The Specialized Rime shoe is forging a genre all its own within the mountain bike shoe category. Specialized’s latest creation does away with the carbon sole and the ultra light upper, but still holds on to the retention features of a $350 race shoe. Specialized has blended the BOA technology of their S-Works shoes with a hard Vibram sole that gives the average rider a bit more comfort on long all-mountain days. At $175 the Rime is positioned between the Comp and Pro level shoes, but packs a very different punch.
The Rime features the latest S2 BOA and two Velcro straps, making the Rime the least expensive BOA shoe in the Specialized mountain bike line by nearly $200. Lake, another manufacturer incorporating BOA technology offers their MX170 mountain bike shoes for under $200 with a BOA, though the MX170 is much more of an XC shoe rather than a Trail shoe. Out of the box, the Rimes do not catch the eye as a fashionable addition to one’s wardrobe. They look like your average trail shoes, but the secureness of their fit will impress even the snobbiest of fashion connoisseur.
At 420 grams a shoe (size 43), the Rime is about 100 grams heavier than similarly priced shoes. The cost reflects the versatility of the Vibram sole mixed with the BOA technology. The shoe is clearly no lightweight, but we hope its comfort on the trail for a long day will make the sacrifice worthwhile. Around the office we find the Vibram soles to be very grabby and surprisingly stiff, but check back for our full review of the Rime.