Mavic Zxellium


John Bradley

Though the mechanical buckle on Mavic’s top racing shoe resists big fingers and super-tight ratcheting—we loved the secure fit of the carbon heel cup and the nearly seamless comfort of the bonded upper.

Sidi Genius 6.6 Mega

To create our new favorite road shoe, Sidi took the slipperlike synthetic upper, full-carbon sole, and adjustable heel retention of its top-of-the-line (and rather narrow) Ergo 2, then reassembled it all for those of uswith wider feet.

Specialized BG Pro Carbon Road

The Body Geometry fit counters the natural cant of most people’s feet to correct knee-alignment issues (read: less pain), while Specialized’s stiffest carbon weave delivers a race-ready sole.

Shimano SH-M230


Heat-moldable sections in the upper give the M230 a custom-fit feel, while the carbon-reinforced nylon soles nail the balance between efficient pedaling stiffness and hike-a-bike walkability.

Bontrager RL Mountain


Somehow, Bontrager managed to squeeze all the features of a high-end shoe—heat-moldable insoles, carbon-reinforced soles, removable toe spikes—into this extremely well-priced model. Fits narrow and medium-width feet best.

Keen Springwater


While not as stiff as a race shoe, the Springwater is an impressive blend of comfort and performance. A full-length TPU plate provides the power transfer, and the lugged rubber outsole makes for sure footing even on the sketchiest scree.
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