If you want light weight and excellent fit, the Granite MTB shoes from Garneau should be high on your list. They recently sent over a pair for review, not knowing that my feet are notoriously difficult to please. After a few rides in them, there is no question that they are made for comfort. But they really don’t give up performance for that comfort either.
By blending synthetic leather and cycling mesh, Garneau keeps the weight down. Thermobond construction makes for a seamless interior. Adding the BOA® closure system plus a velcro strap does wonders for fit. Speaking of fit, the Granite has more room than typical European cycling shoes. That means no slipping, but no hot spots either. On the outsole, you’ll find their Ergo Grip 2. This mix of nylon and fiberglass makes for a stiff sole with good grip.
Inside the box, I also found a set of studs and a wrench. In theory, they should improve grip when off the bike, but that varies with terrain. Garneau also states that the Granite is “optimized for use with SPD cleat systems”. You’ll be able to fit just about any SPD style cleats to them. I used them with flats on my fat bike, but will add some cleats for my XC bike.
I’ve been a big fan of the BOA® system since the first time I tried it. On the Granite, it snugs my foot down into the shoe just as well as if I had laced them up myself. Actually, it’s probably even better, which helps with energy transfer. Between that and the stiff sole, these are very efficient shoes. Of course, off the bike is a much different story. Making the nylon lugs even a little softer would have a big benefit here. While they are fine in loose dirt, they are too hard for smooth rocks. And forget about wet crossings if you’re racing. I found them too slick, and had to choose each step carefully. Nothing worse than falling while walking your bike.
You can buy the Granite in either black or red. While I think the red does look nice, I’ve included photos of what my black pair looks like after even a short ride. The red won’t fare as well, I’m sure.
Currently, I have four different pairs of MTB shoes. And the Granite offers the best fit, by a long shot. They are also the stiffest, so they help me get my power to the ground. As we get into the wet season, they may not be my first choice. But as long as it’s dry, they’re hard to beat. And if they sound appealing, but are not exactly what you’re looking for, don’t worry. I counted about six other MTB shoes on the Garneau website. Do yourself a favor, and check them out.
I’d like to thank Garneau for providing their Granite MTB shoes for this review. My feet are hard to fit, but the Granite shoes did not let me down.