As the ‘Alpine’ tag suggests, the Mavic Alpine XL shoe was built to cope with the sharp end of riding in the mountains and, as such, a hardwearing, smooth, synthetic leather upper combines with small amounts of mesh to let your feet breathe without compromising on protection.
A rubberised toe box protects against all but the biggest rock impacts to the Mavic Alpine XL. A generous flap over the quick lace system keeps things clean for easier removal at the end of a gritty day.
Continuing the mountain theme, they have just enough ‘give’ in the sole to allow comfortable walking for long periods, and while I liked the level Mavic set this at, it would be best suited to a platformed SPD pedal like the Shimano XT Trail in order to give greater support while pedalling.
I particularly liked the short Neoprene cuff round the ankle, well placed to stop heather or stones from sneaking in to irritate your feet, but small enough not to generate heat or snag on clothing.
These shoes have weathered the abuse well and continue to be the pair to reach for in everyday riding. Only sub-zero temperatures have defeated them so far.