Shimano SH-M163 | $150
Our gear editor recently reviewed a pair of new trail/enduro shoes from Shimano in his weekly gear column, and had nothing but praise for what he called his “trail stompers” Those were the $180 SH-M200, one of three new shoes in what Shimano calls the TORBAL line. TORBAL is a combination of the words “torsion” and “balance”, which pretty much means that they redesigned the ways these shoes flex based on their designed use: enduroing and stuff. You can read more about TORBAL here: Palmer’s Picks: Shimano SH-M200 Shoe.
The SH-M163 has most of the same features of the M200, but has a more traditional closure: one buckle and two Velcro straps-and is 30 bucks less. You might notice that the straps oppose each other. Shimano claims this helps to even the tension on the top of the foot. Like the M200, the M163 has plenty of scuff and impact protection on the toe and sides, but the real kicker is its rubber lugs. These shoes are designed to provide plenty of traction off the bike as well, which we definitely appreciate. Attempting to walk around, much less hike a section of unrideable trail, with plastic lugs is a terrifying experience.
Each foot has a different shape, so we can’t claim that you’ll love the fit as much as we do-but we sure hope you do because Shimano makes some of the most kick-ass kicks out there.
Previous 12 days of Christmas picks:
Giro Helmets and Apparel