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Mavic CrossMax Boa reviewed

Mavic’s new Crossmax XC shoe takes a proven sole and adds a single Boa for tightening duties. Is the enough to keep its trademark super secure fit?

Mavic Crossmax Boa shoes
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Excellent all-round trail/XC sole but the single dial system is hard to balance between security and obvious tight spots

For

  • Excellent well proven fast trail/XC sole
  • Great off-bike grip in all conditions
  • Looks really neat

Against

  • Single Boa system hard to equalise for pressure and security
  • One-piece upper gives a prescriptive, fold prone fit

Mavic has been using Boa dials on its shoes for a while but the Crossmax is the first time they’ve not backed up a single Boa with a second dial or a separate speed lace or strap system. They’ve grafted the new uppers onto a proven sole to make a very neat looking shoe, but how does it feel on the trail?

Design

The Energy Grip Terra Outsole is also used on the Crossmax Elite and Elite CM shoes. It’s a decent stiffness for getting the power down, while still giving a bit of trail damping and some flex while walking. The aggressive arrow, soft compound tread at toe and heel give plenty of grip and there are fixtures for toe studs if you’re riding in filthy conditions.

The upper is all new though, using a single piece of perforated synthetic leather. There’s a textured and internally stiffened bumper built into the toe and then an extra ’T-bar’ at the heel which also gets a stiffening cup. Add subtle gloss Mavic lettering all along the outside and that gives it a very neat look. They’re also available in all black if neon yellow isn’t your thing.

Mavic Crossmax Boa shoes

On-the-bike power stiffness is well balanced with off the bike walking comfort and grip (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

While the sole is a good balance between more power transfer than a trail shoe but less pedal clatter and off-bike awkwardness of a pure race shoe (it’s rated 40 for ‘Energy Transfer’ compared to 80 for the flagship, double Boa Crossmax SL Ultimate). The grip when you’re off the bike is excellent in all conditions too.

However, while it provides a bit of wind and splash proofing and cleans up fresh really easily, the combination of stiff single-piece upper and single dial makes for a very prescriptive fit. There’s more space in them than the insulated Elite CM’s but even with an ‘enlarged toe box’ there’s not much wiggle room and even medium-fat socks aren’t going to fit if you go for your normal size. While the Boa lace crossed back and forth four times through broad fabric loops it’s really hard to get tension over the toe/forefoot without pressure from the Boa dial being obvious. The stiff upper also tends to fold and create a hot spot at the base of the tongue. Even though the sole is reasonably stiff rather than really rigid there’s noticeable heel lift unless you get your Boa clicks dialled just right.

Mavic Crossmax Boa shoes

The single Boa dial requires some precision adjustment to get the closure comfortable and secure (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

Crossmax Boa looks great and the sole is a really well balanced fast riding base with excellent off-bike grip. The stiff upper and single Boa system definitely creates more fit and potential loose/hot spot than Mavic’s Boa and strap shoes on the same sole. That puts it firmly in the try before you buy category especially if you’ve got broader, shorter feet.

Tech spec: Mavic CrossMax Boa

  • Sizes: 38-48
  • Weight: 690g
  • Price: £109