Specialized 2FO Roost Clip - Unisex Review
Cons: Not the best lateral stability
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Specialized 2FO Roost Clip - Unisex
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|$119.96 at Backcountry|
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|$54.95 at Backcountry|
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|$149.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, good power transfer, easy to walk in||Protective, comfortable, supportive, well-constructed||Comfortable, excellent protection, excellent power transfer, easy to clip in and out of, great for hike-a-bike||Comfortable, stiff, good power transfer, large cleat opening||Lightweight, very good power transfer, breathable|
|Cons||Not the best lateral stability||Not very breathable, moderately heavy||Heavy, not waterproof||Not waterproof, velcro strap too long||Lacking side protection on the mid-foot|
|Bottom Line||This unassuming shoe combines on and off the bike performance with good power transfer and walking comfort at a relatively reasonable price tag||A supportive and durable shoe made to withstand the rigors of technical trail, all-mountain, and bike park riding||A high-performing shoe that offers comfort paired with excellent stability, protection, and walkability||This shoe offers a shock-absorbing sole and breathable uppers that deliver exceptional comfort, even when on technical hike-a-bike sections||A solid performing shoe packed with features typically reserved for shoes with a much higher price tag|
|Rating Categories||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Helli...||Ride Concepts Traverse||Five Ten Hellcat -...||Scott MTB Elite Boa...|
|Stability and Control (20%)|
|Specs||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Ride Concepts Helli...||Ride Concepts Traverse||Five Ten Hellcat -...||Scott MTB Elite Boa...|
|Measured Weight (g)||322g||413g||450g||437g||351g|
|Outsole||SlipNot FG||Clip Grip||DST 8.0 MID GRIP Rubber||Stealth C4 rubber||Sticki rubber|
|Closure||Laces||Laces, Velcro strap||Laces/Velcro||Laces/Velcro||Boa, Velcro strap|
|Upper Material||synthetic leather||Microfiber synthetic with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic & D30||Synthetic weather-resistant micro-perforated, EVA||Microfiber, 3D nylon air mesh|
|Footbed||Body Geometry||Dual-density EVA||EVA Foam||EVA Foam||ErgoLogic|
|Sole||Soft Lollipop Nylon Composite Plate||RC PowerDrive nylon shank||D30 High Impact Insole||Three-quarter dual-density TPU shank, EVA midsole||Fiberglass-reinforced nylon|
|Size Tested||EU 39.5 / US 8.5||US 8.5||EU 39.5 / US 8.5||EU 40 2/3 / US 8.5||EU 39|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The 2FO Roost Clip is one of the newest shoe models from the industry giant, Specialized. This unassuming shoe may look more like something you'd wear around town versus on the bike, but don't let the casual looks fool you. This is a versatile shoe made to perform both on the bike and while walking. Its Body Geometry sole and footbed are not only comfortable but are paired with Specialized's Stiff Lollipop™ nylon composite plate sole which creates a great combination for transferring power into the pedals. Speaking of power, the Roost Clip is surprisingly light making it easy to spin the pedals while remaining comfortable for long days in the saddle. Our testers found the breathability to be fairly good thanks to perforations along the side of the shoe and the XPel Airmesh helps the shoes dry out quickly so they are ready for your next ride. We put these shoes through their paces on a variety of trails, from mellow cross-country flow to slow-speed technical rides. The Roost Clip performed well in a variety of conditions and the EVA foam midsole soaks up all but the chunkiest trail vibrations. Overall, our testers were impressed with this shoe's performance and its price tag makes it even more attractive, especially given it outperforms many more expensive shoes.
Stability and Control
Having a shoe that has the right blend of stiffness and flex is important, especially if you are someone who enjoys sessioning features or hike-a-bikes. The Roost Clip provides a good blend of stability and control over the pedals thanks to a large cleat opening called the Landing Strip, an EVA foam midsole, and Stiff Lollipop™ nylon composite plate in the sole.
Our testers tend to prefer descending and technical riding and prioritize a setback cleat position for clipless riding. The Roost Clip has 1 ¼ inches of fore/aft cleat adjustment in what Specialized refers to as the Landing Strip. This makes finding your preferred cleat position fairly easy and according to Specialized the cleat plate on the Roost Clip extends 4mm farther back compared to other models, something that is worth noting if you prefer to ride with the cleat more towards your midfoot.
The Stiff Lollipop™ nylon composite plate is found in the sole of the Roost Clip and provides very good power transfer into the pedals. This stiff plate is comfortable for standing up on the pedals and for pushing hard into them without flexing underfoot. We were especially impressed with the shoe's power transfer given that it is a lace-up shoe and does not have a carbon sole. During our testing, we were able to put explosive power into the pedals on short, steep, technical climbs without feeling much energy loss. But, we did experience some lateral movement through our midfoot. Because we could not lace them as tightly as desired, we feel it slightly detracts from our overall power transfer and our lateral stability. Our testers find shoes with a Boa lacing to fit best through our midfoot.
