Born out of the ashes of the Adidas cycling range and drawing on corporate cousin Salomon’s footwear know-how, it’s no surprise that Mavic’s cycling shoes are good. What is surprising is just how good the French company’s mid-range ($130) Razor mountain shoes have proved to be. Read on to find out why I’ve been regularly turning to the Mavics and leaving my carbon fiber wunderbooties in the closet.
Though the company’s trademark yellow range-toppers have gotten much of the cycling press’ attention, I’ve happily spent much of the past six months in Mavic’s Razor model. With two Velcro straps and a third ErgoLite ratcheting strap atop a flashy white upper (black is also available) and a 360g weight, there’s little about the Razor to suggest any cost cutting. Right out of the box, I found the shoes to be comfortable, with a wide toe box, moderate volume, and a fit under 1/2-size larger than Shimano’s. The padded tongue is comfy and in a nice touch has a loop that ties it to the middle strap to keep it from slipping to one side.
The Razors’ glass fiber-reinforced midsole has a noticeable amount of flex from the cleat forward while walking but- though they’re not as stiff as full-carbon shoes for pedaling- are plenty stiff enough for my light weight. The Contagrip outsoles- shared with higher-end Mavics- are impressively grippy, providing plenty of traction and confidence when dabbing (or pushing) through sketchy sections. My only complaint would be a cleat pocket that seems a bit shallow for Eggbeater cleat/shoe shield use- the Razors seem much more stable and feel noticeably more stable with a platform’d pedal like Crank Brothers’ new Candy (or without the shoe shields).
As mentioned in our initial review, the ratchet is good, but lacks the solid feeling and action to make it excellent. Despite slipping from time to time while tightening, they do stay put while riding and have yet to jam and mine has the scars to show that the aluminum holds up well to rock encounters. The two mounting positions are also nice for those of us with low-volume feet. The uppers’ material is impressively tough- despite a small hole from an early rock run-in, they haven’t torn any further and the white still cleans up nicely. While the Razors aren’t exactly breezy, they haven’t been unbearably hot either- a surprise given their apparent lack of ventilation. The heel cups could be deeper, but most shoes’ could in my opinion.
Since their arrival, I’ve been leaning toward the Razors for rides likely to involve any walking, pushing, or high-consequence dismounts: everything from the Le Mans start of a 24-hour race to sketchy Sedona slickrock. It wasn’t until I replaced the unsupportive insoles with a Specialized Body Geometry set that I was really comfortable enough to wear the Mavics on longer rides. Unfortunately, that upgrade takes the shoes into the $180+ price range- including a more supportive insole from the get-go would help the Razors’ value proposition. The somewhat flexible sole can be a bit tiring on big days, but for me the Mavics manage the balance between rideability and hikeability better than most “hike a bike” shoes. I recon that they’ll also make for great ‘cross shoes when the time comes. Flashy white or classy black, if you don’t mind a relatively unsupportive insole, or are going to need aftermarket insoles regardless, the Razors are a hard shoe to beat.