Fizik has simplified the design of its top mtb shoe, which now uses just a single Boa closure, but has this affected fit?
Fizik updated the M3B this year. The shoe has now lost its front Velcro strap, closing with just a single IP1-A Boa dial. This gives a cleaner look, with the uppers almost meeting across the top of the foot.
We’ve tested the now-retired M5B and never needed to use its Velcro strap – we just left it permanently closed – so it doesn’t seem like a great loss: the shoe closes up just fine without it.
The Fizik M3B is the brand’s top-spec off-road shoe and come with a full carbon sole under its aggressive rubber lugs. There’s the option to add toe studs for even more grip. You can feel how stiff the shoe is when pedalling, making for a lot of efficiency.
The upper is made of anti-scratch leather and synthetic microtex. It’s laser cut for ventilation and mixes gloss and matt sections, with a gloss tongue.
Although there’s not a huge amount of padding, I found the shoes comfortable both on and off the bike. I did find the footbed a bit flat for my high arch though: it might be something you need to swap out if you use the M3Bs on longer rides.
The heel cup is deep and supportive. It is armed with small rubber bosses to help prevent heel lift – useful when running up banks. Again, this helps aid shoe comfort.
Meanwhile, the single Boa closure allows the upper to be closed tightly, without pressure points. I found I often needed to retighten the shoe during rides though, as the Boa wire stretched.
The one criticism we had of the M5B shoes when we tested them last year was that they soon looked a bit tatty. Not because they were wearing out – the build was rock-solid even after 18 months’ fairly intensive use. It was just that they were very hard to clean, with mud ingraining itself in the matt uppers.
The new Fizik M3B seems to have addressed this, with the gloss sections shedding mud and very easy to clean off. The uncluttered design also helps stop mud from sticking.
The Fizik M3B is available in half sizes from 40 up to 47 with the size range topped and tailed by a 39 and a 48.
The £175 M4B comes with a similar upper to the M3B but a carbon injected sole rather than full-carbon and an L6-D Boa. Further down the range, the £130 M6B has an L5 Boa, two Velcro straps and a more traditional upper design. The M3B is available for men only though. Women have to use the Uomo variant or go for the M6B Donna.
Fizik has smartened up and simplified the design of what was already a very good, comfortable shoe. Pedalling efficiency is excellent and the shoe supports the foot well off the bike too.