An update on the award winning Huez, designed with the highest climbs in mind. Energy Full Carbon SLR Outsole and Ergo Lite Upper make the Huez the lightest in its category
- Energy 5.5 mm thick Full Carbon SLR Outsole
- Energy Frame Carbon SL
- Energy Lock Carbon Heel
- Ergo Fit SL composite insole
- Ergo Strap Carbon SL closure system
- Ergo Strap Custom length adjustments
- Clima Vent Tongue SL
- Ergo Lite Upper
- Ergo Heel
- Pro tested, proven and victorious
- Delivered with recommended length screws (8mm) for outsole
- Delivered with mesh shoe bag
- Tested size 42.5
- Weight – 198 g (7.0 oz)
- Forefoot Width – 97.7 mm (3.8 in)
- Retail – $425
Mavic is a large and long time brand around the world of cycling. A French company that began back in 1889. Everything begins in the heart of the French Alps and as a company centered on cycling, they get out and ride often. Mavic is well known for being the race assistance for large races such as the Tour de France. Until recently, they were mainly known for their outstanding wheels. In 2008, they launched into rider’s equipment, having a complete range to outfit a rider with shoes, clothing, and accessories.
To be honest I have not had the pleasure of ever using any Mavic products, although I have seen them around for years. Somehow even their wheels have eluded me. That was until this summer when I was able to set up a review of a Mavic kit in which you will see the first of those reviews here and more to come.
The Mavic Huez shoes are a road shoe and have been tested on several of my road bikes. In Bend, the summer is hot and dry, so I could ride with these on plenty of training rides for my upcoming Leadman 250 race. My rides varied from 20 – 100 miles with everything from flat roads to extended climbs up to Mt. Bachelor. Temperatures ranged from 50 degrees on cool mornings up to 95 degrees. I set the shoes up with Shimano SPD-SL pedals.
Retention System (15%)
The Mavic Huez Shoes are a lightweight climbing shoe. They are named after the iconic climb in the Alps called Alpe d’Huez where many dramatic climbs have occurred in the Tour de France. Just looking at the shoes you can see that they are very technical. As a climbing shoe the Huez is extremely lightweight. At only 198 grams in the size 42.5 that I tested it is the lightest shoe I have tested or worn for that matter. The upper is made of a thin mesh bonded to synthetic overlays for fewer seams and a comfortable upper, this is called their Ergo Lite Upper. The tongue is made of the same materials as the rest of the upper and is called their Clima Vent SL technology. If you have not looked at any Mavic items, you will notice that they like to name all their technologies. They all seem to have “Ergo” or “Energy” in the title. The retention system uses an Energy Carbon Frame SL concept. It is a carbon fiber and polymer frame which limits upper stretch for a better foothold and optimal energy transfer. This connects to the insole at the instep and goes up to the main strap on the outside of the upper.
All the straps use the Ergo Strap Carbon SL technology. This technology creates a lightweight, flexible strap that is 25% stronger than traditional strap’s thanks to the carbon fiber. There are venting holes in the straps that help with ventilation. The straps are all Velcro closure, so they are more precise as they can be closed exactly where they are set rather than in set notches. One of the coolest things about the straps is the Ergo Strap Custom technology. This allows the straps to adjust in length in order to meet your foot size and preference. Each of the lower straps has two positions that they can be set to. In the heel and around the collar is mesh lined for comfort and to move moisture away from your foot. There are strategically placed pads to help lock in your heel. To lock in your heel further, the shoes have an Energy Lock Carbon heel. This 3D full carbon heel counter provides excellent heel hold and minimal weight for maximum energy transmission. It precisely holds the heel above the calcaneous bone and is 50% lighter than injected heel counters. On the inside they have an Ergo Fit SL insole. The insole is lightweight and preshaped composite with vibration absorbing heel and metatarsal inserts. It has also been treated with Agion anti-bacterial treatment to reduce the smell.
The Huez has an Energy Full Carbon SLR sole. It is the lightest Mavic outsole with optimal stiffness for excellent energy transfer. It is extremely thin at 5.5 mm sole thickness. It has a three-hole cleat attachment system with 6 mm of fore / aft cleat adjustment. The sole has mesh vents to add to the breathability. There is one in the toe and a long one that spans the length of the middle of the shoe. In the rear there is a rubber (I think) heel pad to help with walking. I was not able to find any information on the specific materials used in the shoes, or if it was sustainable in any way. Looking around the Mavic site, I was unable to find any corporate initiatives on sustainability. I, therefore, gave the shoes a zero rating.
