The first word that came into my mind when I first saw a pair of Spiuk’s Compass MTB shoes was “indestructible“, the Vibram sole is very tacky and thick. As you put them on is like getting inside a monster truck.
2015 has been a very productive season for us, we haven’t only strengthen our Spain MTB Holidays company but have also produced a vast amount of content, for ourselves and for national printed magazines Bikes World and Ciclista; and others, amongst our videos, travel reports and product reviews.
Talus and myself (Alvaro) have ridden almost 10.ooo kms so far this year and climbed more than 200.000 vertical mts, including alpine cycling with serious hike-a-bike sessions over steep uneven ground.
We use our gear intensively and give it proper punishment, quite above the average rider, not only guiding visitors on our week tours 7 hours a day up in the mountains, but also exploring new trails, searching for photo locations and training.
So many hours riding let you feel new sensations when testing gear. It’s not the same using clothes or shoes one hour three times a week than using it three hours four times a week. Have you ever realized that as much as you increase the time you ride you start noticing pain in places you didn’t feel before? Having to check your bike set up? same with the gear.
During the long days we spent up in the mountains we need gear that adapts to the outdoor elements and performs good in all situations, lightness is important, but strength is more. Any break that leads to malfunctioning is a big deal because normally we are riding in places where you are not able to perform major repairs, not even thinking to abort a ride without major inconveniences.
During the last 10 months, during all those hours and kilometers we have used Spiuk’s Compass MTB shoes. Its strength covers three main areas, sole, toe and heel; and instep.
The well known Vibram sole, with robust rubber delivers optimal traction in any situation, not only on dry dirt or over rocks but also when the ground is wet and muddy, being able to evacuate mud properly.
The shoes have a well reinforced toe and heel which have saved us from some fractures, as you read… some times we have hit a rock at high speed receiving a hard impact on the toes that caused “uncleating”releasing the feet from the pedal and making our heel bounce strongly against the seatstays. With considerable pain in our toes and heel we greeted deeply the toe and heel reinforcement because in case of a lighter shoe we would have gone to the hospital.
The instep is made of anti-abrasion fabric that helps durability and protects the toes from above from different impacts. Wearing a different pair of shoes I hit a rock while pedaling, as my feet got in between the pedal and the rock which caused abrasion on top of our toes over the nails, that shoe was made of mesh, with the Compass we wouldn’t have had this scar.
Besides fabric, the Compass have a inner membrane called M2V, developed by Spiuk , that prevents water from going into the shoes which have helped us to keep our feet dry passing over some puddles and walking over snow.
The fixing is an elastic cord with a close on top of the instep and a velcro close, both make the shoe tight but comfortable and lasting during long rides.
We have wrecked the sole but… it’s not because it’s a low quality one. We have used other MTB shoes with soles intended to some “trekking” and they have showed severe damage in just 3 months, less than a half of what Spiuk’s lasted. The Compass are by far the shoes that have resisted more our abuse and are the shoes that have performed best in all the situations we needed.
We have also used other shoes with similar price but with construction differences in some areas whose features didn’t perform so well in some situations, wether the sole was good enough the instep didn’t protect well or were too soft by the toes/heels or when the instep and toe/heel areas where tough enough the sole would wreck faster than we’d like.
Have you ever wrecked a MTB shoe? Left down in the middle of a ride? Did you like our real use/abuse test? Leave a comment, we’d love to know your adventures.