Thursday, April 8, 2010
GEAR: Review of Louis Garneau Trail Grip Shoes
These are the entry level Trail Grip Shoes from Louis Garneau (msrp: $89.99 CAD).
When I started using clipless again last season, I did not have the money, or the desire to invest in a high end set of shoes, rather I was more interested in something entry level. The shoes do have some moderate weight, and are not waterproof but are quite comfortable, and breathe quite well. I'm using mine with SPD cleats and had no problems mounting them, or using them with this cleat style.
The shoes come with a set of soccer style toe cleats, I found them to be more trouble than they were worth (walking with these attached isn't that easy (or quiet!), so I removed them (tool was included), and replaced them with some screws (also included) to fill the holes. The only problem with this is you might want to use some lock-tight or something similar on them as they have a tendency to work loose and fall off (I'm down to 1).
Whoever designed the soles of these shoes was smart... they knew that if somebody was buying entry-level mountain shoes, they would probably be spending some time walking up hills with them, so the grips on the soles are simply amazing. Walking up steep inclines with these gives you the confidence of a mountain goat.
The closures are simple Velcro straps, with no laces, so entry and exit are a simple exercise, as is on trail adjustments for comfort.
Conclusion: While these shoes are not going to be as light and waterproof and breathable as much more expensive options, these are a great way to get switched over to clipless on a budget and I would highly recommend them.