2015 Fizik M5 BOA review by athlete Justin Savord
Anyone who knows Fizik will agree that the company strives to manufacture the highest quality of products in the cycling industry.
In order to properly review the M5 BOA shoes we had to dissect the shoe into a few parts:
The toe of the shoe is completely scuff proof. There’s nothing worse than taking a digger on the trail to find that your new kicks are thrashed.
The mid-section of the shoe features a similar beefy material with perforations on both sides that make the shoe NOTICEABLY breathable. If you get swamp foot… this will help for sure.
How often do you come across a strap with a purpose? Is there such a thing? Ever notice on your Sworks shoe how the toe strap really doesn’t do anything? This one does… the top material is supple enough to “flex” when you want to tighten the top strap.
Micro Adjust Boa with quick release. There’s a reason every manufacturer on the market is coming out with BOA technology on their shoes. The BOA works well to keep the shoe tight, keep the weight down, and appearance clean. The problem with BOA mechanisms on other shoes is the price of the shoe increases significantly. With Fizik, that’s not the case. This shoe will retail for under 200 bucks!
The bottom of this shoe features a Carbon Reinforced Sole, the M3 version of the shoe will feature a full carbon sole. The bottom of the shoe is also awesome to walk in. Yes sometimes I have to get off my bike and walk… and I don’t worry about messing up the soles on these puppies thanks to this great feature.
The Achilles section of the shoe underwent a drastic update in comparison to the 2014 model. The shape of that section of the shoe just looks better than its predecessors and it works well to boot. There is zero slip in the heel section of the shoe even when I had to climb out of the saddle and put the hammer down. I invest a great deal of money into my bike to enhance its performance and don’t want to sacrifice power from poorly functioning gear. The toe box is more than adequate on the M5 as well. They seem to have finally dialed in the overall fit on the insole in comparison to the average foot.
Overall material of the M5 BOA is soft and these things really do feel great… like… really great. Coming from S-Works shoes, my first question was “Will this shoe be stiff enough?” I am literally used to the sole NOT giving an inch, especially paired with my eggbeaters, stiffness is of upmost importance with the lack of platform.
The only time I was able to really get the shoe to flex was when in the 600+ watt range. While doing efforts at 325-385 watts, there were no issues with stiffness. This is pretty huge considering anyone doing much more wattage than that consistently on the mountain bike is not in the market for an entry level shoe if you know what I mean.
SHORT TERM, BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is, these shoes are incredible. I’ve never ridden an “entry level shoe” with such high performance features that rival shoes in the 400+ dollar range. I crashed these shoes twice. Nothing serious, more messing around with friends on flat single tracks trying to steal each other’s line etc. (my friends are di@$#). The shoes still look new. No slits, cuts, missing tread or anything of the sort. The scuff proof toe actually works and isn’t a simple marketing ploy. The more I ride these shoes, the more the material is forming to my foot also.
It’s not ALL positive… there are a few negatives that I have noticed in the shoe that may or may not be a big deal but Definitely NOT a deal breaker.
The insoles on the M5 ended up being weak for their high performance needs. They remind me of a Sidi shoe insole in the sense that there isn’t really anything there. But at the price point of the Fizik shoe… just buy a pair of insoles you cheap bastards. Sidi has no excuse… those shoes are around 500 bones.
Cleat placement is also a bit different from other shoes that I have ridden. I have never had to use the rear holes for my cleats, more often than not its always the front holes slid all the way back. These shoes required me to use the rear holes in order to get the cleat back far enough. This is not necessarily going to be a negative at all… it’s just different than what I’m used to. Once the cleats were in the right spot, we were as right as rain. As we use the M5 BOA throughout the season we will see how they hold up to the elements.