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Shimano MT23 SPD MTB Bike Cycling Shoes 2012 - 42 Grey,
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This review is from: Shimano MT23 SPD MTB Bike Cycling Shoes 2012 - 42 Grey (Apparel)
Cycling shoes designed by the manufacturer of a major bicycle component company is a very good thing because they can design the perfect marriage between bicycle component and the item of clothing, in this case the pedals, the cleats and the shoes.
Shimano is famous for its SPD cleat and have gone on to develop variations of this basic design. The cleat is designed to lock the shoe to the pedal so that the rider can use the down stroke of the legs and up stroke to power the bicycle forward. The other important feature of the cleat in engagement and disengagement. Quick engagement of foot to pedal is necessary so that the rider can apply power quickly after starting to move. Quick disengagement is also vital to release the foot from the pedal in an emergency (say). In professional races this is not always possible and the riders are often seen collapsing to the ground in a heap with their feet locked onto the pedals. Cleats are designed for quick release and in the case of the SPD a quick flick of the heels of the feet 'outwards' (toes inwards) should release the shoes from the pedals.
The Shimano MT23 SPD MTB Bike Cycling Shoes 2012 maybe last year's design but they are undoubtedly well made using premium materials. They can be used both with and without cleats, whether the older SPDs or the more modern forms of cleat. Fitting is very easy. A small section of the shoe's sole can be removed to reveal cutouts/recesses into which the cleat is fitted AFTER fitting to the shoe. If cleats are to be used, the pedals must be fitted with retainers into which the cleats are inserted. Modern pedals can have 'pop-up' retainers so that cleated or non-cleated shoes maybe worn. I prefer 'pop-up' retainers so that I can opt for using soft-soled shoes. The Shimano shoes are hard-soled.
I already own 2 pairs of Shimano cycling shoes so purchasing a third pair from the same manufacturer was almost an automatic choice. I was unsure about the choice of size though. I can wear a 42 or a 43 (EU size) but there appears to be little difference in grip onto the foot. I attribute this to the almost universal 'narrow fitting' of cycling shoes.
For the cycling enthusiast a good pair of cycling shoes is an absolute necessity regardless of the age of the design or the manufacturer, although I have a preference for Shimano.