XC Mtn Biking and Gravel shoe

They work fine for me. Stiff but walkable, better than xc9. Narrow, so I have wide shoes even with normal D width feet.

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I’ll have to check the insoles. I have a pair of Icebug cycling insoles that worked well but are a bit worn out.

Took them out yesterday for their first outing…very happy with them. Best thing I can say about them is I really didn’t notice them. That is a very good thing in shoes, IMO.

The top of the tongue is a bit stiff against the front of my ankle, but I fully expect that to break in over time.

Really like the Michelin soles…very grippy and a nice change of pace vs my older MTB shoes.


I really love my S-Works Recon shoes. Perfect for me for gravel. Paired with the Assioma/Xpedo hack and am super happy.

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I’d love to try those but they’re pricey.

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whats the difference between recon and sworks 7 mountain shoes?

I thought shimanos offering was more of a road shoe with a mountain base. It has less protection then the mountain shoe.

I have ridden dura ace pedals for all my gravel rides and looking to swap over pedal platforms for 2021 for gravel. As ted king said, if there is no chance of a dismount why ride a mountain shoe, this was my logic. But after a gravel race that was supposed to be no dismounts, I ended up having to walk a few hills and well that sucks with road shoes.


The Recon ARE the S-Works mtb shoe

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It’s a mix. It uses the MTB XC9 sole but the rubber is different than the XC9 and no spikes.

I think this is accurate, there’s also a link to the XC9 vs S-Works. I can’t speak to that as I haven’t used S-Works.

I think he means the Recon 2.0 and 3.0.

Based on their RX8 review, I would think this is probably true too.

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This makes some sense… but not from a stiffness perspective.
The shoe isn’t shaped for your foot… or rather that size of that shoe isn’t shaped for your foot. These shoes don’t have any padding/give like you’d have in any other type of shoe. Keeping in mind these are 3d shapes, you can’t size the shoe in a normal way. I’ll bet you’d have the same issue in that stiff shoe without the insoles in, with the shoes full loose, sitting at home, working from a desk or watching TV. Try this before committing to a new shoe

I had a similar issue. Moving to a larger size put the arch more forward, in a better spot, fixing the whole problem. Maybe, on the same theme try an insole with a big forefoot button (Sole brand) or loosening up your shoe.

If that theme doesn’t work, try a different brand that is flatter or more curved, buy a few of them, and repeat the fully loose experiment mentioned above.

I tried the Recon 2.0 a few weeks ago…the fit was awful for my feet adn the shoes were HUGE. I can go anywhere between a 42 and 43 depending on how a particular show is constructed. I opted for the 43’s in these and it was a total miss for me. My daughter even looked at them on me and said “why are you shoes so big?”

Tried two different rides with them and the front of my ankles were killing me at the end of a 2 hour ride…thankfully Specialized gives you a 30 day return policy on stuff bought from their website, no matter if you use the product or not, so I was able to get a full refund (great policy, BTW). Unfortunately, they were sold out of the 42’s when I returned the 43’s so never got to try a smaller size.

Hence he reason I got the Shimano CX7’s noted above.

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I got the Lake MX237’s for my gravel and MTB shoe. Put in the blue specialized insole and it’s got to be the most comfortable bike shoe I’ve had. Rides 3-5 hours and never think about my feet which is a rare for me. Also did quite a bit of hike a bike in Leadville on the test ride. Never gave me any issues. Works for me but YMMV.