Shimano’s new SH-XC61 shoes are more than just a pile of numbers and letters. They’re an extremely versatile cross country shoe that can easily pull race duty or all-day, beer pace duty. At the core is Shimano’s Dynalast outsole, which is carbon fiber-reinforced for stiffness, which translates into both more power transferred to the pedals, as well as more comfort on long rides. Moving up from there, the synthetic leather upper conforms to your foot, but won’t stretch out over time, so you get the same dialed fit for the life of the shoes. The shoes close with a ratchet/hook-and-loop strap combo, which provides a combination of comfort and security, and the shoes are finished with a series of polyurethane traction lugs, which you’ll appreciate in those tricky hike-a-bike sections.