The ELC is a ruggedised version of the brands popular freeride shoe, and despite the picture (taken on the first hour of my first ride with them) my pair have now seen some filthy conditions under foot and kept me dry and comfortable throughout.
What’s different here is the polyurethane coated upper and lace guard, which keeps the crud at bay and will even survive the odd dunking if you misjudge an approach and end up in the stream (I’m sure this never happens, right?!). I’ve been genuinely amazed at how much wet these keep out, despite the fact that they are shoes not boots. The lace guard also keeps the laces out of the way of moving parts, too.
The dotty grip on the sole is fairly perfunctory on mud, so these aren’t the shoes to wear if you know you’ll be pushing as much as riding. However, I can’t think of a better soled shoe to wear once in the saddle. The ELC feels very stiff and shoe like and that, plus the shallow profile grip underneath translates as more horsepower from your legs to the pedals. They just feel really, really efficient.
► Verdict: Stiff, highly protective all-weather footwear.
► Best for: MTB in all conditions.
Review by David Lintern @davidjlintern