Deniz merdano Cooper fizik shimano 11
Review

Shimano GE7 Gravity SPD Shoes

Photos Deniz Merdano
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If you've read any of my other shoe reviews, you're aware I have a proclivity towards light, stiff shoes. To put it more colloquially, tap dancing shoes. I'm not out there smashing around on enduro bikes in the SWorks Recon Lace, although I do still use those shoes for gravel riding. Instead I tend towards a lighter trail shoe rather than the big skate-shoe-ish type shoe that are pretty popular with a lot of folks, especially on bigger bikes. I like a stiffer sole, and I don't see the need to spin more weight around in circles pedaling than necessary.

So at first blush I'm an unlikely candidate to try out some kicks that look like Vans with a funny strap. But considering the GE7 is from Shimano's new three deep SPD compatible gravity line, and supersedes one of my all time favorites (the ME5 I reviewed here) perhaps I'm perfect.

Deniz merdano Cooper fizik shimano 20

The GE7 looks more like a skate shoe (with a strap) than most of the items adorning my shoe rack. The white also didn't last long.

Getting to know the SH-GE700

For as long as I've been around, Shimano has numbered basically every component they sell. While it can be confusing at times to ensure compatibility, there's a method to it that generally breaks down to "things that start with 9 are the most expensive". Seven and eight are higher end, but more modestly priced and maybe missing a feature (think XT, which is 8000 series), and six and below are budget friendly options (SLX, Deore).

Shimano's Gravity line launched shortly before I wrapped up my last Shimano shoe review and as mentioned takes the place of the previous ME shoes. I've got the GE7, full Shimano part number SH-GE700, which falls between the BOA equipped GE9 and lower cost GE5. All three have a top strap while the GE5 and GE7 make do with laces rather than dials. In an interesting twist, the weights are inverse of what you might expect, with the GE5 being the lightest and GE9 coming in a whopping 24 grams heavier listed weight (they're all effectively 400g). This correlates with stiffness, where the "TORBAL 2.0 torsional midsole" on the GE9 is also the highest. Pricing wise, expect to pay 170 CAD, 240 CAD, or 300 CAD respectively.

The GE5 comes in a women's specific option but for either higher end shoe, you're stuck sharing with the boys.

Riding the GE7

Driving in the GE7 is easy (bear with me here). Typically if I'm driving somewhere, I'll change shoes when I get there because the stiffer, narrower, harder soled shoes I often ride in are vague at best and dangerous at worst on the pedals of a 2-ton piece of metal hurtling around near other people. But the GE7 manages to have enough flex that you can feel what's happening beneath your feet. Coupled with a fairly soft compound of rubber on the sole of the shoe, this makes for a pair of shoes you can comfortably drive around in. Perhaps more importantly - and because I try and minimize the amount of driving I do for recreation and pedal to the trails - they're a great shoe to walk in.

This all translates to riding in the GE7. They're confidently stiff and transfer power well, but retain some flexibility that transmit feedback from the bike. The toe-box is well protected, and given these shoes are seeing a fair amount of use on a downhill bike, they've taken a couple of strikes that may have left me in real trouble in a lighter shoe.

Deniz merdano Cooper mondraker shimano 7

There's another reason I'm reviewing this "Gravity" oriented shoe - and you'll find out about it next week. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know what the bike is, too.

While I've had enough time in these to confidently speak to riding in them, I haven't had enough time to unearth any deep durability issues or concerns. That said, my experience with Shimano shoes has generally been excellent in this regard, and the GE7 is showing no signs of bucking that trend.

Weather around here lately can only be described as "mild" or "wet"; summer is only just starting to rear its head. I've shied away from them in wet conditions because I have wet weather shoes, and despite the synthetic rubber uppers, low-ankle shoes like the GE7 tend to fair poorly and take on lots of water.

That same synthetic upper means I can imagine these are going to be a bit warm for any kind of mid-summer pedal-heavy mission, but I can see the utility of these far beyond gravity fueled adventures in the bike park, and think they'd also be well suited for any big mission with significant hike-a-bike.

Deniz merdano Cooper mondraker shimano 5

Lately even when its sunny out the trails are still wet - those nice off-white shoes get darker every ride. I've been spending some time on Cypress Mountain lately, trying to reacquaint myself with going really fast on big bikes, and the GE7 has been the shoe of choice.

Conclusions

In short, the GE7 has been a great shoe. Dispelling my general distaste for laces became easier every time I put them on. Chalk part of this up to a shoe that fit my foot very well, but other points go to the strap for making an easy way to contain said laces.

