I bought my cross bike used and the guy I bought it from threw in SIDI mountain bike shoes (I think they were the entry level kind). Even though they were too large, I rode them for about 6 months on my commute. The sole was waaaaay too flexible for me. I know that running is involved with cross, but it's mostly on bike and that's where the power of a stiff sole makes a difference.
So when cross season was about to start, along with realizing that I was bunching up my toes during hard efforts because the shoes were too big, I popped on these. I'd been eyeing them for a while, and just needed a reason to get them. I like the brand Mavic, like how they look, and they are also a good value I think (especially if you can get them on sale).
IN THE BOX: Pretty minimalist, which is fine by me.
SPECS: $239.95 / 370g
TECH: The straps and the ratchet strap all work fine. I think in comparison to my old shoes the release on the ratchet works way smoother and easier. The sole is carbon fiber and is as stiff as I need - no flex.
GRIP: When running I haven't had any issues. Though when I'm running I'm really concentrating more on doing a fast dismount and remount at 180BPM and how my shoes feel isn't really what I've been paying attention to.
OVERALL: I think these work well, and feel like they are an upgrade over my older SIDIs (though less expensive). I could see how there could be lots of upgrades that may make it as nice as my road shoes, but those come at an additional price that's not worth it to me right now for running through the mud.
PROS: Looks cool, fits well, ratchet strap works well, good value.
CONS: A bit heavy, but nothing unexpected for the price tag.
RECOMMEND? Yes I'd recommend these for someone looking for some high functioning and good value.