There are loads of products in the nebulous “trail” category that overlap with XC, enduro, and downhill. Clipless shoes are no exception to this murky distinction. Trail shoes are, theoretically, more protection-focused than XC shoes and lighter than true gravity kicks. Two of the models that Shimano markets under the trail banner, the ME5 and ME7, recently received some updates. Have a look below.
The revamped ME5 kicks use a single BOA dial and a velcro strap to tighten the upper on the fly. Shimano claims that the torsional Torbal midsole allows for natural movement on descents with plenty of stiffness and support on the pedal. On the grip front, Shimano claims that the “Proprietary Shimano grippy rubber compound outsole [offers] superior traction in wet conditions.”
The more fortified model, ME7, has a Michelin dual density platform to grip the ground. The cleat channel is sealed to keep water out when you splash across streams and puddles. A reportedly breathable, perforated upper is cinched tight with a low-profile buckle and speed-lace system. In addition to the upper protection flap, the ME7 shoes have a neoprene ankle collar to keep debris out and add a layer of cushion to those bony points.
The brand’s lightweight RX8 gravel racing shoes are now available in an exciting new colorway. Shimano says “The RX8 color scheme draws its inspiration from the Santa Rita Prickly Pear Cactus, native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and is designed to support your adventures on the path less travelled, wherever in the world they might be.”
The ME5 and ME7 shoe models will be available in sizes 38-50 beginning in September. Head on over to the Shimano website for additional info.