One thing that has become synonymous with the Fizik brand is style; and the M5B is no exception.
A new release to the market this year the M5B is Fizik’s lower spec mountain bike shoe with the BOA closure system, however it by no means a low-end shoe both in price point and features.
This model comes with Microtex (woven microfiber) and scratch resistant leather upper, single BOA closure system, carbon reinforced nylon sole and all hand made in Italy, so you know it’s built well.
Before wearing this shoe I was excited, usually I’m one for bright in-your-face colours, but the smooth leather look and faint red paint splattering had me in love with the look. Fitting with the rest of the Fizik range, it has a timeless style.
The comfort was unquestionably good, the BOA closure system allowed for very minor adjustments and was always secure. The upper part of the shoe is very supple; straight out of the box the shoe was soft and moulded perfectly to my foot. The carbon reinforced nylon sole is mid range stiffness in my view, most of the flex occurs around the balls of the foot which is great for walking, however there was considerable more give in the shoes when riding compared to other full carbon soled xc race shoes.
We tested the Fizik's in one of Australia's most beautiful alpine regions in North East Victoria, specifically Bright and Mt. Beauty. The riding in Bright, Mt Beauty and Falls Creek meant a mid flex sole was ideal, some of the descents can take up to fifteen minutes and I never experienced any hot spots, foot cramps or aching feet which I often get from my xc race shoes in similar situations.
I’ve mentioned the flex in the sole was good for walking, but that’s about where the good part of walking in these shoes stops. There is very minimal tread on the sole which made hiking our bikes back up the tracks very difficult and having the cleats so exposed made walking in cafes and breweries loud and slippery. The highly exposed cleat is not all a bad thing as these shoes have been the best I’ve had at clipping in, using both xc and trail pedals.
If you’re after a shoe with endless style, great comfort and function, but don’t want the harsh stiffness of top end race shoe, the Fizik M5B is definitely a shoe to consider.