Bontrager RL MTB Shoes Pro Review

Pro Reviews Shoes

Three months later…

After wearing the Bontrager RL’s on quite a few rides, including rocks, roots, mud, gravel, snow and almost every other trail feature. I rode the trails here at home on Oahu and I got to ride Demo and Downieville in these shoes. I also did a 40km race in them. The shoes performed well.


The only thing that I didn’t like about these shoes is that they stretched a bit after all the use and the buckle system maxed out on me. I’m not able to cinch down the strap any more, and there’s no way to reposition the buckle or strap like I was able to do on a pair of older Shimano MTB shoes.

So after a few months of wear and tear, nothing really broke on them – just the usual scuffs and scrapes. The shoes held up well except for strap/stretching issue I encountered. Maybe I could just drill another hole and move the buckle…or wear thicker socks?

Overall impression…

The Bontrager RL performs as advertised. It’s their mid-level shoe designed for all day riding. They are comfortable, provide good support, and they are stiff and light enough to race in. They tackle hike-a-bike sections adequately and the reinforced toe box provides protection against rocks and the like. Lastly, the style and price make this a good choice for everyday riding.

Value Rating:
4.5 chili peppers
4 and a half stars

Overall Rating:
4.5 chili peppers
4 and a half stars

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  • francois says:

    Nice review Robert. It seems like Bontrager has stepped up their game in shoes and in other components!

    I’ve used the shoe too for the past 6 months. I love it. It’s light, efficient and supportive. The included ESoles sole seems like a good value too. I once bought one of those soles for $200 custom fit. My only issue is the arch support seems high and aggressive. It offers good support but I feel some discomfort after a long ride.

  • Casey says:

    Love the shoes,very comfortable. I have 6 months/600 miles with them,I ride in the mountains in Montana and the sandstone trials around my hometown of Billings. The only flaw I have experienced is no gription on hard surface, like the sandstone, if the bottom of was a little softer it would be perfect.

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