The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Shimano GR7 - Women's Review

The Shimano had a nice balance between rigidity and flexibility, which helped us feel our pedal underfoot. However, the overall grip was average and our foot slipped often.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $130 List | $90.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Nice balance of rigidity, rubber is good for hiking a bike
Cons:  Ankle protector barely kept dirt off, grip was average on our pedal
Manufacturer:   Shimano
By Bo Outland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 12, 2019
  • Share this article:
48
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 8
  • Grip - 30% 6
  • Comfort and Protection - 25% 4
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 3
  • Breathability - 10% 4
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Weight - 5% 7

Our Verdict

Shimano collaborated with Michelin tire to equip the GR7 with grippy rubber. While we were excited to give this rubber a try, we found that it was better to hike on rock, dirt, or roots, than it was to stay on the pedal. There is an ankle protector around the rim of the shoe that our testers feel is unattractive. We could overlook this if it actually kept the dirt out. Despite that, we feel that Shimano achieves a decent balance between rigidity and flexibility, which made up for the poor grip.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $90.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$159.90 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 3 sellers
$149.90 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 3 sellers
$100.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$99.90 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
48
100
0
87
100
0
87
100
0
79
100
0
56
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Nice balance of rigidity, rubber is good for hiking a bikeGrip, protection, durabilityLightweight, balanced grip, great protectionInexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced gripInexpensive, breathable
Cons Ankle protector barely kept dirt off, grip was average on our pedalBulky, hot, not good for all mountain ridingExpensive, durabilityNot enough grip for very technical ridingLacks elastic strap for laces, longer break-in period, not the most durable
Bottom Line The Shimano had a nice balance between rigidity and flexibility, which helped us feel our pedal underfoot. However, the overall grip was average and our foot slipped often.The Impact Pros are great for a downhill-specific rider, as they provide tons of protection and grip.The Freerider Pros are a great mountain biking shoe for any type of riding. They have balance, grip and offer a ton of protection.This is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price.These are the least expensive shoe we tried, and we could tell. Compared to other Five Ten shoes these have nothing special.
Rating Categories Shimano GR7 - Women's Five Ten Impact Pro - Women's Five Ten Freerider Pro Livewire Five Ten Freerider - Women's
Grip (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Comfort And Protection (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
3
Rigidity And Power Transfer (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
Breathability (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
9
Durability (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
4
Weight (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
5
Specs Shimano GR7 -... Five Ten Impact... Five Ten Freerider... Livewire Five Ten Freerider...
Measured Weight (g) 664 grams 986 grams 625 grams 754 grams 770 grams
Upper Material Perforated Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic, mesh Suede, mesh
Footbed EVA Ortholite Ortholite D30 High Impact Zone EVA
Sole EVA EVA EVA EVA EVA
Outsole Michelin rubber Stealth S1 Stealth Phantom Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip Stealth S1
Size Tested 7.5 8.5 8.5 9 8.5

Our Analysis and Test Results

Shimano collaborated with Michelin tire to create the sole of this shoe. While we were optimistic about the results, we found it was easier to hike our bikes than keep our feet on the pedal. However, we found a delicate balance of rigidity and power in the shoe that helps make up for lack of grip.

Performance Comparison


The GR7s after a wet day at Northstar.
The GR7s after a wet day at Northstar.

Grip


The sole of the Shimano GR7 features Michelin rubber — the only of its kind in the line-up. The grip feels much better than the Vibram rubber featured on the Grio Riddance and Bontrager Flatline. However, we the grip paled in comparison to Five Ten rubber. On technical downhills, we found our feet getting misplaced consistently and had to concentrate on pressing our feet into the pedals to stay on our bike.

Fatter lugs on the toe and heel make for easy hike-a-bike sessions.
Fatter lugs on the toe and heel make for easy hike-a-bike sessions.

The tread on the bottom is a varied pattern. The lugs on the heel and toe are larger and are meant to help when having to hike a bike. We found this varied pattern works well for hiking over rocks and roots.

Comfort and Protection


Around the ankle, there is a mesh ankle collar intended to keep debris out when riding. We were skeptical about this feature, mainly because it's pretty weird looking. But form follows function, so we'd be willing to give it a pass if the ankle collar actually worked. However, if you're riding a dusty or dirty trail in the slightest, then dirt creeps its way into your shoes in the same way as shoes without this gimmicky piece.

Dirt penetrated the ankle protector during our rides.
Dirt penetrated the ankle protector during our rides.

The padding around the ankle is bulky, and there is a small break-in period for that padding to mold around your foot. We recommend doing that break-in period on short rides with mellow trails. For protection, there is a half-inch of reinforcing plastic on the toe of the foot, but other than that there is none on the rest of the upper.

Rigidity and Power Transfer


The GR7's fell right in the middle of rigidity and flexibility, which we love. They're flexible enough that we were able to feel the pedal underfoot and hike the bike with ease, but we never felt our feet cramp during big climbs. However, because of the grip, we felt like we could not transfer power into our pedals for fear of slipping.

Not the most attractive pair of shoes we tried.
Not the most attractive pair of shoes we tried.

Breathability


The upper is perforated synthetic rubber with mesh paneling for breathability. We thought maybe the ankle guard at the top of the shoe might make the shoe less breathable, and it did slightly. Our feet feel noticeably warmer in these shoes than others we tested.

Durability


Michelin rubber is a tougher rubber compound than mountain bike specific compounds that Ride Concepts and Five Ten use. As a result, there is minimal scarring on the bottom of our pedal. The uppers are thick synthetic material (almost has the same texture as a rain-jacket), and it seems to be incredibly durable. We scraped these babies against rock and trees, and the material was primarily unphased. The most sensitive material is the ankle guard, which may start to pill after months of use.

Weight


Weight-wise, the GR7 lands right in the middle of all the shoes we tested. As a result, we did not notably feel the shoes on our feet. It is great that we couldn't feel these shoes during climbings, but a little extra weight may help give the shoe a little more grip.

Lightweight Shimano's on the chair at Northstar.
Lightweight Shimano's on the chair at Northstar.

Value


This shoe falls right in the middle between expensive and inexpensive in the market of flat pedal mountain biking shoes. We think that the Ride Concepts Livewire is a better option because they are significantly cheaper and offer more protection and grip than this shoe.

Conclusion


Shimano's collaboration with Michelin rubber can't quite compete with Five Ten and Ride Concepts in terms of grip. While they did make up for the underwhelming grip by making it easy to feel our pedals, we think that for less money you can buy a better shoe.

Front and Back of the GR7s after a long ride.
Front and Back of the GR7s after a long ride.


Bo Outland