Specialized has a shoe for every occasion, and the 2FO Roost Clip is its park-lap, chilled trail-riding shoe.
It blends a relaxed, comfortable fit with enough performance to feel the pedals properly and still be ridden hard.
Specialized 2FO Roost Clip specifications and details
Specialized has blended leather and synthetic materials in the Roost’s upper. While there are only a few ventilation holes over the toe, there are ample at either side of the foot.
The upper is thin, contributing to the low overall weight, which I appreciate more and more on long rides.
While there’s a certain amount of toe protection, it’s not as extensive as on some other shoes – you’re likely to notice this lightweight construction if you’re jumping into these from some bigger, bulky padded DH shoes.
Laces are used to secure the shoe, with the top eyelet reinforced, and there’s an elasticated lace-keeper mid-way down the thick, padded tongue.
Padding around the ankle starts mid-way up the heel box, with a stepped shape to hold onto the heel. It’s fairly dense but not too thick, so the shoe doesn’t feel bulky.
Specialized’s Body Geometry insoles have ample arch support and a metatarsal button to help keep your toes from scrunching up on longer rides.
The flat sole features a shallow tread constructed from Specialized’s relatively sticky SlipNot rubber, but there’s little provision at the toe or heel for extra grip off the bike. The sole is pretty stiff, with a little flex towards the toe.
The cleat box is broad, and positioned slightly inboard of the centre, aiding a good cleat position. The channel is unremarkable in its length, even though Specialized says it’s been extended on this model by 4mm, but it’s situated far enough back for a comfortable, stable position over the pedals.
Specialized 2FO Roost Clip performance
With only a few perforations right at the top of the toe box, and a non-porous synthetic material forming the bulk of the upper, splash protection is good.
When overwhelmed, water seemed to drain quickly out of the shoe, preventing it ever feeling waterlogged, but the tongue still takes quite a long time to dry out.
Ventilation is good, if not outstanding, but the perforations on either side of the shoe help keep it comfortable.
Comfort has traditionally been a strong point of Specialized’s shoes, and the 2FO Roost Clip is no different. The Body Geometry insole is still one of the best, though insoles from the likes of Endura compete.
My arches were better supported in these shoes than most others, and rarely did I feel my toes scrunching up, thanks to the metatarsal button.
The construction of the shoe also damps harsh impacts, and gives subtle insulation from rough tracks, even though the soles are stiff.
The only blot on the comfort record is the fairly high and stepped foam padding around the ankle. Where it goes from no padding to a very obvious padded rim, the step in thickness is noticeable.
The laces don’t extend quite as far down the shoe as on some others, such as the Shimano AM5, but I found it possible to get a good spread of tension over my foot. However, the laces sit very close and tight over the tongue, and the eyelets aren’t the smoothest running.
I found it tricky to get my fingers gripped around the laces to manipulate them into either the right tension, or to loosen them to be removed. As such, it was often just the first two rungs of lace that I ended up loosening, making these shoes tricky to get on and off.
Heel hold is good, and the little extra toe flex in the shank saves these shoes from feeling awkward when walking, because the rest of the sole is very stiff.
This stiffness means they pedal exceptionally well, and while the sole provides an excellent contact patch with platform pedals, you can get away with running these on smaller, less supportive pedals.
Specialized’s SlipNot rubber grips well on rocks and roots when you’re scrambling up or down unridable slopes. The tread isn’t deep, but it is more widely spaced than other similar-looking treads, so grip in the mud is reasonable.
The cleat channel is moderately shallow. I didn’t require cleat spacers to get a good connection with a pedal’s platform, but there is a little cleat clatter when walking on tarmac.
Specialized 2FO Roost Clip bottom line
High levels of comfort, decent pedalling manners and casual looks make the 2FO Roost Clip a popular shoe.
The friction from the laces when pulled through the eyelets is the only real issue with the shoe’s overall performance, and one which may not bother all riders.
How we tested:
Mountain bike shoes have a hard life. All your power is transferred through their soles, as well as an awful lot of bodily bike control.
At the same time, they’re stamped onto pedals (some of which have platform cages with sharp pins), are walked in on rough surfaces, have to sit in the firing line of mud and water, and shrug off impacts with trailside rocks, roots and vegetation.
As such, the best mountain bike shoes have to satisfy a wide range of requirements to reach the top of our table. In this group test, we pitted 12 pairs of clipless shoes from leading brands against each other during several months of sloppy winter testing.
We tested all these shoes with both Crankbrothers and Shimano SPD pedals to check that they’re compatible with the most common platforms. They were ridden with one foot in one brand of shoe and the other in a different type, to better grasp their differences.
Steep banks were scrambled up and down, while we carried our bikes on our shoulders to see how much our heels slipped in the heel box and our feet slipped in the mud. We even sprayed them with a hose to see how water-resistant they are, then timed how long they take to dry out.
Other shoes we tested:
- Bontrager Rally review
- Crankbrothers Mallet Speedlace
- Endura MT500 Burner Clipless review
- Five Ten Kestrel Lace review
- Fizik Gravita Versor Clip review
- Giro Berm Cover review
- Ion Rascal Select BOA review
- Leatt 6.0 Clip V22 review
- Mavic XA Elite II review
- Ride Concepts Transition review
- Scott Crus-R review
- Shimano AM5 review
|Price||AUD $220.00EUR €130.00GBP £110.00USD $130.00|
|Weight||798g (44) – for pair as tested|
Midsole: Cushioned EVA foam
Upper: Synthetic leather
Colours: Black/Gum, Cast Battleship, Taupe/Redwood
|Cleat fitting||2 bolt|
|Sole||SlipNot™ FG rubber sole for confident traction|