Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX Shoes AndrewM
Weatherproof Shoe Review

Mavic XA PRO H2O GTX Shoes

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major unless noted
Date Jan 10, 2018

Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX

The name is a mouthful but the idea behind the Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX shoe is pretty simple. Take a durable trail shoe, hollow it out enough for a winter weight sock and add a GoreTex membrane to make it waterproof. The shoe should be comfortable and grip well for hiking while remaining stiff enough for long days pedaling. 

Shoes for the wet will get gunked up so laces are a win. I'm not a fan of those Houdini moments trapped in a cycling shoe when the retention device won't open. On the same front they should be compatible with pedals with large platforms and pins, like the Crankbrothers Mallet DH and HT X2, so there's a chance to keep my feet planted if the clip-in mechanisms are clogged with mud or snow. 

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The Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX shoes are meant for the dolphin days of Winter. Photo: Dave Smith

Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX Shoes AndrewM

The cleat bed is fully sealed and the sole provides good hiking traction except for algae and ice.

The appeal of the XA Pro H20 is the promise of a light weight trail shoe with just enough wet weather features for days that are moist but not frigid. 

Expectation

In hindsight my expectations for these Mavic boots were skewed by my experience reviewing the Deemax Pro shoes. I love the fit and the lacing setup of the Deemax and I think the performance to value is excellent. They are even quite decent in adverse conditions and for mild local summers they are rarely uncomfortably warm. 

Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX Shoes AndrewM

I ran the XA Pro H20 with both Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals and HT X2 pedals with cleats in my preferred position with no issue. 

Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX Shoes AndrewM

I like the bright yellow accents. There is not a blacked out option for those with more subtle tastes. 

The lacing system on the XA Pro does not snug up as easily and the Velcro strap, which is thinner than the strap on the Deemax, makes the shoe's upper less stiff when pedaling hard out of the saddle. The sole of the XA Pro H2O is much stiffer and more wooden feeling both on and off the bike. 

Reconsideration

Every 'waterproof' shoe I've ever worn eventually leaks water through the giant ankle-insertion hole at the top. No articulating cuff keeps the water out for all that long in a pair of shorts and I hate riding in pants. Once fully saturated the boots tend to trap heat and heck, having my feet in a warm swamp is better than a cold swamp. The XA Pro H2O does the same, though to a lesser extent, but without the heavy stiff-in-the-wrong-way feeling of every other weatherproof boot I've tried. 

During a  torrent I threw on a pair of waterproof pants to go for an urban gravel ride. With the ankle holes plugged my shoes stayed dry inside long after my pants were soaked. I then hit a few more wet XC rides on my single speed hardtail and the stiff sole demonstrated where it's an obvious benefit. 

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The Mavic Pro H20 shoes are not as warm as other winter shoes once saturated but they do trap heat better than non-weatherproof options. Photo: Dave Smith

Mavic XA Pro H20 GTX Shoes AndrewM

Laces for the win. This is not my favorite lacing setup - but it was chosen with weatherproofing in mind. I would like to see a beefier Velcro cross strap. 

Despite my initial feelings about the shoes I've realized they capture all the criteria I initially laid out. For XC riders, trail riders, commuters or even road riders running mountain pedals for the winter these would be an excellent choice. Or for any one who runs hot and wants a waterproof shoe without insulation. 

If these look like the perfect companion for your adventures you can grab more information here. SRP is 225 USD. 

Comments

cooperquinn
+1
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 10, 2018, 10:30 a.m.

" having my feet in a warm swamp is better than a cold swamp. "

This is basically what I tell people about SealSkinz (or whatever brand of waterproof socks you choose). If its wet enough, there's no avoiding water getting in. At which point, they operate more like a wetsuit. 

Really, they're best for those days where its moderately dry, but with big puddles. But even if its soaking wet, they're worth wearing.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1
Andrew Major  - Jan. 10, 2018, 10:39 p.m.

Was wearing my Showers Pass waterproof socks in a pair of perforated Shimano shoes last night. Love ‘em and fully agree.

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 11, 2018, 8:41 a.m.

I don't have "winter" and "summer" shoes, so I try to make up the gap with socks.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Jan. 11, 2018, 6:35 p.m.

For anyone that doesn't need the extra insulation of a true Winter boot I think it's a great option. 

Not everyone can rock a Kitsbow/Rapha blend mountain biking and own a half dozen pair of high end riding shoes. For the average person on the Wet Coast a couple pair of riding shoes (always good to have a back-up)  for similar conditions and some H2O proof socks rocks.

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Jan. 12, 2018, 11:26 a.m.

One. I own one pair of clipless riding shoes. 

And no Rapha. I wish I owned this, though. 

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