$305 dollars for a pair of non-clipless riding shoes? After spending a European summer in a pair of PEdALED’s Mido Boots – subjecting them to a prolonged soaking on the Trans Alp bikepacking route in the process – Cass Gilbert wonders whether it’s a price worth paying for such undeniably handsome riding shoes…
For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, PEdALED (note pecularly capitalisation) is a very high end bike clothing manufacturer from Japan, though their Mido Riding Boot is actually made in Italy by Diemme, an Italian shoe company of high repute.
I inherited these shoes from Logan, as they didn’t quite fit him. And I was thrilled to receive them, seeing as I’ve ridden my previous pair of 5.10s into the ground. Here’s the caveat: I’m hard on shoes. I can’t think of a pair in recent years that I haven’t worn a hole through the sole, broken the heel, ripped off lugs, or mangled the toe bumper. Once I find shoes I like, I wear them all the time. And I mean all the time. On biking trips, out hiking, walking, commuting, or just scrambling around to take photos.
Let’s start with the eyebrow-furrowing price tag: $305 or 260 Euros. Although these aren’t diect comparisons, Giro’s Chinese-made, clipless Alpineduro is $200, 45nth’s winter specific WÖLVHAMMERs command $360, and Logan’s well tested5.10s Tennies come in at $120. I’m not going to tell how you how you should spend your money, or suggest that you need to spend this much on a pair of shoes to go bikepacking. But I will note that it’s not a dissimilar price to what you’d expect to pay for a pair of high end, European-made, leather boots. The use of leather itself won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s a hard wearing material and when looked after, should offer years of use.
So what makes them bike-specific? Although at first glance the Midos look like normal hiking boots, they feature a lower heel area that’s more suited to pedaling and a thin Vibram sole, which offers a reduced profile without any loss of grip – good for precarious hike-a-bikes. As a result, the Midos feel more comfortable to pedal in than standard hiking boots I’ve used in the past. There’s also discreet reflective tabs too and whilst I have yet to confirm the exact weight, they seem lighter than many leather hiking boots too.
In terms of fit, I consider them to feel narrow and snug; I wouldn’t point wide footers in their direction. And I’d likely recommend sizing up, especially if you intend to wear thick socks. I’m generally a 43, with a left foot that’s a touch larger than my right, and found the size 43 that I was sent left little room for my toes to enjoy much of a stretch. So although the Midos definitely gave over time, I’d have sized up if I’d been ordering my own own pair. But if you get it right (there’s a sizing chart on their website) and their shape fits you, I can’t fault them comfort wise. The leather is extremely supple and it was a matter of hours before they felt like boots I’d owned all my life. The long laces offer adjustability along the whole length and if/when they laces wear out, or you just feel like a change, Pedaled include a spare set in a different color.
I wore these boots whilst riding the Trans Alp bikepacking route. Pedaled calls them waterproof and thankfully, given the adverse weather, I’d agree. Mine took an especially hard beating in the high mountains, where heavy rainfall and multiple stream crossing resulted in sodden footware for several days in a row, only to be dried superficially with the occasional blast of sun (not a good recipe for shoes of any kind). I rode in them, hung out in camp, scrabbled around, and pushed my bike up a gamut of often loose and sharp terrain. To give them their best chance of a long and prosperous life, I treated mine with whatever I could lay my hands on along the way, be it beeswax or bacon fat – like a Brooks saddle, boots like the Midos need regular TLC to ensure they last as long their cost demands. (side ponder: I’ve found that treating leather boots and saddles, working wax into creases and dry spots, is a very therapeutic process… and a good reminder of the value of looking after gear, so it lasts as long as it can) In use, I found the boots grippy enough on the aggressive platform pedals I was running not to worry about slipping, but I wouldn’t consider them to be in the same league as my super tacky 5.10s. Hike with them though, and they’re plenty of purchase, which can’t be said for latter.
