New Gravel Shoes

I’m trying to decide on a new pair of shoes that will be used for gravel. Does anyone have any experience/opinions on the following models?

Shimano XC5
Fizik Women’s M6 Donna BOA Mountain

Laces vs. Boa? I have laces on my current pair of gravel shoes and BOA on my road shoes. I do prefer BOA but I don’t find laces to be horrible.

What shoe do you use for gravel? Thanks!

1 Like

I’m wearing the new model Spesh Recon. Love them. No issues with Boas for gravel or mtb.

1 Like

I changed from Bontrager MTB Evoke(Velcro) to Bontrager MTB Cambien (Boa) for gravel riding.
Cambien has half sizes, I really like this shoe so far.


Giro Empire VR90 - love them


Giro terraduro are great

1 Like

Picked up some of the shimano xc5 and have been pretty pleased with them. Look great, light weight and I wanted to try a lace up shoe. Positive experience thus far.


Second that!

Also have the Shimano XC5. Great shoe for gravel or even road riding with spds. lightweight and comfortable.

1 Like

I have Giro Empire VR90s and I like them, but if I had to do it all over again I would have gone for something with a Boa dial.

I do all my road and gravel riding in these shoes and they’ve been flawless. I like that they are a bit wider than shimano shoes.

1 Like

Another very happy XC5 owner here. Love em.

I bought a second pair :slight_smile:

Test reply by email.

I had a pair of Fizik X5 and moved to Shimano XC7

The Fizik was a nicer looking shoe and I got it much cheaper. But between these two brands is one big difference, Fit!
Try on both brands and others and buy whatever fits your foot.

1 Like

do you happen to recall which of these were stiffer?

I got a pair of XC5’s a few weeks ago and really like them so far. Shimano shoes seem to fit my feet well (my feet are a bit wide for some of the narrower brands). Plus I really like the way the grey and orange looks.


No opinion either way, but I will relay a Boa story from this week…

After two years of heavy, heavy usage (900ish hours) the cable on my Boa equipped Fizik M3B snapped. Was easy enough to MacGyver it and make it home. Ordered new shoes (Lake MX237) within an hour, but I wondered if it was possible to replace the Boa cable…

Went to the Boa website, spent 60 seconds filling out a repair order, and 48 hours later I had a replacement Boa mechanism for my old shoes. Free of charge and Fed Ex’d too. Wow. That was exceptional customer service.


I second the BOA customer service experience. I had some cables that the outer sheath was coming off of on a pair of Specialized MTB shoes. BOA had new cables to me within a week. No cost to me at all and didn’t even have to provide proof of purchase.

I had to replace my xc/gravel shoes earlier this year. I was debating the new shimano gravel shoe. However, I wanted something more versatile so I went with the s-phyre xc-9. I’m really happy with the decision. It really works with my feet.

1 Like

The XC7 is worth the coin over the XC5’s

I really like my XC9’s but I wouldn’t pay MSRP on them, I got a clearance deal on mine for the MSRP of XC7’s

I’ve had that same experience with two different shoes. BOA has been exceptional both times!