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REVIEW

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major (unless noted)
Date Mar 31, 2017

Rider Specific!

Yep - these shoes are Enduro-Specific! The term 'Enduro' requires product-specific unpacking to determine what it really means. It could be a narrowly focused product designed for Enduro racing, like a super light fixed chin bar full face, looking for a broader market. It could be a product like a hydration-pack-spine-protector that would have previously been sold in the now uncool 'Freeride' category. It could be an awesome mountain bike product in general - sure it could be used for Enduro racing but really it's just an awesome piece of rider-specific kit. 

Mavic's Deemax Pro shoes are absolutely the last. They are comfortably stiff for pedaling and comfortably rockered with an aggressive and fairly grippy tread for hiking. Protection for the highest wear parts of a shoe in order to enhance durability. Inside ankle protection. The cleat pocket is oriented such that there is actually a range of usable cleat positions. Nice. 

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes NSMB AndrewM

The Mavic Deemax Pro: Comfortably stiff for pedaling and comfortably rockered with an aggressive tread for hiking. Good protection in the highest wear areas of a mountain bike shoe and a very usable cleat pocket. Nice. 

Critically Speaking

I have a lot of positive things to say about the Mavic Deemax Pro shoes. They're easily my favourite all-around mountain bike shoes and I've tried a lot of different footwear. I've been enthusiastically recommending them to friends looking for new clip-in shoes this year. 

I think it's important to review product critically. That involves calling a turd a turd, no matter how nice a tiara it is wearing, and it also involves saying that great products are great as long as either assessment is backed up critically. 

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The Deemax Pro shoes are comfortable to wear whether pedaling up big climbs or stomping down technical trails. I like the Mavic Yellow but they are also available in ZFG-Black. Photo: Dave Smith

Appearance

I like 'Mavic Yellow' but I'm not the least bit surprised that many riders do not. The Deemax Pro shoes came with two sets of laces - yellow & black - but neither option quiets them down so Mavic also ships the shoes in black. 

It took a couple of rides for the yellow shoes to mellow out a bit. Once the uppers were suitably thrashed through mud, rocks and roots the brightness factor was matted down a few levels. That's not to call into question the durability of the shoes - they've been holding up great - it's just the nature of nasty spring riding on the North Shore.

Mavic Deemax Shoe NSMB AndrewM

If 'Mavic Yellow' is a bit too in your face the Deemax Pro shoes are also available in everybody's favourite black. 

Laces

I've tried most every ratchet system on the market and I'm positive that BOA is the best. Still, for me nothing is as good as plain old laces. They're easy to fix if they break in the middle of nowhere and spread pressure more evenly over my feet. 

In addition to the laces, Mavic uses a wide velcro backed strap to secure the upper of the Deemax Pro. On many shoes using a similar configuration the velcro strap really just functions to keep the laces in check. in this case the strap is an integral part of the fit. The laces cross in a wide-spaced 'X' under the strap which definitely puts less pin-point pressure on the top of my feet. 

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes NSMB AndrewM

The wide velcro strap on the Deemax Pro shoes is an integral part of the retention system along with the laces. The laces form a large 'X' under the strap which definitely reduces pin-point pressure on the top of my feet compared to standard lacing configurations. 

The rectangular lace grommets are another intelligent feature of the lacing system.  These work exceedingly well with the flat laces and I'm surprised how little wear there is on the laces so far compared to shoes I've used with conventional round grommets. 

The combination of the laces and strap do an excellent job of pulling my foot into the reinforced heel pocket both pedaling and during hike-a-bike sections.

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes NSMB AndrewM

The laces and strap pull my feet nicely into the reinforced heel cup of the Deemax Pro shoes. Excellent pedaling support. 

Cleat Pocket

I set up most clipless shoes, especially ones from Euro brands, the same way. I start with the cleats as far back and they go in the cleat pocket and then move them forward as required. On most shoes the cleats remain as far back as they go and I often wish they could go a few more hairs in reverse. 

In this regard, the Deemax has a very rearward cleat pocket which gives a broad range of settings that should satisfy every rider. I moved the cleats forward significantly to get to my preferred position. Mavic credits Fabien Barrel with helping to develop the Deemax Pro.

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes NSMB AndrewM

I think every mountain biker will be satisfied with the available range of cleat adjustment on the Deemax Pro. This is the farthest forward I've run cleats in years relative to the available rearward adjustment. 

The sole is nicely stiff for long rides and punchy out of the saddle climbs. None of the hot spots I get in similar shoes with too-much flex were present. This is usually the reason I opt for carbon soles for my single speed but I've been very happy with the Deemax Pro shoes combined with a set of Shimano M540 XC pedals. 

If those lugs could be reliably manufactured from a stickier rubber compound without massively increasing wear, that would be an improvement but I have yet to seen it done reliably (looking at you Diadora) with a lugged sole. In all but the greasiest situations, I prefer lugs on my clipless shoes vs. the sticky flat soles of FiveTen's shoes. 

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The Deemax Pro's sole offers excellent stiffness for climbing out of the saddle and riding down rough trails. Zero hot spots on my feet. The rockered shape and comfortable upper also make them great shoes for hike-a-bikes. Photo: Dave Smith

Weather & Protection

I haven't had the chance to wear the Deemax Pro shoes on a blazing hot day but the construction seems as breathable as the similar shoes I've been wearing. On truly wet days I definitely go with my Goretex socks inside as the uppers are combination of perforated synthetics and mesh. 

The area of my shoes that are the most trashed - and most repaired - are well protected on the the Deemax and the high inner ankle protection has been appreciated this spring with an abnormal number of awkward crank and frame contact moments. 

