Shimano's XT group is blowing up in 2016. The drivetrain and wheels feature wider Q-factor options, wider gear ratios, and wider rims -- a general trend that extends to the XT PD-M8000 XC Pedals, too. Compared to the M780 pedals they're replacing, the M8000 XC racing pedals gain 2. 8mm in platform width for just under 8% more contact surface between pedal and shoe. The story isn't all addition, though, with the stack height dropping by . 5mm. While this isn't a huge reduction, it does put your soles that much closer to the pedal axle and allows a touch more clearance to avoid pedal strikes. Other than those changes, the pedals are virtually the same. Four degrees of float, two-sided entry, bombproof durability of the body and sealed cartridge bearings, and simple, muck-clearing cleat-to-pedal interface -- the features that recommend Shimano's SPDs as the default pedal for mountain, commuting, 'cross, and even road riding are all retained. The XC model is slightly lighter and less substantial than the Trail version. It also lacks the extra platform, with Shimano opting to make the M8000 pedals low-weight XC racers with an eye toward widening time gaps on climbs instead of armored trail bruisers built for establishing new lines across techy terrain.