I attended a Shimano presentation at Outdoor Demo this year to get the scoop on their newest enduro shoes and packs. I walked away with a brand-new pair of enduro shoes and an enduro hydration pack (which I handed off to Jim) to review.
The SH-M200 shoe is the top of Shimano’s new line of enduro shoes. However, with an MSRP of only $180, this top-of-the-line shoe is nowhere near as pricy as their high-end XC shoes. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the SH-200 isn’t worth your time: there are a ton of fantastic features packed into this affordable package.
The M200 features TORBAL technology, which allows for stiffness front-to-back along with torsional flex and great balance. The sole is carbon reinforced, and even with my hands I was able to feel the torsional flex, but with stiffness in all the right places.
Closure is handled by a low profile buckle borrowed from Shimano’s high-end road shoes, with pull laces lower down covered by a flap to keep mud and debris out. In addition to the closure system, the toe of the shoe features vents for air flow, and the uppers feature a half-high top design, which provides extra padding and protection for the inside of the ankle. Armor along the sides round out the protection afforded by the shoe uppers
The sole of the M200 features serious lugs for great traction while hiking up the absurdly steep mountains that sadistic enduro race organizers love to run their events on. Certain lugs are softer for better traction, while the lugs that receive the most abuse are stiffer for better durability over the long term
The final outstanding feature is the design of the cleat plate. Featuring an asymmetrical design, cleat plate on the M200 allows the cleats to be moved farther back than, really, any shoe has ever offered. According to Shimano, a setback cleat provides much better control for steep descending, and it offers a more natural feel for riders switching from flats to SPDs.
I already have three rides in on these shoes, and I think I’m falling in love! At a claimed 762 grams in a size 40 (for the pair, I assume) the M200s are plenty light for pedaling and hiking, but the burly lugs offer great purchase for steep, loose hike-a-bikes. Factor in the superb comfort, and I can’t wait to get out on the trail with these again! Stay tuned to hear how they stand up to months of abuse…
The Unzen 4 Enduro Hydration Pack is a compact pack that can house a 2-liter reservoir if desired (sold separately), and the essential tools and repair supplies. On the exterior of the pack, you can strap armor, a regular or full face helmet, and a water bottle in a specially-designed sleeve.