The one area you can always improve efficiency is in your shoes. Unless you already have a top-end shoe. Top-end shoes have a very stiff outer sole and are extremely light. But they need to be comfortable and practical too. And they need to look good. SCOTT’s Premium model certainly ticks all the right boxes. The HMX carbon sole is the same carbon SCOTT uses for its premium model bicycles. SCOTT rates shoe sole stiffness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the stiffest. The Premium shoe is, not surprisingly, a 9 – the stiffest level possible on a mountain bike shoe. The lightweight upper is made from a combination of microfiber mesh and nylon and is surprisingly soft, but with a tough external surface. The footbed is SCOTT’s removable ErgoLogic insole. Essentially, you can fine-tune your shoe’s fit by choosing an ErgoLogic insole that best suits your feet according to your foot ‘volume’ and arch height.
But the real key feature of the Premium shoe, besides the uber cool two-tone black gloss/green colour combo, is the Zonal Dual Boa L5 lacing system.
The boa lacing system eliminates the weight of straps and buckles and can take a little while to get used to. But man, once you’re used to it, you find yourself taking a snobbish view of anything else! The Premium boa system has worked flawlessly for the four months that we’ve been riding with these shoes. It’s easy to fasten and loosen – and even micro-adjust on the fly (1mm movement per ratchet click). There are no noticeable pressure points as the boa lacing pulls the shoe tight evenly around the whole foot. There are actually two boa ratchets – top-foot and mid-foot – to deliver even greater adjustment and area-specific fit.
A key functional factor of a good shoe is that you’re comfortable and that the top of the foot (essentially a leverage point) has snug, constant contact with the top of the shoe. The heel also needs to be securely ‘clasped’ to ensure optimal efficiency during the pulling up section of the pedal stroke. The Premium performs well in the both, although we still find the adjustable metal heel trap of the Bontrager RXL shoe to be the best design in terms of heel ‘clasp’ effectiveness.
The SCOTT Premium essentially represents the best mountain bike shoe technology there is and delivers a very comfortable, efficient performance. A finer shoe you’ll struggle to find.
COLOURS: Green/Black Gloss
WEIGHT: 850g (pair – size 43 with cleats)
CONTACT: www.scott-sports.com; 011 2014000