Do you need Shimano's new e-bike specific shoes?

Shimano tables four new shoes to the commuter and adventure market

Shimano's new off-road and commuter shoe range
(Image credit: Rob Spedding)

Shimano has announced the release of two new adventure shoe lines, the EX series and ET series. 

The EX series, aimed at bikepacking, is designed for compatibility with Shimano's SPD clipless pedal system, while still providing a sole that can be used off the bike. 

The ET series is a flat-soled shoe, aimed specifically at e-bike riding and trekking, with a sole that Shimano says improves pedal efficiency by 50% over normal shoes.

The growing e-bike market has seen more and more e-bike-specific products hitting the market - but do you really need e-specific shoes? Are they really much different to the best commuter shoes already on the market?

Shimano EX series

Shimano EX500/EX500w

The EX500 and EX500w sit at the top of Shimano's adventure cycling range. Shimano describes the shoes as the "perfect off-road shoes for everyday exploration". The new EX range replaces the outgoing Shimano MT502, and will retail for $140.00/£129.95.

Shimano EX500 shoe on white background

Shimano EX500

(Image credit: Shimano)

The EX shoes feature a new sole, Shimano's Ultratread EX, which is designed around trail riding. Shimano says the hiking shoe-esque tread around the outside of the shoe will offer "superior grip" off the bike while maintaining compatibility with SPD pedals such as the popular PD-MT520 pedals. Shimano has also used its 'EVA midsole' which they say will provide extra cushioning to the heel when walking and is made from up to 25% recycled materials. Securing the shoes is made easy by a single instep strap, coupled with a speed lace system.

In terms of style, both men's and women's versions will be available in black, as well as a secondary choice of olive green for the men's shoes and 'plum' for the women's iteration. The shoes weigh in at a claimed 359 grams per shoe for a size 42. Size-wise, the women's shoes are available in full sizes between 36-44, while the men's shoes range from 38-48.


The EX900 shoes are a much more heavy-duty affair than the EX500 series, featuring a design that wouldn't look overly out of place among hiking boots. Shimano says these shoes are aimed at "more advanced bikepacking for expert MTB riders", and have a price to match, retailing at $300.00/£279.95

Shimano EX900 mountainbike shoes

Shimano EX900 with cleat cover

(Image credit: Shimano)

Retention is handled by a pair of L6 Boa dials, one across the tongue of the shoe and one across the instep. The shoes also feature a GORE-TEX® breathable liner which should keep your feet dry, whilst keeping a breathable upper mesh for good ventilation.

The EX900 shoes feature the same Ultratread EX tread but feature a wider contact area designed to improve grip and reduce cleat chattering. The unisex shoes are available in sizes 38-48, and weigh a claimed 442 grams for a size 42, however this time only come in black.

Shimano ET series

ET701 / ET701W

Shimano says its new ET line of adventure shoes is committed to increasing e-bike popularity. The new line of flat-sole touring shoes are designed to be used in all weather to make rainy commutes more manageable, as well as longer trekking trips. These are all features Shimano has marketed under the e-bike umbrella, however, if they make great e-bike shoes, then they'll work just as well when a motor isn't present too.

The ET701 retail at $150.00/£169.95 and use a tri-panel closure with BOA® Fit System, with Boa's L6 dial which allows for small adjustments to fit. The tri-panel system should allow for an even distribution of tension across the foot when the shoes are done up. Shimano has also included its own 'Splashshield' membrane around the forefoot area of the shoe, which it says offers "light water resistance without affecting fit or comfort". 

Shimano ET701 shoes on white background green

Shimano ET701

(Image credit: Shimano)

The sole also features Shimano's 'power transfer blade'. Simply put, this is a stiffer sole than what is commonly found in non-cycling shoes, which Shimano claims can reduce power loss by up to 50% over normal shoes. Once again, the EVA midsole is made from up to 20% recyclable materials - not quite the sustainability commitments seen from brands like Rapha, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.

The ET701 is available in black and green, while the ET701W is available in almond brown. The shoes weigh in at a claimed 331 grams per shoe for a size 42. Size-wise, the women's shoes are available in full sizes between 36-44, while the men's shoes range from 38-48.

ET501 / ET501W

Shimano ET501 shoe on white background

Shimano ET501

(Image credit: Shimano)

The ET501 sits at the bottom of the ET range, but shares many of the same features as its more pricey counterpart. The upper part of the shoe is constructed from a breathable upper mesh that Shimano say is well-ventilated. The same speed lace system seen on the EX500 takes care of retention, however, the flat-soled ET501s do not have a secondary instep strap.

The lesser models in the range do feature the same tread pattern, and retail at $20 dollars less than the ET701s, at $130.00/£109.95. The ET501s are available in black and blue, while the women's versions come in black and light grey. The sizing is the same as the ET700 range.

For more information, visit the Shimano website.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1