When the time for new shoes came around, I knew I needed a clip-less shoe that could excel both on and off the bike. I was looking for a shoe that I could wear for general riding around town, as well as on the trails, and could handle some different forms of wear and tear. I ultimately decided on the Crankbrothers Mallet Lace Shoe due to its low-profile construction, premium features and all-round capability. Read on to get the insider details on the new Crankbrothers Mallet Lace Shoe
Off the bat, the shoes' styling is very subdued. They look much like a sleek pair of "normal" shoes, so they look great even when you aren't kitted-out. The same can be said for their fit and comfort. Other than the stiffer sole, these shoes almost feel as if I'm wearing my favorite pair of street shoes. The toe box is adequately wide and roomy, and I have not experienced any discomfort or tightness that some cycling shoes are prone to. The build and material quality feels high, and I imagine these will hold up well for some time to come.
Crankbrothers advertises these shoes as being specifically designed for interfacing with their pedals. A huge selling point for me was when I found out the shoes came with a set of Crankbrothers cleats already installed. I ride primarily with Crankbrothers Candy pedals, so this was a great bonus for me! Right out of the box, I was able to clip-in with ease and without any clearance issues between the tread and pedals. Another notable feature of the Mallets are the silicone heel dots on the inside of the heel. These silicone dots help to keep the shoe on your foot and your heel from sliding out.
I've worn similar shoes from other brands and I often found them to be either too stiff and bulky for extended walking, or too flexible to be useful as a riding shoe. The Mallets seem to have achieved the sweet spot in that regard. Serious racers would most likely prefer a stiffer shoe, but I imagine most riders would find the pedaling efficiency from the Mallets to be adequate for most riding situations. Over longer rides I never felt like the shoes were holding me back.
The Mallets feel great to walk in as well. Make no mistake, these are definitely a cycling shoe and one probably wouldn't want to wear them on say, a long hike, but for at the store, work, or other run of the mill activities the shoes feel comfortable and walking feels natural. The cleats have not interfered with walking so far, although, that may change as the tread wears down. Time will tell!
+ Adjustable cleat box
+ Stiff outsole provides good power transfer
+ Can be used as a casual walking shoe
+ Reinforced toe box
+ Cushioned mid sole
- Not the lightest weight shoe (435 grams per shoe)
- Limited colors
The Crankbrothers Mallet Lace Shoes are premium mountain clip-less shoes that excel in multiple areas and uses. The Mallets are much better suited for off-bike excursions than any previous clip-less shoe I have owned, however, where these shoes really shine is on the pedals and in the dirt. Versatile, protective, stylish and durable, they are everything I needed in a mountain bike shoe.
//Ryan Dunn, Jenson USA//