The shoe features Specialized’s body geometry sole and footbed construction which purportedly optimizes hip, knee and foot alignment for maximum power transfer, with reduced risk of injury. The women’s contoured fit also features a low ankle collar for increased comfort.
The fit is roomy, especially in the toe box area, and the padding is ample, which can make the shoes feel a little clunky at first. It is important to make use of the opportunity to measure your feet and even determine your arch type at a Specialized store (they have a fun gadget for this). This will ensure you go home with the correct size shoe and peace of mind about your purchase. As someone who is never quite sure whether a shoe is the correct fit, I found this process invaluable.
The MotoDiva are moderately stiff everyday shoes, not carbon soled race shoes. They are sensible, safe, and comfortable, whether for a quick after work spin or an all day trail mission. They pedal efficiently for long rides, but manage to be comfortable enough for big hike-a-bikes sections. The MotoDivas weigh in at 335g per shoe for the standard size 39- this compares favourably with their racey cousins. I found the low collar height on the ankle to be very useful as I tend to develop bruising around the ankle after long rides which can be inflamed by shoes. I found I was able to ride in the MotoDiva shoes without irritation.
The SlipNot rubber grip on the sole came in very handy on rocky portages (there have been a lot of those recently), although there is a limited amount of traction gained by the small area of rubber tread, when you have cleats to deal with on wet rocks. The tread helps noticeably on sections with smaller rocks, and strangely enough in sand as well.
The highlight of the shoe is the Boa system for fastening and release. It is possible to get a more fine-tuned fit than with the ratchet system commonly found on equivalent shoes, and a bit more security than a velcro only fastening. Despite its fragile appearance, the Boa wire is robust, and the system is backed by a lifetime guarantee. My pair has survived several stage races and innumerable crashes and looks set to see me through at least another year of riding.
Finally, and most importantly, the MotoDiva look good. They are available in sensible Black/ Dark Grey, and a mouthwatering Turquoise Dipped shade, which is sure to stand out on the trails. The stitched synthetic and mesh upper is breathable and makes for a neat looking shoe which is most at home with baggies and a good sock game, but can even blend in with the lycra on a road ride.
In the end
If you are looking for a do-it-all mountain bike shoe, the MotoDiva is well worth a look. Retailing at R2,450.00 it may not be the cheapest option out there, but it will certainly give back in terms of quality, durability, and comfort.