Superb boot for staying warm and dry in the worst of weather.
We were really impressed with the Shimano MW7, and it proved to be one of the best winter boots on the market.
Like the Giro Blaze, the Shimano MW7 XC is a XC-style winter boot with a wrap-over cover. Rather than zipping into place, this is secured via a strip of smart Velcro. Initially this flap didn’t sit that flat, but after a couple of outings the upper stretched slightly, and now fits neatly every time.
Underneath the flap is a BOA L6 Dial Closure that lets you make micro adjustments to tension, but you can also release the whole lot by just pulling up on the dial. We still needed to wear gloves to really crank on higher tension, but the cable in this shoe was much longer than most, making it way easier to get into this shoe.
To ensure you stay warm and dry, the Shimano MW7 XC features a Gore-Tex membrane with a fleecy liner and gusseted tongue. The waterproof layer doesn’t extend all the way to the top of the boot, but when we ran a waterproof trouser over the neoprene cuff, water didn’t get in.
The Ultread sole on the Shimano MW7 XC is one of the stiffest here and is really open with minimal lugs. There’s a ton of cleat clearance and, while the rubber is one of the hardest, we never had issues with the shoe sliding around on the binding because it would always clip in so easily. Off the bike, the grip is good, but you can add more bite by fitting toe studs.
The Shimano MW7 XC is a little heavier than the Giro Blaze, and a bit more money, but what makes this our test winner is the access – it opens right up so you can get your foot into it quickly. The BOA dial is also quick to operate and clipping in was a breeze. It’s a warm, waterproof, and user-friendly winter boot and our deserved test winner.