In August, Shimano launched their new Gravity shoe series for clipless and flat pedals. The outstanding feature is the new ULTREAD sole, promising ultimate grip with maximum control on technical terrain. We tested the brand-new GF6 model for you.
Your hands, butt, and feet are your only points of contact with the bike, so they’re crucial both to your performance and comfort. You could hardly ride barefoot, certainly not on a pair of flat pedals, bristling with sharp pins. Here’s where MTB shoes come into the picture: you want them to form a perfect connection with the pins, and also be stiff enough for good power transmission. Ah, and wouldn’t we all just love self-cleaning and very durable soles… et voilà! Shimano, the world’s leading manufacturer of bike components, look back on more than 100 years of company history and have been designing bike shoes for more than 30 years. To move one step forward, the Shimano team have developed the new ULTREAD sole with a special rubber compound for their new series of MTB shoes. By means of an innovative profile with hexagonal honeycomb structure, it’s supposed to form a super stable connection with the pins on the flat pedal. What’s more: mud and small stones don’t stand a chance trying to attach themselves to the conical recesses.
The new Gravity series by Shimano offers three models each for clipless fans as well as lovers of flat pedals. For our 3-month test, we have chosen the GF6, the high-end flat pedal model of the series – yours for € 159.95. It’s available in plain black or elegant brown. The toe caps are slightly reinforced and covered by rubber coating. The outer material is synthetic leather perforated for ventilation. The inner side of the shoe is raised to protect the ankles, and the shoelaces can be secured with a loop.
Shimano shoes tend to be cut on the smallish side. The GF6 sits well on the foot without pinching anywhere. There’s enough room to wiggle your toes, so the shoe should be fine with wider feet. The most important feature of any MTB shoe, however, is its behaviour in its “natural habitat”: on the trail. And that’s where the shoe really rocks: The pins connect perfectly to the sole, but also detach easily if you need to reposition your foot on the pedal. The balance between stiffness for pedalling and flexibility for walking clearly swings to the side of rigidity. All in all, the Shimano GF6 gives a high-quality impression and doesn’t show any signs of wear-and-tear after three months of testing. Even the sharp pins couldn’t harm the soles.
There’s nothing bling about these new Shimano shoes. On the other hand, they’re sound and reliable, functional and arguably quite chic. The upper is comfortable, and the new ULTREAD sole convinces with a firm connection to the pedals.
- sole with very good grip on flat pedals
- solid workmanship
- reinforced toe cap
More info Bike.Shimano.com
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Words: Manne Schmitt Photos: Antonia Feder