Lets talk about these gems here… The 2015 Fizik M3 Boa by rider Justin Savord
- Perforated material for breath-ability
- Built in arch support (I think?)
- New heel design actually grips the Achilles
- Full carbon sole (with protection)
- Most Obviously the new BOA.
It looks like Fizik scrapped the old shoe design and started fresh. These shoes look gorgeous. They look like an XC racing shoe, which is what I really want in any mountain shoe. My first impression when I put these babies on was.. “oh my… it fits… it fits REALLY well.” The shoe fits my somewhat narrow foot and honestly… just feel right on the money.
After I finally managed to stop staring at them in my closet (it took a while believe me) I slapped some cleats on these puppies and hit the trails. I mounted the cleats in the same position that I did on their M5 Boa, or even their M1 shoe. If you are familiar with where Fizik places their cleat patch, rest assured I found everything to be about the same.
Perforation: Not a gimmick and Similar to the M5 boa, the perforation makes a huge difference when putting miles in. No swamp foot, a big plus for me and my Sasquatch-like sweat glands located in the soles of my feet…
Built in arch support: When I first got the shoes, one thing I noticed was that they came with the same foot bed as the M5 Boa. I was a little bummed at first glance because the stock foot beds are very flat and thin. When you hold the shoe, however, you will notice the upward curvature of the sole. This curve is actually felt when wearing the shoe, almost like a built in support. Needless to say I did not need my specialized foot beds. In fact adding foot beds felt worst than stock.
New heel design: Lets face it, the old Fizik shoes had some issues… one of those issues was a lack of grip on the rear of the shoe. People were pulling their feet right out of the things, and it wasn’t good. The new heel on the M3 Boa is similar to the M5 Boa, it grips INSANELY well and far better than my Sworks shoes… so Bravo… really.
Full carbon sole: Stiff and Light would be my adjectives of choice. I make a lot of comparisons to Sworks shoes (unfairly as the Sworks shoes are almost twice the price) and let me tell you, these things are just as stiff. Officially. I couldn’t get them to flex on 1000-watt efforts, let alone the standard threshold or vo2 interval (yes I have a power meter on my mountain bike #wattGeek). I’m going to say that these shoes are just as stiff. Weight? Well these shoes offer some carbon sole protection, which adds weight. Not a lot, but could be the difference between the two. Personally I like the protection on the sole. My mountain shoes get eaten alive after 1 season…
New Boa: I haved saved the best for last. Chances are, you’ve tried a shoe with a boa. My thing is… once you go boa, you rarely go back. This boa works just as effectively as the M5Boa (same one in fact). It micro adjusts in both directions and has a quick release. There is only one boa and it can tighten the entire shoe effectively. There is NO need for a second boa on these shoes. No need.
First ride impressions: I hit all the trails I know with these shoes. I wanted to get a feel for these shoes on trails that I am very familiar for a proper test. They are immediately comfortable. Out of the saddle efforts are welcomed by the stiffness of the sole. I cant stop staring at them on the ride too (#inlove) they look fantastic, and match any kit im wearing as they are black. After a 3 hour ride, I had 0 hot spots. Even after some tough efforts, there were 0 issues. I’m sold. These are an Sworks quality shoe at far less money. I can literally buy the shoes, cleats, few pairs of socks, chamois butter, chain lube, some nutrition, and still be cheaper than other shoes in its class.
Comparisons: I got a pair of Fizik M1 Shoes to test out while I waited for the M3Boas to arrive. There is no comparison… for me… The M3Boa Blows the M1 out of the water. My only hope (and I think my prayers will be answered) is that Fizik makes a M1 Boa for 2016. I can’t imagine shoes getting any better than the M3 Boa though… maybe the Italians will install an espresso machine somewhere in the sole? A boy can dream.