Building on the success of the Alpine XL shoe, Mavic wanted to push its shoe technology to the next level. With input from top riders like Jérôme Clementz and Fabien Barel, Mavic produced the new enduro racing Crossmax Shoe.
The Crossmax shoe is the only Enduro shoe of theirs that bears the SSC label (Special Service Course). Produced in the familiar top tier yellow and black brand colors, the Crossmax shoe hosts a bunch of interesting features that sets it apart from other shoes.
Keeping in mind their design criteria of comfort, power transfer, and protection, Mavic started out with an EVA midsole and a Trail grip outsole, which balances overall shoe stiffness with a hint of compliance. Both are critical in producing a shoe that one can walk in, as well as pedal. Full-on carbon wouldn’t have been a good choice here. The trail grip outsole is designed with a lower profile, yet aggressive lug pattern. Contagrip® features a unique blend of rubber that increases durability.
The top half of the shoe is a blend of materials that enhance your riding experience. The whole enclosure system uses three of Mavic’s own technologies. The most obvious of the three is the updated Ergo lite ratcheting system. The new Egro lite is a lower profile precision ratchet that provides precise adjustment and prevents accidental opening. The Hidden Quick Lace System uses an aramid fiber blend that easily adjusts in one pull. This particular bit of tech is only shared with the Alpine XL shoe. Behind the quick lace and flap resides the overlapping 3D mesh tongue, which provides comfort, ventilation, and grip. To complete the inside comfort regime, a dual density sock liner footbed is included, designed to retain its shape even after kilometer after kilometer of riding. All of these features combine to provide a healthier environment for your feet.
Overall, the design of the shoe favors those of us who need a bit of extra volume in the toe box.
Other features in the Crossmax shoe include the Ergo lite bonded toe cap, which covers the 3D mesh toe box, and a cool neoprene mid ankle protector, which wraps around the shoe. All of these features provide an added measure of protection and support.
Sizing and Setup
With all shoes, it is important to try before you buy. I have always worn size 46 shoes. I ordered these in a size 46, and I think they run true to size.
Going all Mavic, I installed their own cleats (from the Crossmax XL pedals), which was a no-brainer. Just follow the given instructions. One quick tip: add a small amount of grease on the bolt threads for easier removal later on.
To get things bang on I basically eyeballed the alignment of the cleats, tightening them only to half the recommended torque, and then tested them on the bike. A slight amount of heel-in angle is recommended. The big key is to get the cleat lined up to just behind the ball of the foot for a shoe like this. If you find yourself spending most of your time pointing the bike down the mountain, then move the cleat farther back towards the heel.
Out on the Trail
When wearing these shoes I couldn’t help myself: I had to yell “ENDURO!” at the top of my lungs whenever pointing the bike downhill, pedaling madly into oblivion, all the while racing through the forest scaring all manner of wild life.
All joking aside, yes these are definitely comfortable shoes. I found that the neoprene around the ankle does a great job of keeping out sand, debris, and small critters that just might make their way in there.
Riding mostly in warm weather, I had no issues with my feet overheating. I also had no issues of my foot swimming around in the shoe… which is a good thing, too. I hate it when my toes bunch up in the front of my shoe. Most importantly, getting in and out of the shoe was easy as pie. The drawstring lacing is a great idea. It does a great job of pressing down the top of my foot into the shoe.
The Crossmax is a race-ready enduro shoe that is as comfortable on the rocks and humping it on foot as it is pedaling.
Weight: 520grams (size 46, with cleats installed)
Big thanks to the folks at Mavic for sending down the Crossmax shoes for review.