First Look Review : Pete’s Crankbrothers Mallet Trail Lace Shoes.

Sitting below the Mallet Enduro shoe, you don’t have to think too hard about what the Crankbrothers Mallet Trail shoes are designed for.

The Mallet Trail pedals now get a shoe to match as Crankbrothers add a Mallet Trail line-up to their shoe range. Pete has been testing the Mallet Trail Lace to see how they stack up.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Relaxed fit
  • Integrated pocket for lace retention
  • TPU toe protection
  • PU film in key areas
  • Laser-cut materials
  • Padded tongue
  • TPU heel cup
  • Weight: 385g per shoe (Size 9 US / 42 EU)
  • Sizes: 5-15 US (37-49 EU)
  • £169.99 RRP

Part of a larger launch of shoes coming in 2024, the Crankbrothers Mallet Trail Lace are the cheaper brethren to the Mallet Trail BOA, and as the name suggests, are a trail-inspired shoe for general trail riding. These are also available as a flat pedal in the Stamp guise. Very much looking like the smaller brothers of the Mallet BOA shoes I tested back in 2022, the Mallet Trail Lace Shoes look every bit the Crankbrothers offering. That rounded toe box and sole gradient being a bit of a signature.

Whilst you can get BOA versions of these Mallet Trail shoes, we’re focusing on the Mallet Trail Lace today. The fit is relaxed, with TPU toe protection and a PU film to keep the muck away. Laser perforations help keep your feet from becoming sweaty and the padded tongue features a lace pocket. A TPU heel cup prevents the heel from rising, and the Match sole is designed to keep your feet on the pedals, or see you right on the hike-a-bikes.

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On the foot, these are quite thin, but that’s common with most Crankbrothers shoes. The UK 7/EU 40 size fits me like a… shoe, and this is my go-to size these days on all shoes. Compared to the Mallet BOAs, the cleat slot is quite shallow, meaning you’ll need to make use of the supplied extra spacers unless you plan to use something like the Mallet Trail pedals with them. On a set of Mallet DH pedals, there wasn’t much or any float, but then that’s not really what they’re designed for. Winding the pins in on the pedals helped resolve this issue however.

Very quickly, I forgot I was even wearing these shoes, and whilst hike-a-bikes have been limited in the middle of the Scottish winter, they hug the feet well enough that I don’t think they’d be uncomfortable when you’re off the bike. On the Mallet Trail pedals they are as good at mud-shedding and easily to clip in or out of as any other of the Crankbrothers setups I have run.

Whilst I wouldn’t pick the raspberry ripple-inspired colour way seen here, they certainly didn’t stay clean for long, they do a decent job of keeping the trail crud and water off, and they do take a while to wet out. The relatively thin, lightweight construction does dry quite quickly, so you’re not left with cold, wet weights on your feet.

After a few weeks of running these through the muck, I can’t really vouch for their durability, but they’re not showing too many signs of wear from they use that they have had. Hopefully this will be the norm and I can focus on forgetting that they’re on my feet. Performance is where you’d expect a Crankbrothers shoe to be.

You can check out the Crankbrothers Trail Lace Shoes over on their website here.