Laces have, and always will be, an excellent way to make a shoe fit.
With Giro championing the return of laces to high-end road and mountain bike footwear, other brands have followed suit. And it’s not just a gimmick for those looking for a traditional or hipster appearance. Laces allow even pressure, are easy to replace wherever you end up, are light, and very resistant to mud or crash damage.
Scott have a huge range of shoes and, having owned a pair of their high-end XC shoes in the past, I’m familiar with their fit and durability. The Scott MTB Comp Lace is their second tier lace-up shoe, with a top level RC shoe in the range that has a full-carbon sole, adjustable footbed for arch support and a feathery weight of 350g. If you have the innersoles you need (or feet that aren’t fussy) - and don’t need pedal bending shoe stiffness - you get a very similar shoe with the Comp Lace, albeit at 380g and with a performance fit, not race fit. I have a wide foot and they were comfortable from day one. Laces help with this as it’s easy to get the volume of the shoe spot-on.
The upper is cut in an offset manner, so the laces don’t run right over the top of your foot, but slightly to the outside. This is really comfortable, and means there isn’t any direct pressure from the laces through the tongue and onto the top of your foot. The foot bed felt fine for my foot, and the long cleat pocket with replaceable threaded insert allows for a variety of cleat mounting positions.
The mid-sole is nylon reinforced and the toes have flex for walking. Scott use ‘Sticki’ rubber for the outersole and while at a glance it all looks pretty simple, they stayed stuck to anything I was walking on. There are two ports for studs if you opted to use these shoes for some XC or cyclocross racing. This would also be useful if you just have to hike up steep muddy hills a lot. The upper is synthetic with a reinforced toe, plenty of venting and a loop at the back to help pull them on. This is good as the laces don’t loosen off as easily as something like Shimano’s XC5 which has a central pull tab to drop the tension. Because of this, it does take a little longer to put the Comp Lace on, and take them off. But if you’re not racing offroad triathlons, does an extra 30 seconds matter?
The bike industry is going crazy with adventure-style items and the Comp Lace shoes fall into that. I pulled them on and straight away went into a week of riding that included an XC race, trail riding, stomping through snow, long downhill runs and basically messing around on bikes for most of the day. The shoes got wet, they got dirty, they clipped in and out reliably, and ensured I was sure-footed on or off the bike.
They aren’t a big and burly all-mountain shoe, but they handle hike a bike pretty well. They’re not a full-stiffness race shoe, but they didn’t hold me back in the point-to-point race I did. I was really impressed with how comfortable they were all day, and how well they dried once wet. Given the appearance of the shoes it is likely they will be bought on aesthetics, but beyond that the Comp Lace is a very versatile mountain bike shoe that is comfortable, easy to look after or customise with new laces, and very well-priced. These are highly recommended as a suave trail shoe or for just about anything else between elite XCO and intense gravity riding.
|Very comfortable||Not the stiffest shoe|
|Lightweight||Slightly slow to put on and remove|
|Excellent grip off the bike|
|FROM: Sheppards Cycles|
Words: Mike Blewitt Photos: Matt Staggs