Worn by many of the worlds best riders, it’s no great surprise to see Specialized’s 2fo Cliplite shoes right at the top end of the market from the outset. The marketing giants are always quick to ensure their products are in the limelight, on the cameras and putting themselves about. And the 2FO Cliplite is no different.
Designed for pushing the limits of Enduro racing or Trail riding the 2FO Cliplite delivers pedal connection comfort and protection as you race down the trail. This ultra-light version of the popular 2FO Clip is engineered for smooth pedal entry and exit thanks to the Landing Strip cleat pocket meaning you can focus on going fast on the descent without the weight penalty for your climb back to the top. It’s foot out flat out—on a diet.
With a price tag of £140, and currently retailing at a little over £100 on Cyclestore.co.uk, this shoe now falls into the middle of the price range for MTB shoes. Available in a huge variety of colours and editions, we managed to get our hands on the new limited edition Jaw Breaker pair as well as the standard Black/Red Camo.
The Body Geometry sole construction and footbed: ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to increase efficiency and reduce chance of injury. This works by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment. These are at the forefront of the shoe market and have been thoroughly designed to stop the niggles setting in. The 2FO Cliplite also have a cushioned EVA midsole for comfort with molded heel cup for stability.
A new “Landing Strip™” cleat pocket is optimized for effortless foot-out riding style with platform clip pedals. Extended length cleat slot (4mm) for rearward cleat set up option. Redesigned for ease of use, these are a fantastic feature for the new shoe. On top of this a two-bolt cleat pattern fits all major MTB pedals. The ease of use is greater improved by two independent Boa® S2-Snap dials for easy adjustment. The Boa dials are specialized best closure system featured across the disciplines in the top end shoes.
A stiff Lollipop™ nylon composite plate for high performance pedaling and off bike comfort holds the shoe very firm. This stops any torsional movement through the foot whilst a slipNot™ rubber sole maximizes traction on the bottom of the foot.
Asymmetric toe box protection where you need it reduces the impact of any bumps and bangs to the front of the foot, allowing you to ride with that extra security. This is mixed with a smooth thermobonded upper for lightweight durability and a snag-free profile.
Finally the all new 2FO Cliplite tip the scales with an approximate weight of 379g (1/2 pair, size 42).
Out of the Box:
Straight from the box these shoes certainly look the part. The colour schemes are slick and well designed, as is now the norm from the designers over at Specialized. The 2fo Cliplite doesn’t have the same rugged aesthetic as it’s skate inspired rivals such as the Giro Chamber. But these black trimmed shoes look a less obvious choice to be wear to the after party and much more ready to be dragged through the dirt over and over again. A shoe much more suited to trail riding rather than the downhill discipline.
The variety of colours offered by Specialized are appealing and a lot of thought often goes into the aesthetics of the shoe. However as always, it’s nice to see that this is a glammy after thought. The ergonomics and function of the shoe is put at the forefront of the agenda by the Californian giants. And the result? A shoe that does what it says on the tin.
The 2FO Cliplite are incredibly comfy on the foot, this is helped by the Specialized SL foot beds mixed with the cushioned EVA midsole. If your feet are on the wide side then we’d suggest a try before you buy approach, as is best with shoes. The heel cup hugs the foot and offers a level of support immediately noticed. The two BOA dials offer a level of comfort far beyond what a lot of the elastic laces can offer. And they aren’t compromised by the rain. Mixed with the fact you’re never going to get a BOA dial caught in your drive chain, like you might a lace, we can certainly see the appeal of the dial system.
On to the Bike:
It has to be said that the shoes did let a lot of water into the shoe. We didn’t find them to be very waterproof which means that if you’re in the market for a solid winter shoe, it might be worth looking elsewhere. Aside from that though, the shoe was generally a great ride.
The stiffness of the sole through the 2FO ClipLite was a definite positive of the show. The Nylon composite offers great control through the shoe when attached. The power through the shoes felt very responsive. Dabbing feet on the ground before needing to clip back into the pedals was also made very easy. The shoes offered a lot of feedback but hadn’t compromised on comfort. They’re not as flexible through the midsole as other MTB shoes, so hiking wouldn’t be too high up the priority list in the shoe. This may need to be considered if you’re thinking about pushing the bike up a lot of hills.
The rubber on the base of the shoe is much more forgiving than the hard sole you find on most clipless pedal shoes. With a name like Slipnot rubber, you’d expect it to hold traction well. And it does live up to the name. The fact the cleat is raised up into the shoe also keeps this out of the way, great for the rockier of rides. This is one of the positives while walking in the shoe, despite comfort being somewhat compromised.
The lack of laces make the shoe very easy to clean post ride. As does the amount of black used on the shoe. The exterior doesn’t retain water or excess mud so a quick wipe down from ride to ride is enough to keep you going until a complete and thorough shoe clean is needed. This is a definite benefit over a lot of other shoes.
Specialized have created a great all round shoe in the ClipLite. The use of BOA dials set it apart from many of its competitors. Ergonomics and form really are at the forefront of this design. The aesthetics haven’t been compromised, and the only real issues with the shoes are the lack of waterproofing. This mixed with the lack of comfort for hiking in the shoes are the only negatives. With this in mind, we’d definitely recommend the 2FO Cliplite.