During my research for a good all-round touring and commuting shoe I was generally thinking of something that had the following features:

  • They look low-key enough to sneak into the pub or wear around town off the bike
  • Had recessed SPD cleats so it was easy to walk it
  • Good grip so it was possible to do some light hiking which cycle touring (one less pair of extra shoes to carry)
  • Brown/black color so didn’t show dirt

After a few weeks of searching and reading reviews I decided to get the Shimano MT71 which was also conveniently on sale at the time, costing me about AUD $120 with free shipping from the good folk over at Evans Cycles.

Shimano MT71 2011 Mountain Trekking Shoe

 

After using these shoes for commuting, cycle touring, hiking and general wear for the past few months I feel I am in a position to make some comments on them. Let’s keep it simple.

Pros:

  • Vibram sole is very sturdy on the ground with good grip on loose surfaces
  • Gore-Tex lining makes these shoes puddle/splash proof (but no good in downpours)
  • Durable construction, the grip has barely any signs of wear even after using them for a few months and doing quite a bit of walking in them while touring
  • Good price and widely available online from all good stores
  • Easy to fit custom orthotics/inserts
  • Wider fit, I usually take EE width shoes and have no issues with these shoes (had to skip the lowest lace eyelets though to give it a bit of extra width)

Cons:

  • A little bit hot during summer due to the Gore-Tex lining, thin summer socks help a lot!
  • Heavy and a bit bulky (however this reflects how sturdy they are)
  • Look a bit dorky IMO. That said however, I’ve received only compliments from both cyclists and non-cyclists for these shoes, so maybe I am just being too critical?
  • Doesn’t stop water from running down your leg and filling your shoes (tip: plastic bag and tape, looks strange but works a treat!)
  • Sizing slightly on the small side (e.g. my shoes were advertised as US 10, but actually US 9.7 so slightly too small for hiking/walking for more than a couple of hours)

Bottom line:

Excellent value and well featured shoes that are both durable and functional. You might look like your Gore-Tex hiking shoe wearing uncle at Bunnings on a Saturday, but at least you’ll be ready for action on and off the bike. Suitable for cycle touring, especially if you want to have a pair of shoes for short hiking etc, as long as you don’t mind the weight. Remember to watch for the sizing too; order a size up. A solid 9/10 rating from me.

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