I made no effort to hide my sadness on the death of the ME5. And while the GE7 - despite its best efforts - hasn't totally won me over. But given my positive experiences with them, I can see a pair of GE9s taking the torch from the ME5 as one of my go-to shoes. The slightly stiffer carbon sole and BOA dials are worth the extra $60 for the GE9 over the GE7 in my books, but if laces are your jam the GE7 or GE5 should provide a great option for all day comfort, everyday riding, or in my case, some pure psychotic gravity racing.

Deniz merdano Cooper mondraker shimano 9

Diving back in to gravity.

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn

Elder millennial, size medium.

Reformed downhiller, now rides all the bikes.

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Comments

andy-eunson
+5 BarryW Cooper Quinn Jotegir taprider hardtailhersh

They might be heavy, but they sure are ugly.

Reply

LoamtoHome
+4 Merwinn Cooper Quinn Andy Eunson thaaad

Shimano makes the best clipped in shoes/pedals for mtb biking....  they just work.

Reply

kenkienow
0

I've had lots of Shimano MTB shoes and actually prefer the RC Tallac Clips because they have even more toe box protection.

Reply

DaveSmith
+2 Jerry Willows BarryW

A light coloured shoe in these parts is not ideal.

Reply

KDix85
+1 Cooper Quinn

"or in my case, some pure psychotic gravity racing."

A Summum, and Psychotic....  Hmmm, my Johnny Carson envelope is saying "June 22nd will be an exhilarating day" for the reformed downhiller Mr Quinn mayhaps?

Reply

cooperquinn
0

🤔🤔

Reply

KDix85
+2 BarryW Cooper Quinn

I figured it was a sly reference to Psychosis on Mt 7, June 22nd, on that fancy Mondraker with a dual crown.  But I've been wrong before 😂

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+1 Cooper Quinn

I've been buying Shimano shoes for decades because of their consistent fit for me. Now we've got two style choices; XC disco slippers or DH-skate shoe lace ups w. fail-in-the-rain velcro. Where's the ME5-style best of both world's-ish shoe?! 

In my experience, XC shoes don't offer enough width of grip on a Deer Pass hike-a-bike, and the DH shoes have the absorbency of a virgin roll of paper towels and are useless for sole grip. 

Shimano, what happened?

Reply

cooperquinn
0

I know... I *do* think the GE9 is likely close to what you and I want. But I hear you, especially about water. 

Hiking up Deer Pass in XC7s would be a fate worse than death. For most big backcountry stuff that's going to require heaps of hiking I swap to flat pedals.

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Kenny
0

People obviously do it, but yeah... Chilcotins in clips just feels like asking for trouble.

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cooperquinn
0

These would be totally fine, TBH. 

https://nsmb.com/articles/fiveten-trailcross-clip-shoes/

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+2 taprider BarryW

Been riding SPDs since 737s. I don't even ride flats in the WBP. I'm so used to them, it feel weird to ride flats.

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cooperquinn
0

Every year I ride flats less and less. So far this year I think it's only when I've neen on my DJ bike.

Reply

taprider
+1 Cooper Quinn

https://ridecanada.shimano.com/products/sh-ex500?variant=43527823130787

just as ugly but way lighter and more breathable

an SPD good for hiking

Reply

xy9ine
+1 Cooper Quinn

been looking for a replacement for my cherished (but very well worn) ME5's. the five ten kestrels look to be maybe/possibly in the ballpark? i've also got hellcats, but those are generally reserved for less pedally uses (ie, park). i need me an "aggressive trail" (ugh) shoe.

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cooperquinn
0

The Kestrel BOA has my interest piqued as well, but I don't have any time in them.

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pete@nsmb.com
+2 Andy Eunson Perry Schebel

Wrote 'em up briefly here: https://nsmb.com/articles/gear-shots-august-2023/

They're really great. Definitely a XC/trail shoe of the race-y variety which is no surprise based on their looks but I was impressed with the protection and the fit is very adjustable and snug. The two straps plus one BOA works really well. Recommended.

Reply

vonp
+1 Cooper Quinn

I've really liked my Shimano mtb spd shoes, but they've all suffered from the toe protector separating from the shoe with plenty of life otherwise left.

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BarryW
0

As I was gearing up for my ride today I thought about how happy I am with my Crankbrothers Mallet speedlace shoes. 

They could not be more comfortable and so far the durability has been amazing. 

How would these Shimanos compare to the Mallets Cooper?

Reply

cooperquinn
0

I haven't used the Mallets - I believe Deniz is a big fan though.

Reply

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