Issue #034 Review

The Lab: Shimano ME5 (SH-ME500) Review

In the “The Lab” we present the latest products and put them through their paces for you. Some undergo long-term tests, while we check others out only briefly. This time we reveal how the Shimano ME5 shoes fared.

With its slim profile and shallow stand height the ME5 might look like your classic XC shoe but in reality it has very little in common with it. Thanks to the Torbal sole (side-flex in the rear area), a reinforced cleat area and an index-6 sole stiffness it’s very different from your typical full-carbon waterski-like XC sole. In fact this is a perfectly balanced overall concept; stiff enough to get you through long days of pedalling without causing your feet to get tired and still a great option for long hiking sections on all types of terrain – just the heel cup could fit a little tighter to make long walking sections more comfortable. However the aggressive tread-pattern of the Dual-Density Michelin sole bites into the slippery ground and offers good grip on rock slabs and loose stones.

Despite initial scepticism the plastic ratchets didn’t fail and fulfilled their job inconspicuously.
Perforated sides and a mesh toe area allow for a good breathability
The center Velcro strap can be cut along the pre-stamped lines if it sticks in too far and causes it to rub on the crank arm
Right at the end of our test, the inner side of one sole broke and came loose. A shame, as walking comfort and grip were excellent.

But not only the quality of the sole impressed us. The ME5 offers a surprisingly-high level of comfort with a fit that is close to perfect — no pressure, rubbing or slipping around. The ratchet closure system can be adjusted gradually and comfortably and the reversed central Velcro strap provides good central stability. People with narrow feet might notice that the Velcro strap overlaps a little too far inwards and ends up rubbing against the cranks. However Shimano looked into this and solved this problem with a system of pre-stamped cut-off lines which allow you to shorten the strap if necessary. As far as ventilation goes we can only give you good news: the discreet design of Shimano’s MTB shoe features a generous amount of mesh in the toe area. The inside and outside material is perforated and allows for good breathability – way better than other heavily-lined and bulkier shoes from the competition. After 4 months of strenuous use in the Northern and Southern Alps we couldn’t point out any defects. That unfortunately changed right at the end when the side of one shoe’s sole broke. When questioned, Shimano assured that customers will get a replacement through their dealer if it should happen within the warranty period.


The ME5 is a slim lightweight shoe with no noticeable drawbacks and has many points in its favour. This makes it a great option for both your local trail and challenging enduro races. We fully recommend it … when the sole lasts!


  • Superb shape
  • Top comfort
  • Good ventilation
  • Grippy sole


  • Poor heel hold on longer hiking sections
  • Broken sole on one shoe

Tester: Andi
Duration: 4 months
More info:

Price: € 159.95
Weight: 851 g (size 44)

This article is from ENDURO issue #034

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer