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Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex Review

An excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and value
Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $120 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Pros:  Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable price
Cons:  Long laces, minimal foot protection
Manufacturer:   Specialized
By Tara Reddinger-Adams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 26, 2021
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85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Grip - 30% 10
  • Comfort and Protection - 25% 7
  • Rigidity and Power Transfer - 20% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Weight - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Specialized 2FO Roost Flat is one of the company's newest offerings for flat pedal shoes and makes a big statement by balancing grip, comfort, performance, and value. This shoe has some of the best grip of any model we have tested and excelled on all types of terrain from mellow to steep and rocky. The shoe's suede upper and relaxed fit make for an incredibly comfortable combination that only gets better with use. We found few drawbacks to this relatively lightweight and breathable shoe and find ourselves reaching for it time and time again. Despite lacking burly foot protection, this shoe would suit both new and seasoned riders alike and is as at home on quick laps as it is on all-day epics.

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Pros Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable priceLightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durableExcellent grip, Lots of foot protection, durabilityGood grip, very good power transfer, stiff, durableInexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip
Cons Long laces, minimal foot protectionBreathability is not the best in hot conditionsBulky and heavy, poor ventilation, not the best choice for trail ridingA bit heavier than other comparable shoes we tested, breathability is lacking in hot and humid conditionsNot the grippiest, moderate weight
Bottom Line An excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and valueA great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfortThese are great for a downhill-specific rider, as they provide tons of foot protection and tenacious gripAn ultra stiff and durable shoe with a no-slip grip and an impact absorbing midsoleThis is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price
Rating Categories Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Freerider Pro Five Ten Impact Pro... Ride Concepts Hellion Ride Concepts Livewire
Grip (30%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort And Protection (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Rigidity And Power Transfer (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Breathability (10%)
8.0
7.0
3.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (5%)
8.0
10.0
3.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Specialized 2FO Roo... Five Ten Freerider Pro Five Ten Impact Pro... Ride Concepts Hellion Ride Concepts Livewire
Outsole SlipNot™ ST Stealth S1 Stealth S1 Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip
Tread Pattern Full Hexagon Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Dot Full Hexagon Dot Full Haxagon Dot
Measured Weight Grams (pair) 669 g 616 g 986 g 736 g 754 g
Upper Material Leather, Suede Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic Synthetic, mesh
Footbed Body Geometry Ortholite Ortholite D3O High Impact Zone D30 High Impact Zone
Sole EVA EVA EVA EVA EVA
Size Tested EU 40 8 8.5 9 9

Our Analysis and Test Results

The 2FO Roost Flat is one of Specialized's newest shoe offerings and quickly became one of our tester's favorites thanks to its grip, comfort, and breathability all at a great price point. Specialized uses their new SlipNot™ ST (Super Tacky) rubber on the sole with hexagonal lugs that provide outstanding grip on the pedal. Throughout our testing, these shoes gripped the pedals, no matter how technical or chunky the terrain, inspiring confidence to attack the most challenging lines. The suede, leather, and textile upper is incredibly comfortable and breathes fairly well. An EVA foam midsole absorbs the trail, without being overly stiff. Overall, we found few flaws with this great new model.

Performance Comparison


This 2FO Roost quickly became one of our favorites thanks to its...
This 2FO Roost quickly became one of our favorites thanks to its incredible grip and comfort.
Photo: Byron Adams

Grip


Specialized uses SlipNot™ ST rubber on the sole of the 2FO Roost Flat. We found this to be some of the grippiest rubber that we have tested, inspiring confidence on a variety of trails. Our pedal pins stuck into the shoe's soles and stayed put even on the rockiest and rowdiest of climbs and descents. Unlike other shoes tested, we were always able to maintain contact with our pedal while wearing the 2FO Roost Flat.


The hexagonal-shaped tread pattern worked very well with our Chromag Scarab pedals. The edges of the tread knobs grab the pins and they seemed to fall mostly into recessed areas on the sole providing a secure interface between our pedal's pins and the shoe's sole. The SlipNot™ ST rubber is supple enough to let the pedal pins sink in, and our foot never slipped on the pedal, as opposed to shoes with harder rubber soles where the pins would occasionally slip against rubber.

