The Specialized 2fo Flat MTB Shoe 2017 is another of the top end 2FO shoes released by Specialized for the 2017 season. One of the others being the sister shoe, the 2FO Cliplite which we reviewed first. Available for both Men & Women, the Flat shoe comes out slightly heavier than the Cliplite, with a few less fancy features. But what’s left is an aesthetically pleasing, skate inspired shoe packed with performance features.
Pushing the limits requires confidence in your equipment. 2FO Flat brings control, comfort, and protection to platform pedal footwear without any weight and fit penalties. Developed and tested by gravity and all mountain athletes worldwide, 2FO Flat uses Specialized’s SlipNot™ rubber tread compound for ultimate platform pedal hook-up. Foot out, flat out.
Retailing at £89.99 the 2FO Flat is definitely at the affordable end of the market. Granted it doesn’t have the same clip features as with most MTB shoes, so you don’t get quite the same control. But if flat pedals are your thing and you want to look slick while you do it, they’re worth considering.
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. Similar to the 2FO Cliplite the 2FO Flat also have a cushioned EVA midsole for comfort sealed with a protective skin for support and tear resistance.
Similar to the Recon Mixed Terrain the 2FO Flat has a Lacelock™ elastic loop to keep laces out of the chainrings. Similar to many of the now popular Giro shoes with a more retro aesthetic. The SlipNot™ rubber compound on the base of the shoe is developed in our tire lab optimizes shoe and pedal connection. The Directional shark-skin forefoot tread pattern grips pedals, while open rear hex pattern provides traction.
Injection-molded toe kick, anti-tear toe, and high-side cuff for lightweight armor-like protection is a claim we’d certainly be putting to the test. The air mesh tongue and upper provides protection and quickly sheds water weight. We’d also be testing the durability of the smooth thermobonded upper for lightweight durability and a snag-free profile. And finally the shoes tip the scales at just under 800g a pair.
Out of the Box:
The 2FO Flat certainly looks the part. Available in a multitude of colours & combinations. With a few limited edition styles knocking around here and there, you really are spoiled for choice with the shoes. Available to match any outfit aesthetics were clearly right at the forefront of the design for this shoe. So as far as looking the part goes, they tick that box. But in terms of performance? We’d have to wait and see.
Despite quite a wide fit the shoes were fairly comfy. They feel very stiff which makes them quite uncomfortable to walk in. It’s like walking in a pair of wooden clogs, except without the benefit of having clips on the bottom that comes with the 2FO Cliplite. The laces are a good quality so it makes them easy to tie up and keeps a good tension across the foot. But wit has to be said the laces did press onto the tongue across the instep making them quite uncomfortable.
On to the Bike:
While pedaling the stiffness of the 2FO Flat is great. They feel like their SPD designed sister shoe, except without the clips. They’re much heavier than the other shoe although comfort through the sole is compromised for this. They’re quite grippy in muddy conditions although nowhere near the standard of other flat shoes we’ve tested.
The ventilation through the shoe really is fantastic. Designed to shed water quickly the shoe does that. In really wet conditions the weight of the shoe only increases by 50%, compared to over 100% in other shoes. We found that the ventilation was almost too good. Amazing if you live in the warmer climates, but if you’re reading this in the UK the shoe is probably not too suited to 80% of our weather. Sitting in the cupboard year round waiting for the sun to come out probably isn’t how you want to use most of your shoes.
The 2FO Flat is fairly easy to clean at the end of a long ride. It’s mesh elements can hold bits of grit and mud but generally it’s a low maintenance shoe. The durability of the shoes is generally very good. The protective skin offers an extra level of security in this although any big knocks would likely pierce this.
We absolutely loved the 2FO Cliplite although we felt that the 2FO flat let us down slightly. Far too stiff to make a comfortable shoe to walk in, the highlights of this shoe are it’s stiffness on the bike and ventilation. Mixed with an affordable price tag we’d suggest this shoe to anyone that lives in a warmer climate.