Straightforward reviews and tests of cycling, travel and related products I use on the road

Mavic Cyclo Tour Shoes, reviewed

Mavic Cyclo Tour shoes – reviewed

It wasn’t so long ago that a pair of touring shoes might be considered a tad mardy, a well outdated fashion statement in an era where flash and bright was the way it was, maybe even still is.

There were always those old guys in their baggy touring shorts sporting their holy and discreet all black flat bottomed foot holds. The guys who told tales of 200 mile rides before breakfast on fixed wheel bikes eating nothing but a Mars Bar, guys who could actually be considered cool these days.

Then came mountain biking, and a few years later the SPD pedal system and mountain bike shoes – no longer was there a need to stick odd bits of rubber and nail cleats to the bottoms of shoes made by a man in a dark room in the back streets of Kettering.

“Walkable” and flexi-soled pumps were suddenly acceptable, more than acceptable – they were the go-to all-rounder than many of had been hunting out for our travels commutes, and for slippery-floored café stops.

Well, that’s all well and good – but there was still a small niche somewhere between the neon strap on’s and the carbon crampers – the touring shoe. Quite obvious when you think about it, the grand daddy of the all-rounder; versatile, understated and durable, with a kind of retro coolness. It just knows there’s no need to be brash, the Jeremy Irons of cycling footwear.

So, cutting to the chase and leaving the waffle behind – I recently got hold of a pair of Mavic Cyclo Tour shoes, the exact beasts inferred above. Sleek all black slightly retro-chic styled shoes made for the middle of the road as well as the rough side.

These are stylish shoes, yet they will not draw attention to you when riding through a dimly lit tribal feud. All black with a slight silver trimming and a flouro white piping tagged with small yellow Mavic logos give them that classic look. Three long Velcro straps pull together their synthetic uppers, which are very well padded and acceptably vented.

From a distance they look like regular road or triathlon shoes, but under the hood the soles have a slight flex to them and a grippy rubber lined sole, which is enough to do away with that clicking and slipping. You can walk small distances without compromising on ride efficiency.

In use the shoes are very rugged and durable, real rocks – but without the weight of a mountain bike shoe. Healthy padding and good “big-foot” sizing means they’re comfortable, and the quality of the build is clear – these shoes are made for serious riding, and so far they’ve stood up to a month of both on and offroad riggers without any hesitation.

The bottom line

Discreet, stylish, functional, made for everyday riding and epic tours. The SPD cleat fitting and “walkability” make them suitable for both on and offroad riding – although you wouldn’t want to walk up a small mountain in them.

I’d have no worries in relying on these shoes to get me through the Kalahari, a none too muddy MTB race or a sportive – the touring shoe is back!

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