The shoe is based on the Fizik Terra X5 mountain bike shoe, but it has a number of adaptations that make it suitable for a wider range of cycling disciplines, as well as “hiking with a fully-loaded bike”.
Fizik says the Terra Atlas has a roomier fit and grippier sole when compared to the Terra X5. It trades a Boa and Velcro closing setup for a single Boa dial, and has a nylon foot plate and rubber-coated outsole rather than a full-carbon sole.
The Terra Atlas has some similarities to the Terra X5 shoe. There is a handy loop on the heel of the shoe and studs can be fitted to the sole.
The shoe I have is black, but there are more eye-catching colours available, including a pink and purple option, and a green and black version.
Made for walking
The Terra Atlas is said to be suitable for walking, bringing bikepacking adventures within its scope.
It has a wide outsole with a broad heel platform and deep-set lugs to provide a secure and firm grip.
There is a rubber coating across the whole of the sole, meaning you can be a bit more carefree about where you place your foot on loose or slippy terrain.
To make walking in these shoes easier, Fizik has used a nylon foot plate, as opposed to the carbon sole used in the Terra X5 shoes.
On Fizik’s stiffness index, the Terra Atlas has a rating of 5/10. While’s it hard to get a measure on what that means exactly, the shoe certainly has a good level of flex for walking without ever feeling too flexible when pushing on the pedals.
This is a notable difference from the Terra X5, which we said was too stiff for walking when compared to some of the best gravel bike shoes.
If the shoe fits
As well as providing plenty of grip, the wide outsole means the Terra Atlas has a more generous fit than the Terra X5 and other race-ready mountain bike shoes.
I have the Fizik Terra Atlas in a size 43, which is the same size as my Fizik R1 road shoe.
My feet are rather slim and I don’t mind squeezing them into narrow road cycling shoes as a result. But the wider fit, and roomier toe box of the Terra Atlas meant they were comfortable from the first time I put them on. The downside of this was the closure system had more work to do. I had to tighten the Boa dial a great deal to get a snug fit around my feet.
I found the fit of the shoe leads to some heel slip when walking, regardless of the grippers on the inside of the heel.
I thought going down a size might rectify this problem because this is something Jack Evans had to do when testing the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon. However, according to Fizik’s shoe-sizing guide, I should be going up half a size to 43.5.
I’m sceptical of this because my Fizik R1 road shoe fits me well. Of course, the R1 isn’t designed for hiking with a bike, but I haven’t suffered any heel slip when pedalling or (doing my best impression of) sprinting when wearing them. The two Boa dials on the R1 mean I can get a better fit than when wearing the Terra Atlas.
Although the Boa lace extends further down the Terra Atlas than the Terra X5, this experience has left me to wonder whether the Terra Atlas would benefit from a second dial or Velcro strap over the toe box – at least for cyclists with slimmer feet, like myself.
Fizik Terra Atlas performance
I wore the Fizik Terra shoe on gravel rides that had a fair mix of loose gravel tracks, bridleways, woodland trails and tarmac.
While the sole is more flexible than many racier shoes, the Terra Atlas evenly distributes pressure across my foot even when riding on tarmac roads and pushing hard on the pedals.
The flexibility might compromise power transfer, but it does mean the shoe is easy to live with on and off the bike, especially when walking. Given the fact it’s designed for all manner of riding, including adventures, this seems key.
The lugs around the front of the shoe and the heel work well on loose and wet terrain, and make it easier to walk than in some other cycling shoes. However, the heel slip was bothersome when I was pushing my bike up trails and paths.
Despite the large lugs at the front of the shoe, it was easy to clip in and out of pedals. The middle rubberised section of the shoe proved useful when walking and I was grateful for it when I missed clipping in on trickier terrain.
It should be noted that the lugs are part of the shoe’s outsole, so you can’t replace them.
The Fizik Terra Atlas holds up well to bumps and scrapes, thanks to its sturdy upper and the TPU overlay on the toe cap.
At 389g per shoe (size 43), the Fizik Terra Atlas isn’t the lightest. But this comes as little surprise considering the shoe’s build, which prioritises robustness over performance.
Fizik Terra Atlas bottom line
The Fizik Terra Atlas is a good-looking and robust off-road shoe.
The shoe might not be the lightest or stiffest, but its wide and grippy outsole combined with its generous fit make it easy to live with, straight from the box.
Despite the presence of heel grips designed to keep your foot in place, you might find your foot lifts up when walking.
It’s probably worth trying before you buy to get the right fit, especially if you’re looking for a shoe to serve you on your next hike-a-bike adventure.