The Rascal is ION’s only clipless shoe. Its looks suggest it’s aimed at downhillers but it’s actually far more of an all-rounder.
The sole gives a solid platform to push against and only has a little of the flex found in DH/enduro shoes, such as Shimano’s AM9 or Specialized’s 2FO Clip, without being XC stiff.
It’s relatively deep too, which means feel and feedback from the pedal is numbed somewhat, but this is something you get used to.
The cleat sits roughly 10mm further forward in the most rearward position than on the 2FO, which won’t suit everyone. You’ll also need to add a spacer if you use a caged pedal because the ‘SupTraction Rubber Soul CL’ outsole is really quite grippy, which is a plus for those ‘riding unclipped on top of the pedal’ moments.
The raised and wide-spaced toe and heel treads help when scrabbling up muddy trails off the bike. There’s a little heel lift when walking but no worse than on other trail shoes.
The laces and V-shaped ‘Serpen Tie’ strap lock your foot solidly in place, and I didn’t have any comfort issues on longer rides thanks to the well-supported fit and feel.
With its raised, padded inner ankle cuff and reinforced toe box, the Rascal does a decent job of warding off bumps and rock strikes. The pricing and 922g weight (UK 8) are competitive too.