Unless the shoe is tightened down properly, which means a good crank down of the ratchet strap and middle Velcro strap, you will get some heel lift, which is more noticeable when walking. After the shoe breaks in, they perform decently for a short hike-a-bike sessions, but I wouldn’t want them for long distances, as they hurt my feet, and anything that involved an extreme amount of slick rock was problematic (they slip). I regularly hike some difficult terrain for significant distances to get to the good gnar, and they aren’t what I would call a pleasant hiker, although they are more comfortable, and easier to hike in then the usual high performance bike shoe.
I really appreciated the well-thought-out ratchet system on the top strap, as it was easy to open or loosen with a simple and light push down on the button, and it can be altered on the fly. The ratchet did accidentally pre-release on occasion, but it was usually when getting on and off the bike, and to a rarer extent when hitting rocks, bushes and tree branches. When the straps were clamped down tight, they gave a nice snug fit, and while spinning it increased the tactile feel and power, but I found they hurt the outside of my foot just below the ankle bone when I stepped off the bike, although the issue was easily remedied by loosening them for comfort. During a long ride or when your foot swells or gets hot, a simple on the fly loosening helped relieve the tension, at a small loss to heel lift and power. The offset Velcro straps prevented any hot or bind spots from happening under the tongue, and they gave them a more uniform pull across the top of the foot. The well-padded tongue helped immensely with comfort, and any sort pressure from the strap system never propagated onto the top of the foot.
The insole’s SuperNatural Fit Kit with it’s adjustable arch support system worked nicely, and the modular nature of it made fitting the shoes a breeze. I played around with the different arch heights (S, M and L) and found the highest one worked the best for me. It was very simple to pull the insole out of the shoe, detach the arch insert from its Velcro attachment strips, and replace with another height. The sole fit system is quite innovative, and it helps fit a larger variety of foot shapes and widths.
Weight – 705 grams