Mavic’s clipless “trail shoe” line is eight models wide, each with its own fit and material characteristics. I recently tested a pair of their XA Pro Shoes and found them downright pleasant on long rides. The overall look of the shoe is similar to a trail running sneaker, and with its ultra-grippy and pliable sole, walking and jogging in these shoes is a cozy task indeed.
The XA Pro model is Mavic’s only trail shoe that uses their Ergo Dial QR to tighten the upper. The round dial cinches the shoe snuggly around your foot, and is super easy to open up with gloved hands. If you frequently ride in cold weather or struggle with numb fingers, this Boa-esque system and sturdy velcro strap might make disrobing your feet a more pleasant process.
The XA Pro fit true to size and don’t leave a lot of sloppy room in the toe box like some clipless kicks tend to. Their two-step retention system has a large range of adjustability that should work well for most tootsies. The heel cup, however, is not the tightest, and if you have particularly narrow feet you may want to check out some of Mavic’s taller All Mountain offerings.
The shoes’ molded uppers make them fairly unsnaggable and easy to clean. The material is tough enough that I expect this pair to last for a few seasons, though it is not the thickest nor most protective setup. If you find yourself frequently riding in rocky terrain, where stones greet your feet on the regular, you will again want to look toward Mavic’s more sturdy All Mountain line for some added protection.
The thinner anti-rip material is notably breathable, adding to the shoe’s overall comfort factor. If you like to spray your shoes off after a muddy ride you will be happy to know that the XA Pro shoes dry out fairly quickly on a sunny porch, or next to a campfire.
The sole of this shoe is massively grippy, hooking up better than most gravity tires while walking on wet stones and muddy slopes. Mavic claims that “the New Contagrip tread offers superb traction and durability, and is 25% more grippy in the wet and dry than the leading competitor.”
In addition to the exceptional grip, the sole is flexy enough to walk around in as much as you like, while an internal carbon fiber plate adds stiffness at the cleat. I have yet to experience any discomfort or “hot spots” around the pedal interface on long rides.
The XA Pro is a fantastic kick for long rides, or days when you want to ride and walk around without swapping footwear. It would make a fantastic option for bikepacking enthusiasts who need one shoe for all occasions while they are out exploring. For pure gravity use, one of Mavic’s burlier pairs are certainly better suited, but for nearly everything else, these are great to slip on and simply forget about.
We would like to thank Mavic for sending the XA Pro shoes for review.