Specialized may have some of the most aggressive and hostile corporate business practices around the bike industry(your typical American corporation business success story) but regardless of the that's-not-nice-so-don't-be-such-a-bully-business-practices reaction I have towards them(and yes, I resent the Galactic Justice Makers for not reprimanding them through means of Universal Karmic Law) they make some of the highest grade products on the market(and the hugest range thereof) - and I can't deny that. You would expect a company spread so far through so many product lines to produce watered down goods, but they don't. Frames, tires, shoes, wheels, saddles and suspension are all very, very good. Wait, definitely not suspension. That was an epic let down that I wasted a month and a couple cracked ribs on a few years ago.
Take the new Rime shoe for example. The Body Geometry shoes are the best fitting shoes I've ever owned. I know, ballerina slippers. Not cool. Not hip. Not BMX enough. Bike James sends me daily emails(he knows I've clipped into the dark side) reminding me how unhealthy clipless shoes/pedals are and how superior flat pedals and 5.10's are at developing mad bike handling skillz and monster power. He IS right about that. Anyway, for a clipless shoe the BG shoes are most excellent with a stiff sole, very good foot bed and a bomber locked-in heel pocket with max heel retention. My complaints would be that this style of shoe is confining in the front end, not a great walker (especially when you refuse to run anything other than a 1X drive train and it is early season and you(me) are still running a 36 from the previous year's end of season fitness requiring some push-a-biking for the first few wet rides of the new year) and they look like roadie slippers. The Rime shoe claims to provide a little more room up front, a little softer insole and a Vibram out sole. This should translate to a balanced, all around shoe for a not-so-serious trail rider. I like.
I've only ridden them on the internet, so I can't vouch for the touch, taste, smell and feel performance but they do look and sound great. Considering Specialized's history of not producing crap, it's safe to assume this shoe will deliver in the real world. I'll check them out in 2013, if I decide to take up mountain biking again.
Specialized, you make it hard to not like you.