A good pair of mountain biking shoes are essential to any cycling wardrobe and it has to be said we've got a bit of a fetish for them here at off-road.cc. It was with great relish then, that we took to the halls of Eurobike and sought out the shoes that we'd like to be slipping into in 2018.
We've got it all from names you'll be familiar with such as Shimano with a new range of unfussy solid shoes, to others that aren't as mainstream such as Vaude who have an ecologically sound production strategy making environmentally-friendly products from sustainable materials. One thing is for sure, when on the hunt for trail shoes in 2018 - you are going to be spoilt for choice!
First up is the X-Alp Launch from Pearl Izumi, a brand new shoe for 2018, there will be both a flat and an SPD version. The X-Alp features a 3/4 length shank for stiffness but which also allows toe flex for walking. Both varieties are lace up shoes with Vibram soles and an EVA midsole for impact cushioning. There are various colour options available and all have bonded panels on the upper making for a sleek looking shoe. There are no UK prices available yet but these will be around the $160 USD mark.
Different colour options available
Including this, a fairly palatable pink for the ladies
The flat version is also available in plain black
Pearl Izumi are also expanding other areas of their shoe collection and these X-Alp Elevate trail shoes caught our eye too. They are aimed at the all-mountain and enduro crowd, with a stiff carbon and nylon reinforced shank and a chunky tread pattern on the sole, its designed to both pedal and hike hard! It's also available in smaller sizes for women and in the same tepid pink and red that you see above.
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate
There's a chunky tread pattern if we ever saw one!
There's no doubt about it, Ion make some great looking kit. The trail gear we've had in the past has stood up to some serious abuse too so we have high hopes for these new shoes from the surf inspired brand.
At Eurobike Ion launched new colourways for the Raid Amp flat pedal shoe that was first launched earlier this year. The Raid now comes in this casual looking tan and blue and also a plain black.
As cliche as it is, this is a shoe that will look good at the pub and on the trails
The Ion Rascal SPD shoe also got a new colourway to add to the range, it will now be available in burgundy so you can go all matchy matchy with Ion pads too......
For those times when only matching attire will do
Vaude had the biggest display of shoes at Eurobike, in fact they had a pretty big stand too that was devoted to the theme of sustainability. The brand say they pursue a sustainable strategy, producing goods that are functional environmentally-friendly and made from sustainable materials. A good example of this is in the soles of these knitted shoes where 20% of the outsole is recycled rubber.
These Womens TVL Skoj SPD shoes follow the new trend of knitted footwear, which Vaude say is good as it presents a shoe without the need for any seams. The shoe features a Symaptex membrane which Vaude say is 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable whilst being hard wearing and thin - all things to all people it seems! The TVL Skoj also has a reinforced toe cap, a Vibram sole and a Boa dial to tighten. These will cost you 160 of your English pounds.
Not a knitted jumper this Christmas but perhaps a knitted shoe?
Vaude also had on display a rather reptilian pair of shoes, the MTB Snar Advanced. Also an SPD shoe, this one Vaude say is on the stiff side, designed for racing and will retail for £140. We noticed it for its crocodile looks, reminds me of having frog wellies when I was a kid......
Launched earlier in the year, we have already seen what is up on offer from Shimano for 2018, it was still well worth a look though as the subtle styling and hardy nature of a Shimano shoe hits the spot every time.
Of particular interest was the lace up women's GR7W, an enduro orientated, flat shoe that looks pretty cool in an understated way. It has a grippy Michelin outsole, a stretchy mesh ankle collar and is said to absorb less water and dry quicker than Shimano shoes have in the past.
Shimano GR7W - women's gravity orientated shoe
The male version of the GR7W is, wait for it, the GR7 - same features and same price (£99) with slightly different colour options, either this blue or grey and bright green.
Michelin sole and a nice wide platform
The GR9's are Shimano's top of the range flat shoe. This one has 'speed laces' which are tucked away under a velcro shield and a raised ankle collar on the inside for protection. The GR9's will retail at £119 and are available as this unisex version only.
Eurobike seemed to be the start of a new fad - knitted shoes with the shoes on display from Grio standing out from the crowd. Knitted shoes are popular with runners and are designed to provide a totally seamless upper construction surrounded by and stuck to an external exoskeleton, giving shape and rigidity. The shoes are said to be super breathable as the knitted fabric has lots of tiny air holes allowing air to circulate. The Giro shoes pictured here are the Empire VR70's (£219), an SPD shoe with a carbon fibre sole, moulded Vibram outsole and are DWR-treated to repel water.
The Empire VR70's have a knitted neck too....
There are no seams or stitching on the inner knitted layer
One piece and a variety of colours