New from Shimano: shoes, sunglasses, packs

A preview of Shimano’s 2017 soft goods has arrived … in our inboxes. Here’s a peek at the shoes, sunglasses and hydration packs coming soon to your local bike shop (shop local!).

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The new Mountain Enduro (ME) shoe series uses Shimano’s “torsional balance” technology which allows some lateral movement in the heel while focusing on pedaling power at the sole/cleat contact point. Extra protection was added to the shoes in the toe, upper and ankle, including a Neoprene ankle covering on the ME7 (above right).

The ME7 weighs 375 grams and retails for $200. The ME5 weighs 385 grams and retails for $150.

Shimano also has a new cross-country “racing” mountain shoe, the XC7 (above left). The shoe has an ultra-rigid, carbon-reinforced midsole and a synthetic leather upper. Boa dials adjust the fit. A new outsole designed in conjunction with Michelin is dual-density rubber with a supposedly improved grip and durability and a tread pattern specifically designed to shed mud. The XC7 weighs 315 grams and retails for $200.

Shimano designs shoes and pedals in tandem as a complete system, intending to optimize biomechanics, efficiency and comfort. You can use these shoes with any pedal, but Shimano makes recommendations for which of its models each shoe best pairs with, of course.

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For your lovely mug, Shimano will offer seven different pairs of shades in North America, including three new models ranging in price from $45 to $60. At the higher end, expect to get spare lenses, adjustable nose pads and RX compatibility.

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For your back, Shimano re-designed its hydration packs. The packs have harness-style straps for free movement of shoulders, adjustability, stability and ventilation. The Unzen 4 Enduro race pack (bottom left in photo) gets an updated X-Harness design and stabilizing, adjustable waist belt. It features a full-face helmet holder, external bottle storage for extra juice, a goggle (or helmet) clip and a sculpted mesh back panel. Zippered storage pockets abound, and the pack comes ready with a hydration bladder. The Enduro pack retails for $120.

The Unzen Trail Series packs comes in sizes 2, 6, 10 and 14 liters. Each has a sculpted mesh back panel, hydration bladder capability (not included), high-visibility rain covers for road jaunts and helmet holders. Prices for the range were not given.