At a glance
Mavic have been a dominant force in the bike industry for what feels like eternity. The XA model we tested is their entry-level MTB shoe with a price point of 90EUR/105GBP. Weighing in at 355 grams per shoe, it is reasonably lightweight. The shoe is SPD compatible and available in 20 different sizes from 36 to 48 ⅔.Buy Shoes on
About the brand
Originally a French brand, Mavic was founded in 1889. No that is not a spelling error. First starting out as a nickel plating business, they soon moved into making bicycle components. The brand name actually stands for Manufacture d’Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel (Idoux & Chanel’s Manufacturing of Articles for Velocipedes). They kept developing high-quality products and made many innovations like the first anodised rims, system wheelsets and at some point they even had an aeronautical department.
Currently, the Mavic HQ is based in the beautiful town of Annecy where they develop their wheels and cycling fashion. On the sustainability front, they aim to create products to the highest standards, so they last longer and leave less waste. Other than that they advocate for change and waste reduction, although there is no mention of specific goals or projects. Mavic strives to have maximum repairability of their products, and guarantees to have spares for up to 5 years in stock.
As their entry-level product the shoe is of course not packed with technology. The lacing system has no fancy Boa’s, straps or velcro, but there is an elastic band to tuck your laces under. The sole pattern offers a good amount of grip for those hike-a-bike sections and from a stiffness point of view it offers enough support for pedalling but is still flexible enough for longer hiking sections. The part of the sole that is covering the SPD cleat can be left in place in case you want to ride it with flat pedals. Their Ortholite insole offers good dampening and support, especially for its price category.
When picking the size, I would recommend sizing up a little from your normal shoe size. We tested the 44 ⅔ which were spot on, but normally wear a size 44.
Out on the trail
The fit of these shoes is quite comfortable and ideal for casual riding. When really cranking out the sprints, you notice a bit of movement of your foot in the shoe, but this is where the racing-oriented shoes come to the stage with their extra straps and boa closures. If that is your thing, check out the XA Elite II model, which has an added strap over the top of your foot.
Hike a bike sections were a breeze with plenty of grip, and although the cleat channel was not overly long like on some of the ‘enduro’ shoes out there we felt we had plenty of options to find the optimal position for them. Breathability is great on these shoes, which makes them automatically not very water-resistant. The materials used made them quick to dry out. One night at room temperature stuffed with newspapers made them as good as totally dry again the next morning.
When it comes to affordable footwear for SPD compatible pedals, these shoes are hard to beat. Quick-drying, well ventilated and available in a wide range of sizes to fit your feet. Don’t forget to size up when ordering.Buy Shoes on
This review was in Issue 65 of IMB.For more information visit Mavic
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.