At $305, the big question is: how have they held up? Thanfully again, I can report that the news is good; there are scuffs to the leather but the sole remains completely intact, whilst the heel, which can typically show signs of wear and damage as the boots are slipped on and off when wet, is as good as new. The yellow finish that my test shoes came in has dulled, which is no bad thing… Note that these boots are available in four colors, and I expect that to be the same for all of them. There’s no unexpected damage to report, bar an extremely small amount of rubber peeling from one of the toe bumpers. It hasn’t got any worse over time, but I’ll ‘shoo goo’ it down shortly to be on the safe side. The leather has softened and darkened; be sure to be attentive with removing mud and grime so it didn’t work its way in, as it has on my boots. Being relatively traditional in terms of materials, I expect these boots would be easy for a cobbler to repair or resole, if the situation arose.
But don’t take my word for it. Choosing footware is very much a personal matter, so I asked Joe Cruz, who has been using a set of Midos for the last few years, to comment on their comfort, performance, and longevity. Read his thoughts below and notice too how his pair of Midos also show a much more subdued patina than their original olive green finish, as seen on Pedaled’s website.
Second Opinion – Joe Cruz
Now a few years old, my Midos are going strong and have taken on a terrific worn in look. I had been looking for boots for big, expedition style rides where I would be on flat pedals and could expect significant hike-a-bike. Those are the kind of trips where I might bring a pair of light beach flip flops to give my feet some relief at the end of the day, but would be in my main footwear for most of every day, from the airport to walking around the capital to riding to market stops. The Midos have been stellar on all fronts.
Some standout features for me are: the low profile sole that isn’t chunky looking but that is effective on scree and other loose stuff. Laces all the way down to the toe like on a climbing shoe to make for tons of adjustment all along my foot. Bomber construction that so far hasn’t needed repair or shoe goo. Sticky rubber with a simple tread pattern.
I suppose things to think about include that the last is somewhat narrow—typical of an Italian made shoe—and is just barely tolerant of my high volume foot. The upside of this is that I can keep my feet well centered on my pedals and close to the crank arm in a way that is hard with standard hiking boots. But I do normally like my shoes roomier. And the sizing runs just a smidge small. I followed Pedaled’s directions for sizing and received a pair that fit me but left little wiggle room for heavy socks, so I had them professionally stretched. They’re perfect now, but probably just go ahead and order one (European) size larger.
I love the function and look of these, and I’m glad I splurged on them.
- Great looking shoe that gets better and better with age
- Narrow profile Vibram sole is grippy and light
- Robust heel that’s shaped for pedaling
- Tough overall build
- Four colors and two sets of laces with each pair
- Reflective heel tabs
- Expensive for a riding shoe
- Limited sizing
- Extremely small amount of rubber peeling on the bumper of one boot
- Not as grippy as 5.10s (but longer lasting)
- Narrow last won’t suit everyone
- MSRP $305/265 Euros
- Sizes available 39-45
- Colors available 4
- Weight TBC
- Place of Manufacture Italy
- Manufacture’s Details PedalEd
The Midos look and feel like a high-end hiking boot, albeit with some welcome design tweaks tailored to cyclists: the thin sole, the low heel, and the discreet reflective tab. They’re lighter than I expected and in no way are they the heavy, clompy hiking boots you might imagine. They feel great to ride in and they’re undeniably handsome. In terms of fit, the narrow last won’t suit everyone, and based on our collective experiences, sizing is a little hard to nail. This said, we’re in agreement that sizing up is best for thicker socks.
Flat or clipless? Tacky soles or hardwearing rubber? There’s always a balance to strike on any bikepacking trip. Which is best for you will largely boil down to a combination of personal taste, riding style, terrain, expected hike-a-bikes, and duration of the journey. One the one hand, the Mido’s Vibram sole has proved itself very resilient to aggressive flat pedals, but it’s also not as grippy as the likes of softer compound soles, like the 5.10 series I often trail ride in. There’s always a trade-off: my 5.10s would certainly be showing more signs of wear given the same period of use.
Looks-wise, these boots just get better and better; the word patina may well have been invented for Italian leather hiking boots. But to keep them looking sharp, you’ll need to take good care of them. The leather is hungry for quality oils and ointments, and will need TLC for a long and faithful life.
Are the Midos worth twice the cost of a standard, good quality hiking boot? If they fit, they’re certainly a more bike-refined option and I’d be tempted to say they’ll outlive the majority of them. If anything changes in relation to how the Midos hold up – because durability is a key piece of the equation, given the price – I’ll update this review.