The Spider Plus 2s have a distinctive ‘euro’ style that sits somewhere between a 90s MTB shoe and a modern trail running shoe. Any quibbles about the looks are soon forgotten once you slip them on though.
Northwave has done a great job when it comes to fit. The soft upper, well-padded tongue and nicely shaped, roomy toe box add up to a seriously comfy shoe, and at 852g a pair they’re reasonably light too.
A cable-lace dial lets you adjust the tension across your foot, while a large Velcro strap across the top ensures the shoe remains properly secure, without pinching. Well-positioned cleat slots make it easy to obtain a fairly rearward cleat position and provide a decent amount of mud clearance.
On the bike, there’s enough feedback through the sole that things don’t feel too vague or rigid. Stamp on the pedals and you can feel some flex through the sole, especially when using non-caged clipless pedals. They’re still more than stiff enough for long rides if you use caged clips though.
Off the bike, the X-Crossbow Michelin outsole bites into the trail and the shoes feel surefooted even on dicey rocks and roots.