Shimano ME5 SPD shoes are just that bit more comfortable with better fit than their rivals. This iteration is being discounted - more of a bargain!
A few years ago we tested the previous iteration of the Shimano ME5, and despite it being a comfortable all-day shoe, we criticised its unusual fastening mechanisms. Thankfully, for this update, Shimano has ditched the inward-facing Velcro strap and reverse buckle design, in favour of a BOA lacing system and single, regular Velcro strap – much like the Giro Ventana in fact.
The shoe also features Shimano’s ‘Torbal’ midsole that stays stiff along the foot for good pedalling efficiency, but has a degree of torsional flexibility to allow the shoe to twist more naturally as you move around on the bike in technical terrain. The outsole is shared with its higher-end stablemate, the Shimano ME7, and has the same dual-density Michelin rubber compound and pattern for grip off the bike.
The upper features a reinforced toe area for impact resistance and a tough, almost one-piece, design. The ankle cuff extends upwards on the inside of the shoe for additional protection.
The thinly padded tongue allows for a really snug fit, but the BOA never pinched my foot, even when clamped up really tight. The size 43 Shimano ME5 felt a little smaller than a size 43 Ventana, which suited me, but it would be worth checking fit before you buy. Power transfer was efficient – the sole was stiff enough for hard accelerations and uphill efforts, but had enough flex to ensure all-day epics were ache-free.