Mavic Deemax Pro Shoes NSMB AndrewM

The higher inner ankle protection is an excellent touch in those rare moments when my ankles contact my crank arms. There is an excellent balance of breathability combined with heel and toe protection to enhance the shoes' long term durability. 

Mountain Bike Shoes

I don't follow racing closely but when Enduro fiercely attacked the attention of the average mountain bike consumer I was really excited. Like Freeride before it, to me Enduro meant a massive investment by the industry in new product for exactly the kind of riding I like to do. Long days in the saddle pedaling up tough climbs to ride down awesome technical single track. 

The Deemax Pro shoes are the perfect blend of stiffness hammering up climbs or down technical trails while at the same time being very comfortable when hiking becomes a neccesity. 

Assuming the fit works for you, they are my recommendation for an ideal clip-in mountain bike shoe. 

The Mavic Deemax Pro generally sells for $200 (USD) | $250 (CAD).


Comments

bliz2z
+3 natbrown Cam McRae Andrew Major
Johannes Riebl  - March 30, 2017, 10:59 p.m.

Have them since 2 months. Best bike shoes I ever owned! Stiff and good fit.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - March 30, 2017, 11 p.m.

Thanks for the back up Johannes! I love these shoes.

Reply

mRw8
0
Seb White  - March 31, 2017, 5:17 a.m.

Got Deemax Elite which have same (thick) sole as Deemax Pro. Really good shoes on many aspects but I got a really annoying issue. Unable to clip in on Mallet E and Mallet 3.

I had to add Crank Bro shoes shield to be able to clip in with Crank Bro pedals I own. Plastic spacing shims provided did not fixed the problem. Note that I have never had this type of problem in the past with neither Alpine XL, Crossmax XL nor Crossride Elite.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 natbrown
Andrew Major  - March 31, 2017, 8:17 a.m.

Interesting as Mavic claims CrankBros compatibility with one clear shin but I imagine the Mallet presents quite differently than the other pedals vs the shoe (I have similar issues with an HT X2). 

With the X2 removing the rear traction shoes helped with release without hindering performance. They are also, in this case, really sensitive to cleat position.

Do you think removing a little material to create a wider cleat pocket would help? That's something I've done with Mallets years and years ago.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 natbrown
Andrew Major  - March 31, 2017, 8:17 a.m.

sigh "cleat shim"

Reply

the-chez
0
The Chez  - March 31, 2017, 1:15 p.m.

These seem to have covered most of the issues (albeit small ones) I had with the Alpine XL shoes. The buckle broke as did the odd lacing system. I might have to pick up a pair of these if I ever clip in again.

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the-chez
+1 Andrew Major
The Chez  - March 31, 2017, 1:16 p.m.

I must add though that they were the best clip shoes I've ever owned. I was sad when they finally molded over too much.

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AndrewMajor
+1 The Chez
Andrew Major  - March 31, 2017, 3:35 p.m.

Mavic has produced a few shoes over the years that have very much interested me - including their H20 proof boots - but the Deemax Pro is the first pair I've put on and gone "yep, that feels like home". Definitely the shoe I'll be judging any future shoe review against.

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Bull_Dozer
0
Bull_Dozer  - April 2, 2017, 8:18 a.m.

How do they compare to the Shimano ME7?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Bull_Dozer
Andrew Major  - April 2, 2017, 12:35 p.m.

I've only tried on the ME7 so I can't comment personally beyond saying they didn't fit my feet as well as the Deemax - which is completely personal/subjective.

I also don't like ratchets although the one on the ME7 is well positioned. I still would prefer just Velcro or a BOA on top as Pearl Izumi does with some shoes.

Personal opinions aside, I know a few guys who have switched from FiveTen clipless shoes (Impact and Hellcat) and rave about the on-bike improvement of the ME7 (fit, feel, power transfer) so I'd say if it fits and you don't mind the tensioning system the ME7 is a great bet.

Reply

bzx
0
Tomasz Ćwik  - June 4, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

Hey Andrew, thanks for the review. 

One quick question - you mentioned riding on M540 pedals but didn't mention having to use the spacer/plate under the cleat, which is what Mavic recommends "for better adjustment" of the Deemax shoes (both Elite and Pro) with Shimano and Crankbrothers pedals. I am about to get the Elite version, and I ride on the same pedals – are you saying that there was no issue with clipping in/out without any additional plate?

Thanks,

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tomasz Ćwik
Andrew Major  - June 4, 2017, 6:20 p.m.

Hi Tomasz,

Definitely no issues with the Shimano cleats bolted straight to the Deemax and the M540 pedals.

Haven't tried CrankBros with these shoes.

I can'tbthink of any reason your experience would be different but I will mention I do run my cleats very rearward.

Hope that's helpful!

Reply

bzx
0
Tomasz Ćwik  - June 5, 2017, 7:25 a.m.

Thanks for your response, Andrew - this is good news about the cleat.

I am still debating whether I need such a massive shoe, especially that the summer is coming. I've tried the ME7 and it is marginally less bulky shoe, and significantly lighter (and more expensive). I also tried some 5.10s, but I also prefer more aggressive sole.

Did you have a chance to test the Deemax in a relatively hot weather?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Tomasz Ćwik
Andrew Major  - June 5, 2017, 8:47 a.m.

I do not like the flex in the 5.10 soles more than anything. Heat is similar to Mavics. They breath well for a boot but certainly not compared to an XC skipper. I did ride them in Sedona would a good pair of wicking socks and I was totally satisfied.

Reply

bzx
0
Tomasz Ćwik  - June 5, 2017, 8:49 a.m.

Thanks a lot! I'm settled on the Mavics then. Cheers!

Reply

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