The 2FO Roosts are Specialized’s best flat-pedal shoes yet. Previous iterations of the 2FO scored highly when it came to fit and comfort, but could never match the performance of Five Ten’s sticky Stealth rubber.
Thanks to Specialized’s new SlipNot ST compound, that long reign could be coming to an end. This new, stickier outsole has a consistent pattern across its entire surface, with the hexagonally-shaped tread blocks varying slightly in height, increasing from 2mm deep in the front two-thirds to around 3.5mm towards the heel.
Inside sits the Body Geometry footbed, which Specialized has spent a lot of time perfecting. This includes an EVA-cushioned midsole, to help protect feet from heavy impacts, and also boost comfort.
The uppers aren’t as mud-friendly as on the 2FO 2.0s and you’ll struggle to just wipe them clean. That’s mainly down to the suede-like material covering the toebox and the back of the heel. Connecting these are sections of perforated leather. Specialized has stuck with a standard lace-up closure, and the small, elasticated loop on the tongue is a neat touch for stowing laces.
Hit the trails and, straight from the off, it’s clear that the new 2FOs are grippy, to the point where they’re on-par with that market-leading Five Ten traction.
With the right set of pedals beneath them, they’re stuck fast. If you want to correct the position of your foot, you have to unweight it first. This level of grip may take some riders a little time to get used to, but the benefits are massive. The secure shoe-to-pedal connection means you can attack rough trails with no fear of your feet bouncing off.
This superb traction, combined with the comfortable, neutral footbed, and just the right amount of flex and stiffness through the sole, makes the 2FO Roosts comfortable to pedal all-day park laps in.
They aren’t perfect, though. That’s mainly down to the way mud seems to cling to the suede sections, rather than slide off. Thankfully the shoes dry quickly, but be warned that the suede does become stiff and takes a bit of use to loosen up.
Overall, the fit, comfort and design make the 2FO Roosts very appealing. Add that all-important, glued-to-your-pedals traction and it’s clear to see that Specialized is onto a winner here. The price isn’t too bad, either. Lose those suede sections on the upper and these shoes would be close to perfect.