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The Mavic Cosmic Elite SL shoes are very neatly made, cool and comfortable. The broad forefoot will please those with wide feet and the carbon-reinforced outsole provides a great balance of efficiency and shock absorption, while the thin, soft upper is lovely... there's very little, in fact, to complain about.
While they're obviously not for chilly or rainy days – the thin fabric and considerable venting makes sure of that – the Cosmic Elite SLs are in all other ways extremely usable. They're built light and aimed at mountainous climbs, but work very well as general road shoes.
The upper is noticeably thin and soft, though the relatively stiff tongue makes sure the tension from the single Boa dial is comfortably spread across your foot. The Velcro strap is simple, light and effective, and even though the fabric can ruck if you cinch it tight (this pair turned out to be half a size bigger than my usual), it creates no pressure points or discomfort.
The fabric is laser-welded ('No, Mr Shoe, I expect you to... bond.') to the substantial mesh panels for a comfortably seamless result, and the vents provide a noticeable breeze at speed.
There's a small solid barrier ahead of your toes for protection, and an equally minimalist, rubbery toe bumper to prevent scuffing. The heels have two narrow treads for walking, and while they're quite slick, hard rubber, I never had any issues with grip.
The outsole these bumpers bracket is Mavic's Energy Carbon Comp, which apparently features composite glass fibre and polyamide inserts, although they're not visible. The result is stiff enough for decent power transfer, but not so rigid my feet ever felt battered.
The Ortholite insole probably plays its part there too, as it provides a soft, slow-rebounding bed that doesn't crush or thin out on long rides. And despite this test pair being ever so slightly large (size 45 1/3, according to the label), and consequently able to slide a fraction, they never created any hotspots – even in that wide forefoot.
That's probably as good a sign as any that the heel cup is doing its job of staying secure, again despite the (only slightly) loose fit.
The Cosmic Elite SLs are very tidily put together and feel worth their £155 tag, though at this level you have plenty of choice. The Spiuk Aldama Carbon Road Shoes are pretty similar and only 41g heavier for £160, while Shimano's RC5 SPD-SLs are slightly stiffer, only 53g heavier than the Mavics and £15 less.
If it's serious race stiffness you want, the FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe is within 18g of the Cosmic Elite SL, stiffer than an Inuit's washing line, and only £25 more.
The Mavic Cosmic Elite SL shoes are light, well-ventilated, comfortable and well made. They're stiff enough for efficiency but never harsh on long rides – for dry, warm days their lack of bulk and pleasing comfort make them an ideal choice.
Light, efficient and very comfortable road shoes, but not for winter weather
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mavic Cosmic Elite SL shoe
Size tested: 45
Tell us what the product is for
Mavic says this is: "A lightweight shoe made for alpine stage."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight upper features a supportive TPU frame that is laser welded to ultralight mesh panels keeps your feet cool in the hottest temperatures.
Heel support is integrated into the upper, eliminating the need for bulky materials on the outside of the shoe.
Energy Carbon Comp Outsole maximizes pedaling power.
High-quality Ortholite insole is designed for long-lasting comfort and reduce vibration.
Single BOA® Fit System IP1 dial lets you quickly dial in a perfect fit with 1mm increments and a quick release system.
Velcro front closure enhances fit adjustability.
New anatomic shape for heel hold and a rounded toe box for improved stability and comfort.
Very tidy and solid.
Light and decently stiff, but not at all unforgiving.
Nothing to cause concern.
The forefoot area is wide.
Usefully light for the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – efficient yet comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft upper is cool and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No fun if it turns cold or wet.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Spiuk Aldama Carbon Road Shoes are pretty similar and only 41g heavier for £160, while Shimano's RC5 SPD-SLs are slightly stiffer, only 53g heavier than the Mavics and £15 less. If it's serious race stiffness you want, the FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon is within 18g of the Cosmic Elite SL, stiffer than an Inuit's washing line, and only £25 more.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I can't find anything to seriously criticise about these – they're well made, comfortable and light, and they just get on with the job. No, they're not the stiffest, the lightest or the fanciest (and they're not great in rain or cold), but then they're not supposed to be. They're very good and an eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,