Specialized 2FO Flat shoes review£90.00

Flat-pedal shoes let down by overly stiff soles

BikeRadar score3/5

The 2FO in the name stands for foot out, flat out, but there are a few issues that stop Specialized's shoes – in flat-pedal format, anyway – from hitting full pace.

The SlipNot sole is sticky enough, while the hexagonal tread pattern becomes more tightly packed in the midsection, with a slight angle improving off-bike traction. On the pedal they hold fairly well, somewhere between the nailed on grip of Five Ten's Impact and the slightly less grippy Vibram seen on many other shoes. They do however grip nicely when walking over muddy ground.

However, the sole itself is very, very stiff which gives a rather wooden feel – too much like its clipless brother, in fact. Pedalling efficiency is great, but it’s just hard to know what the pedal is doing underfoot.

The upper has decent toe protection, but the highly perforated outer lets in water and gets chilly in the cold. If you’re mostly riding in the warm then the ventilation will be a boon, but if you're reading this in the UK, these aren't ideally suited to typical conditions outside the summer months.

The reinforced eyelets and quality laces make them easy to tension, but we found the lacing dug in onto the tongue rather uncomfortably across the instep, something not helped by minimal padding. While we love the clipless 2FOs, these flat-pedal versions are slightly lacking.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Age: 32
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 62kg / 137lbs
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 92cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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