The EVA foam midsole does a good job of absorbing moderately rocky sections of the trail, but we found the shoe's ability to absorb the trail decreases as the trail gets more technical. For example, on long rides consisting of blue and black terrain, we felt more vibrations through the midsole as the terrain became rockier. However, while these vibrations are felt, they are not felt to the point of causing discomfort. Overall, the Roost Clip performs very well in our Stability and Control metric earning it high marks.
The Roost Clip is a unisex shoe and we used Specialized's fit chart to help us determine the appropriate size for our size 8.5 women's feet which equated to a EU39.5. We were very pleasantly surprised with the overall fit of the Roost Clip, especially being a unisex shoe, which are typically wider in the forefoot. The Roost Clip fit our feet very well and did not feel overly large.
Specialized refers to the Roost Clip as having a relaxed fit, which we would agree with. If you're looking for a sleek shoe that fits like a leather glove or you have particularly narrow feet, this is not the shoe for you. But, if you're looking for a comfortable shoe that can be worn all day, the Roost Clip should definitely be on your list of shoes to consider.
Overall, we would call the Roost Clip a mid-volume shoe, meaning it's not super wide, nor terribly narrow. Our testers have a slightly widened forefoot, and occasionally experienced some pressure at the widest part of our forefoot, a common issue on long rides. Through the mid-foot, the shoe is wider than comparable shoes in our test. This caused a bit of lateral movement through the midfoot, which we felt slightly affected our overall power transfer.
We found it hard to get the shoe tightly laced through the mid-foot and when comparing the shoe's lace eyelets to others tested, we noted they do not extend down onto the forefoot as other shoes tested. Other shoes tested had eyelets extending an additional ¾ inch which allows for greater fit refinement.
The inside of the shoe is lined with Xpel Airmesh which Specialized states increases comfort, reduces weight, and helps the shoe dry more quickly. After long rides in hot and humid conditions, our socks were mildly moist from sweat, but not drenched. The midfoot of the shoe has five columns of vertical perforations for airflow, which work adequately. On windy days we could feel the air flowing through the perforations. While they are not the most breathable shoes tested, they do breathe relatively well in comparison to similarly constructed shoes.
Specialized is known for their Body Geometry footbeds, which are ergonomically constructed and designed to keep joints in alignment. Our testers have flat feet and find the Body Geometry footbed comfortable for all-day wear and did not experience any problems with the arch feeling over or under-supported.
The outsole of the Roost Clip is constructed with Specialized's SlipNot FG outsole that has great traction on rocks for hike-a-bikes. Our testers used Shimano SPD cleats with no spacers on the Roost Clip shoes and found the cleat to be at the same level as the shoe's outsole when mounted. While the cleat was not recessed from the outsole, we did not have any problems with slipping on rocks or slabs during hike-a-bikes, as some others have noted.
The Roost Clip is very comfortable to walk in and have just enough flex at the forefoot when on foot, and the SlipNot FG rubber grips the rocks well without slipping. The hexagonal lugs are evenly spaced on the shoe's outsole and perform best in dry conditions and will cake with mud but the Landing Strip's size allows it to resist caking and sheds mud fairly well. Overall, the Roost Clip is a very comfortable shoe, so much so that you may be tempted to wear them post-ride but we don't recommend it as it can wear down the soft rubber sole more quickly.
Most lightweight shoes offer little in terms of protection and of the shoes in our lineup the Roost Clip provides the most protection of any shoe of similar weight. Specialized uses an XPel Airmesh lining which helps minimize weight while retaining impact resistance properties. We did not have any crashes while wearing the Roost Clip, but did have a stray rock or two kick up and hit us in the forefoot which was felt, but not as much as we would have expected.
There is a small rubber rand around the toecap which provides some forward protection and the tongue and ankle are both padded for comfort and protection. There is a large elastic lace retainer on the tongue, that somewhat blends in with laces, and keeps the laces out of chainring. Our laces are a touch long for the size of our shoe, so we double knotted them to take up some of the extra lace.
The Roost Clip has fully synthetic uppers which are sturdier and more scuff resistant than the suede uppers found on the Roost Flat. For general trail riding, including all-mountain and even some enduro, the Roost Clip offers enough protection although we would seek more protection for lift-accessed bike park riding.
The Roost Clip shines in this metric, weighing in at only 322 grams per shoe for EU 39.5 / US 8.5. This is a shoe that feels light on the foot, is easy to spin the pedals with, and is comfortable for all-day use. Consider their casual looks and full coverage rubber soles, we were genuinely surprised by how lightweight they were.
The 2FO Roost Clip is an exceptional value for its performance and comfort. In many of our metrics, it performed as well as or better than shoes which cost considerably more. In comparison to similarly priced shoes, it has better power transfer and weighs considerably less.
The Specialized 2FO Roost Clip impressed our testers with its performance both on and off the bike. We were able to power up steep climbs with this lightweight, unassuming shoe, and comfortably walk in them. The large Landing Strip makes clipping in and out easy and the EVA foam insole and Stiff Lollipop™ sole absorb trail impacts relatively well. Best of all this shoe comes in at a relatively low price and is an excellent choice for most trail riding without breaking the bank.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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