shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1070

So Dynalast isn’t just for road shoes anymore, but just what is Dynalast? Introduced last year for the top of the line Shimano road shoes, Dynalast is a new shoe last that was designed to increase pedaling efficiency. Thanks to the new Shimano Dynamics lab portion of their new fit system, Shimano was able to use the data provided to create a last that is .56% more efficient and offers 5% less braking loss. In layman’s terms it means more power to the pedals with less stress to your legs. More than just Dynalast, the new XC line offers improved fit, materials, and typical Shimano quality.

What do the new shoes weigh in at? Find out next.

shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1072

At the heart of the Dynalast equipped XC90 is a new carbon sole that is thinner (and lighter) than previous models but still just as stiff. Changes to the pedaling efficiency and braking angle were made by decreasing the toe spring and increasing the heel angle. Combined with a one piece heel cup and a Revenica leather upper that won’t stretch, the XC90 promises to make the most of the energy you put to the pedals.

shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1075

New for the XC90d and their mountain shoes in general is the mountain bike specific Cross X Strap. The middle Velcro strap now travels the opposite direction to better cinch the upper together. The XC90 still features a traditional Shimano buckle for the upper strap and Velcro for the two lower straps. My size 42s weighed in at 337g per shoe or 674g per pair which is just slightly more than Shimano’s claimed 627g. My m315s were slightly more than claimed as well, meaning the XC90s are still probably lighter than the 315s.

shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1076

Shimano has taken a page from the Pearl Izumi book when it comes to adjustable insoles and the shoes come stock with heat moldable insoles with two interchangeable arch supports.

shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1077

Like the rest of Shimano’s high end shoes, the shoe itself is heat moldable as well, but has to be done through your local Shimano dealer.

shimano xc90 mountain bike shoe091613_1071

The only exposed carbon on the sole is directly under the cleat (still under a clear, with the stiffness to 11), with the rest of the tread offering translucent lugs and a pedal shank that look like they will hold up well. Replaceable toe spikes will help in muddy climates and include metal spikes in the box.

Shimano Xc90 xc70 xc61 105 composite pedals travel case tri saddle20130918_0188

Shimano Xc90 xc70 xc61 105 composite pedals travel case tri saddle20130918_0189

Dynalast is also extended to the rest of the XC line with the XC70 and XC60’s replacement, the XC61.

Right off the bat, for me the XC90s mark a noted improvement over the m315s. The fit is much better, allowing me to drop a half size due to an improved toe box shape. I will need to get them hear molded to be sure, but so far I’m really liking the new kicks.


  1. Any off road shoe that costs more than $200 should have replaceable treads. In other words, expensive shoes should be resilient to normal wear and tear. See: Sidi mtb shoes.

  2. “…and offers 5% less braking loss.”
    “Changes to the pedaling efficiency and braking angle were made by decreasing the toe spring and increasing the heel angle.”

    Braking? Can someone explain this? Never heard of this. Thanks.

  3. As a proud owner of the sweet blue r320s I will definitely be picking up a pair of these. The heat moulding process makes them fit your foot like a glove as it sucks all the air out and the upper conforms to your foot.

    Also, let’s be honest, treads are not the fastest wearing part of the shoe, and anyone that is buying these is a racer or has money to burn and probably will have a new pair after a year or two.

  4. I believe they’re talking about braking the motion of your leg. Not only does one engage muscles to extend a limb but they engage other muscles to limit the extent to which it is extended which would be “braking”. But, the spec referenced isn’t well defined…just an educated guess on my part.

  5. @Iowa-biker, I understand what you’re saying, but the shoe doesn’t really have any bearing on that. Only cleat and saddle placement would, from my perspective.

  6. @reading comprehension

    As a roadie, I currently wear the Shimano SH-R320 shoe and have to admit that I was initially a little concerned about the lack of replaceable treads. However, after 6 months of use I can assure you that it is a non-concern. The Sidi tread is pretty soft and tends to get ground up pretty quickly – especially on the asphalt. I have a pair of Sidi road shoes and it’s been a standard practice of mine to have an extra heal tread on hand for that reason. The Shimano tread is a much harder compound and it hasn’t been chewed up by the asphalt in the same way that the Sidi’s are (They also maintain grip well despite being a much harder compound. I’ve never noticed a difference in grip between the two shoes when walking on asphalt). With that being said, if the tread survives constant abrasion from asphalt, I’m guessing that the treads will hold up just fine in an off-road environments.

    I would also like to add some feedback on the custom insoles in the Shimano shoes. I was a big fan of my Sidis until I had my Shimano SH-R320 shoes and insoles custom fitted. With the ability to customize the arch and add support under the proximal phalanges and then have the insole heat molded to the exact shape of your foot – there is no other shoe that fits as comfortably. I constantly felt pressure points on the bed of my foot with the sidis, but with the Shimano insoles I find that I now have uniform pressure along the entire footbed. That uniform pressure translates to a complete loss of foot issues – especially noticeably on longer endurance rides.

    The best testimony that I can give the Shimano custom fit is that I completely forget about my feet when I ride with those shoes – which has never been the case with my Sidis.

  7. I’m assuming the braking is referring to the foots natural angle which is roughly a 3 degree slant (I think). So if you’re sitting on your bike and your foot is dangling it isn’t naturally parallel to the ground It’ll be slanted. The shoe is compensating for that angle.

  8. the end of the first paragraph says “and typical shimano quality” From my experience shimano quality never applied to their shoes. Their components rule, shoes not so much.

  9. I’ve had a pair of Shimano road shoes that I bought in 2006 that I replaced as my roadie shoes but that I’ve more or less ridden every day commuting for the last three years. They show very little wear. I’d happily buy another pair of Shimano shoes.

  10. When are these available? Will the XC90 or XC70 shoes be available in a wide last? I need some new shoes for next season and might go with these instead of the specialized I currently have.

  11. Even with a pro deal you’re still looking at $60-80 to replace all the cleats on your Sidis. Not only that, after so much wear it’ll be nearly impossible to get the screws out.

  12. Shame I’m a half size in shimano which they don’t do. These look pretty nice, wish more companies would do half sizes even if just in the more common sizes

  13. With the middle strap facing the opposite direction, will it get caught up on the crank arm… Like all shoes with straps like this..

  14. Shimano shoes are extremely durable, but this comes at the expense of light weight. Also, I find them to be inconsistently sized from model to model. Sidi mtb and road shoes feel exactly the same at every price level.

  15. In response to racerguy & mindless: Actually the XC70 IS heat moldable (the XC61 is not). Main difference between XC90 and XC70 is the more supple but less-give synthetic leather of the 90 vs. the more basic synthetic leather of the 70, 90’s stiffness is 11 whereas the 70 is 8, 90 has carbon midsole & outer plate whereas the 70 has a carbon cleat plate and a glass fiber midsole, and lastly, 90 is $369 and 70 is $199…..

What do you think?