#TeamRutland | Shimano GR5 Flat Pedal Shoe Review

Words by Tom Worsfold

updated on 21/03/22

GR5-Hero-1

Words by Rutland Cycling staff member, Gareth England

When Rutland cycling asked me to review the new Shimano GR5 flat pedal shoe I couldn't get them fast enough. I have always ridden flat pedals, so shoe choice is important to me, mainly in aid of keeping my shins in one piece. Coming from a skate background I have always preferred a skate style shoe, with a looser fit so the GR5's looked right up my street.

When I first tried a pair on it was apparent that a size up would be a good idea, the fit around the ankle is particularly tight, so my normal 43 size was difficult to get into, a 44 still offered a snug fit so my ankle would not slide out of the shoe, but the toe box was roomy and even when my foot got warm I did not feel the shoes get too tight. The shoe itself is made up of a robust synthetic upper, which is easy to wipe clean if you like to keep your gear looking fresh, the shoe uses mesh inserts for protection and breathability, and the shell is relatively stiff so kicking rocks and trees on the trail won't do you too much harm. They also come in 2 colours, and come with different colour laces so you should be able to colour co-ordinate with the rest of your kit, and we all know cycling is all about looking cool right?

GR5-1

The biggest thing everyone wants to know with a flat pedal shoe is how sticky is it? I have ridden some flat shoes that feel like you cannot move your foot, which it's great for aggressive downhill riding, but should your foot get bounced you can struggle to re-adjust on the move. I decided to carry out my test on my hardtail, with no rear suspension it's just shoe vs trail. The GR5 uses a harder rubber than what I am used to. I tried them with 2 pedals, the ever popular DMR V8, and the higher end DMR Vault, which uses a larger platform and longer pins. With the V8 I certainly could feel the harder rubber compared to my regular shoes, the first few runs I could feel my feet moving on the pedal through consecutive brake bumps or roots. After I got used to it and applied more weight through my feet this was less evident. When I switched to the vaults there was a big jump in grip, the larger pins certainly grip the harder rubber better and even off the biggest jumps and drops I could find I didn't have any instances of my feet moving on the pedal. Also the stiffer rubber will mean you won't feel quite as much vibration through the pedals leaving your feet feeling less fatigued.

GR5-2

All in all I was impressed the with Shimano GR5, the construction of the shoe felt quality. The grip was perfectly fine once I got used to the harder rubber and the best thing I think is the value - that harder rubber will last longer than a softer shoe and with a good pedal you won't notice a huge difference in performance on anything but the harshest trails. So value for money I give them 10/10!