The SH-XC90 represents Shimano's best efforts put forth in a mountain shoe design. And being at the tops of the pops, it receives the best materials and latest shoe design techniques to provide the ultimate in both comfort and performance. The XC90 features a fully heat moldable upper with a unique buckle/strap system, customization insole and a full carbon sole. Being a pure XC shoe, the use of lugs are minimal, which keeps the shoe light and nimble and provide more less surface area for mud to adhere.
The first thing you'll notice about the XC90 is the sheer lack of volume. It is stripped clear of any and all unnecessary frills. The upper is incredibly thin and low profile which ends up providing a lightweight and supple shoe that is streamlined and pure. Shimano's uses their proprietary Rovenica synthetic for the upper. This durable material is not only buttery soft and supple, it's also stretch resistant and breathable. The XC-90 upper uses heat moldable Thermo-form plastic infused upper panels. These panels enable the shoe to conform perfectly to a wide variety of foot shapes and serve up a precise heel wrap and forefoot fit. The now-familiar Shimano Dynalast XC last gives an exacting interior profile for a perfected fit. This last aligns the foot for an ideal ergonomic position for a more efficient up-stroke. Custom-Fit heat moldable insoles with an adjustable arch wedge provide support while optimizing heel stabilization. A plastic molded toe guard and heel cup provides excellent protection and support support. The toe guard is also vented to allow for temperature regulation and relief inside the shoe. The offset positioned Cross X-Strap relieves tension on the top of the foot and works together with a low-profile micro adjust buckle and an anti-slip heel lining to comfortably secure the foot.
The full carbon sole is incredibly stiff, offering the best possible lever to deliver power to the pedals and drivetrain of the bike. A very minimal use of lugs strike a balance of ample traction with weight savings and mud shedding capacity. Less lugs means fewer areas for mud and debris to attach itself to your shoe sole. The lugs that do exist are softer durameter for excellent grip on all terrain, hard or soft. The front of the sole has two threaded ports for included Shimano plastic toe spikes or optional metal spikes. As you would imagine, the XC90 sole accepts a two-hole SPD type mountain cleat which is industry standard. Shimano designers were clever enough to attach a protective strip between the cleats and heel in which to protect the gloss carbon from damage.
When you consider the low profile upper that is heat moldable, stiff carbon sole with minimal lugging and the exacting Dynalast fit, the XC90 is hard to beat for a pure mountain shoe.
These shoes fit great out of the box, but for best results have them heat molded and vacuum-fitted at an Authorized Shimano footwear dealer. We offer a free Custom Fit for shoes purchased in our Boulder, Colorado showroom by appointment (the process takes about 30 minutes). Vacuum-fitting may incur an additional charge at your local Authorized Shimano footwear dealer.
Love the look and love the fit of these shoes.
Pros: Fits great, looks great
These shoes fit like a glove right out of the box. Much more comfortable than my sidi drakos. Went down 1/2 size from the recommended shimano size guide. Perfect fit and excellent quality. Excel Sports even shipped same day, and had great customer service.
Pros: Fit, Carbon sole is very thought out,
Cons: Way too comfortable, might replace my work shoes:)