Northwave launched a major innovation with its Extreme RR road shoes last year, the first display of the revolutionary XFrame® patented technology: it eliminated all pressure points on the upper and gave a super snug fit. Many have wondered when Northwave would extend the innovation to its top-level mountain bike shoes.
Northwave will officially present its new generation of top-range mountain bike cross country shoes at Eurobike in August. The Ghost XC is the first MTB shoe by Northwave featuring the exclusive XFrame® Technology.
Paired with the Hyperlight XC outsole – co-developed with Michelin Technical Soles – this should be Nortwave’s best XC shoe yet.
What’s the deal with the new upper from Northwave?
The new upper construction is made of new generation materials: inner mesh for increased comfort, a stiffened mid layer for even support through the support, and a 0.5 mm highly wear-resistant outer film for protection. In addition, rubber inserts in the more exposed areas to scratches and blows act as additional protection for the upper and the foot.
The SLW2 dial allows step-to-step and complete release with only one trigger – is enhanced by the innovative route of the cable on the upper.
A complex system of angles, designed with geometric precision creates a unique frame over the upper to provide the snuggest and most even fit ever, eliminating the pressure points while being extremely easy to adjust with only one SLW2 rotor. No detail was left unchecked: Northwave picked Dyneema instead of steel as material for the SLW2 wire. Dyneema is highly-resistant, but also soft: this means it adapts way better to the shape of your foot, eventually leading to a better and more precise fit, with no pressure points.
Northwave get a grip
Another major asset of the new Ghost XC is the Hyperlight XC outsole, inspired by Michelin’s Wild Race’r mountain bike tyre, another product of the established and fruitful cooperation between Northwave and Michelin Technical Soles. Having used the previous Northwave Extreme XC alongside shoes like Shimano’s XC90 and Specialized S-Works XC, the Michelin rubber outersole is clearly superior.
The Hyperlight XC midsole is the outcome of biomechanical studies to locate materials only where actually needed for maximum efficiency, so to be able to combine very low weight and extreme rigidity – it grades 14 in the Northwave stiffness index.
Aggressive sculptures in the toe and heel areas provide the ideal grip and traction, while the side sculptures are there to guarantee stability, and are melted into the soles structure for unprecedented resistance. Michelin’s OC compound, 28% more wear-resistant than TPU, also guarantees superior endurance.