All the rage of competitive shoes, without the usual loss of blood circulation
Since it bought the rights to make cycling wear and shoes independently, French brand Mavic has – rightfully – become one of the leading manufacturers in the world. Its product line is both diverse and updated annually, with much of its gear soon setting the standards for the company’s competitors. For this review we got the Fury – the top-of-the-line model for XC racers, which got Mavic’s most advanced technologies, with a special emphasis (as the many decals on it boast) on ergonomics.
The Fury’s design leans more to the narrow side, with a super-stiff carbon-fiber sole and heel. Protruding from the heel and the section underneath the ball of the foot are spiky rubber treads for grip while pushing. The shoe itself is made of shiny-yellow synthetic leather, with numerous meshes placed in strategic sections for improved ventilation. The Fury is also fortified in critical areas, such as the toes and heel, and even gets a Kevlar reinforcement where the pedal meets the shoe. All this makes for an extra-low profile, narrow, highly ventilated shoe with a unique look, especially if you choose the Mavic-yellow model.
Fitting and tightening the shoe
XC racing shoes are traditionally designed narrow and tight, in order to transfer as many watts as possible from the legs to the pedals. Despite the requisite narrow build, the Fury fit this rider’s gorilla-wide feet like a glass slipper on Cinderella. Though the narrow, tight build led me to expect very different results, even after a full day riding in them I felt no pressure on the toes and heel.
Standards developed over the year require that a racing shoe be latched at a minimum of three locations, in order to perfectly tighten without causing extra pressure on the foot. The Fury naturally follow this demand, and include two Velcro strips and a ratchet mechanism at the top of the shoe. The twist comes in the shape of Ergo Straps, essentially ergonomic Velcro straps that are actually thin cords. Aside from their nonconventional look, they allow for more easy and efficient tightening, and increasing or decreasing the buckle size by changing the position of the cord inside the base. The three-strip tightening mechanism is very efficient and keeps the foot snugly wrapped, without “choking” it. Our only complaint is with the ratchet mechanism, which stubbornly refused to open all the way, and requires the rider to perform a small maneuver in order to remove the shoe.
On the trail
With the carbon sole and heel, the Fury’s energy transfer is one of the best we experienced. We didn’t put this to a lab test, but we can say that, given the rigors we put it through, almost no energy is lost. The heel sits in a sort of T-shaped design which keeps it firmly in place and prevents any unwanted movement, even when the shoe isn’t tightened to the point of interrupting circulation. The “overlapping tongue” has a memory-foam function which made every ride even more comfortable than the previous one. All in all, we found the Fury very comfortable on our feet.
We try not to test cycling shoes on pushing sections or long walks, but when these inevitably occurred, the soft, serrated ContraGrip sole provided decent traction. As mentioned above, the shoe includes numerous ventilation meshes for very breathing shoes, but the fabric tended to collect trail dust in these openings. The result is a shoe that soon becomes fifty shades of mustard that even a good wash won’t remove.
Even after sustained, intensive use, we did not find any signs of wear and fatigue on the body or the sole. The original yellow, however, was no longer yellow.
For better: Comfort, looks, power transmission, ventilation.
For worse: Problematic ratchet mechanism, obvious inclination to quickly lose its original color.