When you think of Shimano, it's common to think of their drivetrains and components seeing as they're one of the two big brands suppliers. They're big investors and title sponsors of world-class race events and humongous in the fishing industry - yep, fishing.
However, Shimano has long been a respectable player in the MTB shoe field and with a growing line of products, including women's, we've been getting familiar with the new Shimano GR7W women's MTB shoes.
They've been constructed from a MICHELIN® rubber outsole for improved pedal grip whilst remaining practical off the bike too. The upper side of the shoe is crafted from a perforated synthetic material with mesh design to help with temperature control. Overall, the lightweight design and chosen materials offer quick-drying capabilities by absorbing less water.
The toe area has been carefully moulded for additional protection, while the stretchy mesh ankle collar helps prevent debris from getting into the shoe itself.
There's a handy elasticated loop on the front of the shoe to help keep your laces tucked away so they don't run the risk of coming undone or getting caught.
These shoes are available in sizes EU 36 to EU 44 and come with a spare set of colour laces.
Shimano GR7W Women's MTB Shoes: Verdict
Upon first glance, I wasn't blown away by these shoes. Perhaps it's because I knew the pale grey colour would never be that clean again after a few rides, or that they looked rather similar to the Specialized women's 2FO Flat 1.0 shoes which share similar features like the teal colour highlight, the elastic lace strap and the mesh ankle cuff, but that's where similarities end.
From the first ride, I knew these shoes and I were going to get along great. They're deceptively wide around the toe, something I find uncommon in cycling shoes that prefer to cram your toes and pinch your metatarsals. The spaciousness allowed my feet some flex and movement which was greatly appreciated.
The MICHELIN® rubber sole grips comfortably on my flat pedals and equally as casual when off the bike. Ok, so they're not waterproof but they are light and the materials do dry out quite quickly so that makes up for it somewhat.
Overall, I'm really impressed by not only the fit but the performance of these shoes. They are comfortable, wide, the ankle mesh is useful for blocking out debris and they're light. The only slight negative I could find with these is the tongue kept slipping to the side of my foot. Not a major con, but one nonetheless.
For more information on the Shimano GR7W women's MTB shoes, head over to their website here.