Shimano's M086 is an XC-style shoe which it classes as a mountain sport shoe. The idea is to offer a compromise between the close fitting stiffness of a race shoe, and the comfort and practicality of a leisure cycling shoe.
The Shimano M086 is certainly a 'statement' piece. The bronze finish isn't going to be to everyone's taste (I love it), but they're stylish, well finished and handsomely proportioned shoes. Non-euros get it in black which can be found in the UK if you shop around. The colour at least hides how muddy they are if you're one for neglecting your cleaning duties.
The sole is a fairly soft rubberised affair giving plenty of flex for easy walking. But they're not so flexy as to offer a lack of decent power delivery. There's plenty of grip on all surfaces with the exception of deep mud - the option of toe studs would help but their omission does keep the shoe slim and light. Like many shoes of this sort, the cleat holes are not watertight.
they've proved very durable and with over a year of service to date, they're hardly showing it!
Putting the shocking Bronze colour-way aside, the uppers are a nice supple synthetic material which has proved very durable and breathable over time. Well vented and light, they're definitely a three season shoe and not for winter use. The shoes are secured by two velcro fastening hook-and-loop straps, and a sturdy plastic buckle; the buckle going someway to give some stiffness back to the supple sole. It's a good compromise on the whole! They've proved very durable and with over a year of service to date, they're hardly showing it!
Comfort is good from the first ride with no rubbing or blisters, and they're wide enough for some pretty thick socks too. The toe box is flexible and supple although they're not going to offer much protection from whacking trail side obstacles.
comfortable enough for all day epics and touring, yet will happily rock up on the start line of your local XC race
The Shimano M086 serves as quite a versatile shoe. It's comfortable enough for all day epics and touring, yet will happily rock up on the start line of your local XC race - perhaps not with podium intentions though. The most exceptional thing about the M086 is how unexceptional it is. They're a proper workhorse of a shoe, great value and comfortable - you'll barely notice them as part of your riding arsenal. And at £79.99 for a buckle fastening shoe, they're not going to hammer your bank account too badly either!
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