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The Mavic Razor mountain bike shoe is one of those rare products that works great, fits comfortably, and doesn’t cost a lot of coin. The shoe is basically a toned down version of the Mavic Fury, leaving off only a few of the costliest bells and whistles found on the Fury. The Razor keeps the basic two strap and one ratchet system that should work great for almost every rider.

The Razor’s construction is based on a glass reinforced nylon sole, giving it the right amount of flex in those hike-a-bike situations, while retaining plenty of stiffness for those off-the-saddle pedaling efforts. Speaking of hike-a-bike: unlike some full-on race shoes I’ve worn in the past, the Razors actually have tonnes of grip on the bottom. The aggressive tread pattern, built up from Mavic’s Contagrip material, has good grip on stuff like wood and rocks. The pattern also keeps you firmly planted on the ground even when things get a little soggy. When the terrain is really bad and the need to unclip becomes necessary, the sole has a “micro” pattern between the heel and toe box for improved pedal grip.

The Razor is offered in two color schemes: the one displayed here (Charcoal/Grey) or a race-inspired White/Red version. Either way, these are pretty good looking shoes without making too much of a statement. The uppers are made from a mix of synthetic leather and mesh for breathable yet solid construction. To increase the life of the shoe, as well as to add a measure of safety, the reinforced toe cup adds extra material to the shoe that should keep the front of the shoe together over the long haul. The low cut design and deep ankle cup lends a ton of support for the foot once you’re all strapped up, keeping the foot stable and secure.

Inside the Razor you’ll find Mavic’s Ergo Fit 2D which is a reshaped, dual density composite insole. The high density heel cup both supports and cradles your foot, while the other layer, enhanced with Mavic’s Agion anti-bacterial treatment, allows moisture to escape through the perforated structure.

On My Feet and On the Trail

Based on my experience with the Razor MTB shoe, Mavic seems to have done a great job on the construction and fit. I have sensitive heels and often have a hard time with new shoes digging into my heels and rubbing them raw (a painful illustration, I know). Well I am happy to report that this was not the case with the Razor.

The Razor has a great toe box design with just the right amount of space that kept my foot firmly in place without squishing it (great for me because I have a wide foot.) Once buckled in, I never got that uncomfortable hotspot feeling from the straps digging into the top of my feet thanks to the pre-shaped EVA tongue and generous strap spacing.

I did have a small issue when trying to loosen the buckle while wearing gloves. The release lever on the top strap is pretty small and was difficult to grip at times. Tightening the buckle, however, wasn’t an issue at all, with or without gloves.

Installing both Time and Shimano cleats on the shoes with one shim (provided with the shoes) I found that I had no issues clipping in or releasing from the pedals (XTR’s and Z-Controls) on my Opus Crate trail bike. The soles sport adequate space for a variety of pedals even when the shoe got a bit mucky (within reason). A fully clogged shoe on a soft wet day will certainly pose some issues but then again, all the shoes out there will do just about the same thing. Mavic supplies two different toe cleats – a long and short version. I basically stuck with the short cleats up front because they didn’t get in the way when I was in those hike-a-bike situations. The long cleats impeded my ability to walk on rocky surfaces so I’ll store those for all but the softest courses.

For about $130 MSRP, the Mavic Razor is a good quality shoe that is similar to higher priced mountain bike shoes but at a mid-level price. Check out Mavic’s website for these and other great quality products for 2011!

I would like to thank the folks at Mavic for providing the Razor MTB shoes for product review.

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