Foot Length (15%)
Foot Volume (15%)
Heel Width (15%)
Midfoot Width (15%)
Toe Box Width (15%)
The Mavic Huez Shoes have a different shape to them. This can easily be seen when looking down on them from above. You can see how the toe area is on the pointy side, and this impacts the amount of room for the toes. I normally a size 9 and therefore, have often opted for a 43 in my cycling shoes. All manufacturers are different and for Mavic, a size 9 is a 42.5 so that is what I tested this time. In a size 9 I felt like there was just enough room in the length. I am primarily basing this on the big toe; I had a little extra room at the end. I say that I base this off of the big toe because the pointed shape of the toes cramped the rest of my toes a bit. I am not sure if this could have been remedied with a size 43 or not. I am afraid the 43 might have felt sloppy, but then again, it may have worked great, just hard to say without trying them. Even with my toes being cramped, I felt like the shoes fit well through the midfoot and in the heel they fit awesome. The Carbon heel counter really seems to work at locking your heel into place. The shoes overall have a good volume to them, and this can be easily adjusted with the Velcro Straps that have two positions for fit.
The insole inside is comfortable and very thin. There is not much to it, but at the same time you can feel how it has been contoured for your foot. For the heck of it one day I did try a different insole in my shoes and immediately removed them after my ride. Due to the shape of the shoes, the stock insole not only fit them best but also integrates well with the shoe’s technology. One thing that bothered me was certain spots on the upper, especially near the tongue. There are small sharp pieces that come from either stitching or rogue fibers in the synthetic upper. These things tend to poke your skin and become increasingly uncomfortable while you ride. No horrible but annoying, especially when I wore thinner socks. This actually led me to wear thicker socks with the shoes just because I was tired of getting poked and even then it only partially worked to eliminate it.
Where the Mavic Huez Shoes excel it is in performance. The shoes are remarkably lightweight. The first shoes I have worn that were less than 200 grams. Does this translate to faster riding? I am not sure. This is one of the times I wish I had a power meter that may help me see these smaller gains. I figure that at the worst it has helped as that is a small amount of weight saved on every pedal revolution and for me I have a cadence around 93. The upper and the tongue use a very interesting mesh material. It has a plastic feel to it, but it is, in fact, breathable. I could feel the air passing through when I rode. The material is so thin that you can see through it as well. Pair this with the vents in the sole and straps and you have a pretty breathable shoe. It was comfortable on all my hit weather rides as the combination of the white color and mesh kept my feet cool. I have worn more breathable shoes but not by much.
The Huez feels like you are directly on the pedals. The carbon is only 5.5 mm thick, and the insole is also very thin so power transfer is great. I am not a super-strong rider, and I was not able to ascertain any flex in the carbon sole. It was plenty stiff for a rider like me, someone who averages 18 miles per hour on a typical 30 mile normal ride. Even when I did stand up to pound out some pedal strokes, the shoes felt very stiff to me. Stronger riders may have a different perspective so comment below if you have any insight. Since the Huez is made to low weight and high-power transfer for climbing the insole is very thin like I mentioned. It does have a bit of shape to it for comfort and support, and I did like it better than the others I tried to throw in there. These shoes are just minimalist by design, and the insole follows that idea. Even though the shoes are minimal I have not had any issues with durability. Yes, the sole will scratch up a bit if you walk around in them but not more than expected. The upper has held up great and there is reinforcement where needed any ways. I really liked the feel of the rubber heel pad rather than a plastic one. It had a softer feel when walking, the only issue with it is that it is rather narrow, so there is a bit less balance.
Overall, the Mavic Huez shoes are a great shoe for those who are looking for a light and stiff climbing shoe. The fit can be an issue, so I would recommend trying them on before buying or at least a place that will let you return them if they don’t fit. For me, I went with my standard size, but if I did it again I might size up a ½ size. The shoes have some outstanding features that both save weight and make them perform better. The retention system is a one of a kind and being able to adjust the strap lengths is cool. Since it is all done by Velcro it is easy to get the right fit. The carbon heel counter is also an excellent fit feature as it locks in your heel very well. While the upper does breath well I was a bit disappointed with the comfort in the couple places where there was stitching. If I went without thicker socks on, then I got some irritation. The Mavic Huez retails for $425, which is high price tag. There is a lot of technology in these shoes and they are definitely targeted at the rider looking for every second in a race. So unless that is you or you have a large budget I would probably try one of their other shoes. If you are that racer looking for every second then this is the shoe for you! As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Very Lightweight
- Innovative Straps are Light, Precise, and Vented
- Two Position Straps
- Carbon Heel Counter Locks Heel In
- Thin Carbon sole With Vents
- Some Irritation from Inner Stitches
- Narrow Toe
[button url=”http://ymmvreviews.com/tag/mavic/” style=”black” size=”small”] All Mavic Reviews [/button]