Hard to fault
Some boots you can just pull-on and forget they are there, with every function and practicality covered to the point that they just blend into the background.
With a mid-stiffness shank, giving just the right amount of flex, a practical speed lace system, perfectly covered by a single large protective flap, and effective waterproofing and insulation, the Shimano just worked.
It was supremely comfortable, on and off the bike, gripping both muddy slopes and greasy rocks with an excellent sole. It was also easy to pull on and off — a big consideration when it was generally left minging after a winter ride.
The Dryshield lining probably saved a few quid on price over a Gore equivalent — the MW5 is billed as entry-level — but we really couldn’t see a difference in our day-to-day riding.
In fact, most riders went out assuming the MW5 was of a comparable price to the rest on test and still came back firmly nailing them to the top of the heap.
So when they found it was up to £50 cheaper, it usually sealed the deal. We found it hard to fault this shoe — warm, perfect stiffness and cheap — a worthy winner.