The only drawback to having such good grip is that repositioning the foot on the pedal requires some thought, as you can not slide your foot on the pedal. A slight lift of the sole releases it from the pedal pins.

The grippy rubber sole does a great job at holding onto pedal pins...
The grippy rubber sole does a great job at holding onto pedal pins and helping the rider to maintain contact with the pedal in a variety of conditions.
Photo: Byron Adams

While scouting lines and sessioning sections of trail, the SlipNot™ ST rubber grips very well, especially on limestone and sandstone slick rock, and even when the rock is covered in moon dust. While walking laps at the bike park we found we had to weight our feet and dig in a bit more to gain traction into the loose dirt surface because of the shallow depth of the sole tread. The tread pattern does not offer much grip for muddy conditions and quickly cakes with mud.

This shoe is comfortable both on and off the bike. The sole flexes...
This shoe is comfortable both on and off the bike. The sole flexes through the toe to allow for a normal walking feel.
Photo: L. Gonzalez

Comfort and Protection


The 2FO Roost Flat is described as a relaxed fit by Specialized. The uppers are constructed of textile and suede/leather which becomes more supple as the shoe breaks in. Despite being a relaxed fit, we would describe the shoe's fit as medium volume. These shoes are a unisex model, and they are sold in European sizes 36-49 with half sizes between 38 and 47. Our female tester wears an 8.5 women's shoe which equates to a EU39.5. Unfortunately, it was slightly too short, so she sized up and switched to an EU40 which fit perfectly. As with most suede, there is some stretch over time as the leather loosens up. Initially, we had some pressure in the toe box because we laced the shoes a tad too tightly. With a looser lace, this went away and after wearing the shoes for three rides, the suede began to stretch a bit and conform to our foot, resulting in an incredibly comfortable fit. However, we think those with a truly wide foot may find the shoe a bit too snug for comfort.


The inside of the shoe is lined with XPEL Airmesh which is designed to absorb impact similar to padding, and it has a Body Geometry footbed. Our tester has relatively flat feet and found the footbed to be comfortable with no issues with the feel or shape of the footbed. The heel cup is deep enough to ensure your heel stays in place, even on hike-a-bikes.

The elastic lace retainers on the tongue ensure your laces stay out...
The elastic lace retainers on the tongue ensure your laces stay out of your chainring. They also proved necessary due to the length of the laces on our shoes.
Photo: Byron Adams

Looking at the shoe, one can see that it is more minimalistic in its design and lacks significant foot protection. The majority of our testing was on very rocky trails and on more than one occasion we felt the impact of rock strikes to the foot. There is a bit of rubber above the toe box which protects the front of the toes, but no additional materials aside from the XPEL Airmesh lining for protection. The tongue is padded, but not bulky by any means, and falls just forward enough of the ankle to not be uncomfortable or a distraction. In general, we feel the shoe offers enough protection for most riding, but those seeking true protection may want to look at some other models in our review.

One of the few downsides of this shoe is the incredibly long laces compared to the size of the shoe. We had to double knot each shoe to take up the extra lace so that it was out of the way, even with an elastic lace retainer built into the shoe's tongue.

The laces on our shoes seemed excessively long for the shoes size...
The laces on our shoes seemed excessively long for the shoes size. Here you can see how much extra lace there is with one knot. We always double knotted these shoes and tucked in the laces to keep them out of the way.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Rigidity and Power Transfer


The midsole of the 2FO Roost Flat dampens all but the chunkiest of trail vibrations while remaining comfortable to pedal and walk in, a combination that is difficult to find. The shoe flexes the right amount while walking to not feel stiff or uncomfortable, yet is stiff enough to provide very good power transfer into the pedals.


Throughout our testing, we were able to power up steep, chunky, technical sections of trail that required a fair amount of power into the pedals with relative ease. The shoe's medium volume prevents the foot from sliding around helping to aid in power transfer especially on technical climbs and the heel pocket is deep enough to ensure your heel stays in place.

