considered to be elephant sized.
First entry, umm, I should have gone for the 47, but they're not far off, not made for a pair of thick winter socks underneath, but then again I don't need those here in Asia, so they were about as accurate as a 46 as they come. Now, if you think this sounds strange - it's not really, I have shoes here form about 5 different manufacturers, and their sizing varies dramatically, so some 46's have never even been used - they're just too small. These Mavic Chasm MTB shoes were benchmark 46's, which makes mail ordering not so hit and miss.
These white, black, and yellow trimmed beauties are real lookers; sleek, mean, designed for racing - although my usage will be primarily for rough-roading and even touring - but they fit the bill nicely. The Chasm are neatly evolved and fairly technical shoes compared to many other brands in the market - in other words they're well thought out and of excellent all-round quality.
They weigh in pretty mid market - as any MTB shoe with a decent sole should do. The soles are hard based and have really grippy rubber clonker soles, which are always appreciated. They look like they will grip wet rock much better than most shoes, although I've not had a super wet bike carry to prove that theory - yet.
The uppers are supper rugged and extremely well made - they have durability written all over them (so to speak), while the heal and ankle grip is really comfortable and grippy - no slipping around.
Step inside and these shoes are snug (with wider feet I would suggest going up a metric size). A well made ratchet fastening system pulls the shoes together securely, while two "Ergo Straps" with man sized leather pull tabs fasten the mid-foot.
The bottom line
Having worn the shoes for a few weeks now they've now made friends with my paddle-like feet, and gotten over the initial sightly undersized and narrow issues (for me). Yesterday I did an epic 3-hour mountain ride, without socks and without so much as a niggle underfoot. Then, today I came to review the shoes, and took a look at the specs on line, and I wished I had done this before, but I'm just not an instruction kinda guy.
The two mid-bridge pull straps are actually adjustable, which adds a few bones worth of extra width to the fit, making the shoe instantly wider - I'll see how they ride now, but overall, these are a quality pair of race ready and great looking shoes - which also come in black, if white isn't your thing.