Lace-up cycling shoes bring a clean, retro aesthetic to your footwear and distribute pressure really well. In the past, you’d have had to find upward of £250 for lace-ups, but the Aksium shoes come in at under £100. You may not get a carbon sole, but the Aksiums still offer efficient pedalling and excellent foot comfort. That’s garnered them a place on our select 2018 Editor’s Choice listing of our favourite products tested in the last 12 months.
Mavic certainly wins the prize for the most elegant sub-£100 cycling shoes. With their lace-up design, the Mavic Aksium shoes provide a retro aesthetic, being laced rather than using straps or dials to close. The laces also lead to a very clean, unfussy look to the upper.
You still get large fabric toe vents and small, pin-prick perforations on the side of the shoe, so there’s good air circulation, while the heel cup is well padded for comfort. Small reflective elements in the outside rear edge of the shoes and along one edge of the front vent provide a nod to visibility.
Another shoe sitting on a nylon sole unit with included fibreglass, the Aksium sole only takes three bolt cleats, although the bolts can be slid backwards and forwards a little for extra adjustment over a fixed bolt design. There are a couple of small vents under the foot for extra cooling.
The lace closure leads to a lightweight design, with a pair of size 42.5 Mavic Aksium shoes weighing 512g. Laces are also likely to be more aero than straps, ratchets or Boas and, since they cross the foot five times, help distribute pressure more evenly. The disadvantage is that you can’t adjust the fit while riding, of course.
In practice, I found that the Mavic Aksium shoes were comfortable when on the bike, with a good fit that retained the foot well without the need to adjust the laces. There’s also plenty of foot stability and the sole is as stiff as any of the other sub-£100 shoes tested.
As with the Bontrager Circuit shoes, I did find that the edge of the upper cut into the front of my ankle a bit. Again, this is likely to mould better to the foot and feel more comfortable over time. There’s a bit of extra space around the forefoot too. This results in some excess pressure over the top end of the lacing.
If you prefer a more technical closure, Mavic also makes an Aksium model with three Velcro straps at the same price, or for £100 the Aksium Elite comes with a strap and ratchet which sits above the lace-up closure. But I really like the laced look and the Mavic Aksium is as cheap an entry into laced cycling shoes as you’ll find.
Mavic makes the Aksium in half UK sizes between 5.5 and 12, so you should be able to find a pair which fits your feet. There are three colour options, all of which are dark, which matches the retro design well.
The Mavic Aksium shoes have a clean, retro look but pack in plenty of technical features and are comfortable to wear on day-long rides. But as with all lace-up cycling shoes, you can’t make fine adjustments as you ride.