We had no problems maintaining contact with our pedals when powering...
We had no problems maintaining contact with our pedals when powering up chunky and steep climbs.
Photo: Byron Adams

There were a few occasions while descending extra chunky descents where we felt some discomfort in our feet from the trail vibrations. However, it was not enough to make our feet sore or cause pain, and they quickly recovered once the descent was done. The sole flexes enough on the pedal to allow you to feel it, yet the shank and midsole are stiff enough to not allow you to feel everything underfoot. During testing, we were able to feel just enough of the pedal that we were never left searching for that perfect foot placement.

Breathability


The uppers of the 2FO Roost Flat are a combination of textile and suede leather with perforations in front of the laces on top of the toe box and on both sides of the midfoot. These small perforations do a surprisingly good job of allowing airflow into the shoe. On windy days on wide-open trails, the airflow through the side perforations is very pronounced and you can feel the air coming into the shoe. Even on 80° days in the desert, these shoes breathed well and our socks were only marginally damp after our rides.


The Xpel™ Airmesh lining is designed to help decrease drying time, which is great for riding in wet conditions, but also helps moisture from your feet dry quickly after a ride and helps the shoe to dry overnight after a wet ride.

Even on warm days our feet stayed relatively cool and on windy days...
Even on warm days our feet stayed relatively cool and on windy days the perforated holes provided very good airflow into the shoe.
Photo: Byron Adams

Durability


Despite having a lightweight upper, our testers found it to be incredibly durable. At first, we were skeptical of how well the suede uppers would hold up in dusty, rocky, desert conditions with the occasional creek crossing. After months of use, the uppers are in great condition, despite being quite dirty. The uppers, sole, and toe rand are all well bonded and there are no loose or fraying stitches.


While the shoes are dusty and dirty from all of our riding, there are no visible wear areas in the uppers. The suede is broken is does not show any signs of fatigue. Upon close examination of the soles, there is only the vaguest indication of wear on the rubber. Given the amount of riding we have done in these shoes, we are impressed with how well the soles are holding up to our pedal pins as other shoe's soles have begun to deteriorate more quickly.

After months of heavy use the shoes are holding up very well with no...
After months of heavy use the shoes are holding up very well with no tears, holes, frayed seams or bonding issues.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Weight


The 2FO Roost Flat weighs in at 669-grams per pair for a size EU40/US7.5, which is quite similar to many other similar shoes we have reviewed. They aren't the lightest, but they are very far from the heaviest shoes in the test. Given their relatively light weight, we feel they are a great option for trail and all-mountain riders who don't require the most protective shoe.


Each pair of shoes is weighed to aid in metric scoring and in...
Each pair of shoes is weighed to aid in metric scoring and in comparing it to other shoes.
Photo: Tara Reddinger-Adams

Value


We feel the 2FO Roost Flat is an incredible value for the money. It outperforms many higher-priced shoes in terms of its grip, comfort, and breathability. We highly recommend taking a look at the 2FO Roost flat next time you're in the market for a flat pedal shoe.

Conclusion


The 2FO Roost Flat offers a great combination of grip, comfort, and breathability, making it an excellent choice for most trail riding. The new SlipNot™ ST rubber is some of the grippiest we've found and rivals the best in the business. Beyond grip, we feel it is the Goldilocks of stiffness and walkability, offering just the right amount of each to allow the rider to power up climbs and comfortably walk around off the bike. A comfortable upper that breathes well only adds to this shoe's great qualities, and the reasonable price makes it a great value.

The blend of comfort, grip, and soles stiffness make the 2FO Roost a...
The blend of comfort, grip, and soles stiffness make the 2FO Roost a great choice for short laps and all day epics alike.
Photo: J. Preston Warner

Other Versions


Specialized makes the 2FO Roost in a Clip version for clip-in pedal riders. It looks almost exactly the same as the Flat version with the ability to mount a cleat.

Specialized also makes the 2FO DH, a shoe made for gravity riding applications. The DH version shares the same aesthetics as the Roost, but with a little more foot protection and slightly heavier weight.

Tara Reddinger-Adams