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Specialized 2FO Roost Clip Review

An affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkability
Specialized 2FO Roost Clip
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $130 List | $130.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Pros:  Lightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkability
Cons:  Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stability
Manufacturer:   Specialized
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 8, 2021
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 18
  • Power Transfer - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Traction Walkability - 25% 9
  • Weight - 15% 10
  • Durability - 15% 8

Our Verdict

Specialized has released a number of new mountain bike shoes recently, and the 2FO Roost Clip is a versatile new model with decisively casual style. Looks can be deceiving, as these lace-up shoes check most of our boxes without breaking the bank. The sole is stiff enough to provide good power transfer, with flex through the toe and heel for normal walking off the bike, and full coverage SlipNot FG rubber providing good traction on most surfaces. They're generally quite comfortable, but have a somewhat roomy fit in the forefoot that should work best for people with average to slightly above average width feet. Overall, we were quite impressed with these new shoes and we feel they are an affordable option for anyone other than XC racers.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $130.00 at Competitive Cyclist$299.95 at Competitive Cyclist
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$169.96 at Competitive Cyclist
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$160.00 at Competitive Cyclist$149.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkabilityLightweight, comfortable, stiff, great power transfer, vibram soles, customizable insolescomfortable, versatile, great traction while hiking, boa closures, good styleLugged //Vibram// sole, versatile fit, stiff but walkableGood power transfer, comfortable, secure, many features
Cons Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stabilityNo on-the-fly adjustments, limited foot protection, expensiveSometimes too grippy for a clipless focused shoe, heavyLimited on-the-go adjustmentsMinimal protection, not the most durable
Bottom Line Lightweight with good power transfer and walkability, these are a reasonably priced trail riding shoe with casual stylingLightweight, stiff, and comfortable, this shoe is one of our favoritesStiff, comfortable, and protective, this shoe is a great choice for the demands of enduro-style ridingA lightweight and sturdy shoe to take on the backcountryAn XC/trail riding shoe that combines high performance with affordability
Rating Categories Specialized 2FO Roost Clip Giro Empire VR90 Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa Specialized Rime 2.0 Scott MTB Team Boa
Power Transfer (20%)
8
10
9
7
8
Comfort (25%)
8
9
9
8
9
Traction Walkability (25%)
9
6
9
10
8
Weight (15%)
10
10
6
8
9
Durability (15%)
8
9
9
8
7
Specs Specialized 2FO... Giro Empire VR90 Five Ten Kestrel... Specialized Rime 2.0 Scott MTB Team Boa
Closure Laces Laces Boa dial plus velcro at toe box L6 Boa and Laces Boa dials, plus velcro strap
Measured Weight (per shoe) 375 grams 388 grams 511 grams 419 grams 405 grams
Size Tested 43.5 45 10.5 44.5 45
Width Options Regular Regular and High Volume(HV) Regular Regular Regular
Upper Material Synthetic Leather and Textile Microfiber Synthetic XPEL Hydrophobic Mesh Micro Fiber, mesh
Footbed Specialized Body Geometry molded EVA footbed OrthoLite Specialized Body Geometry ErgoLogic
Sole Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate Easton EC90 Carbon Fiber Carbon-infused nylon shank Lollipop Nylon Composite Composite
Outsole SlipNot FG Vibram Mont Molded Rubber High Traction Lugged Outsole, Mid-Foot Scuff Guard, Accomodates Steel Toe Spikes Steatlh C4 rubber Vibram StickiRubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

Specialized recently unveiled several new pairs of shoes in the 2FO Roost line. The 2FO Roost Clip is the clip-in version intended to be a versatile trail riding shoe for just about any style of riding. These affordable lace-up shoes have a laid-back style that disguises their impressively light weight and solid power transfer. Other than a slightly quirky fit in the forefoot, we found a lot to like about these shoes, especially considering the price.

Performance Comparison


The 2FO Roost Clip blend good power transfer, comfort, light weight...
The 2FO Roost Clip blend good power transfer, comfort, light weight, and casual style at a reasonable price.
Photo: Laura Casner

Power Transfer


For such a casual-looking shoe, we were pleasantly surprised by the rigidity of the pedal platform and power transfer of the 2FO Roost Clip. They are by no means the stiffest shoes around, but they never felt flexy underfoot and should be adequate for virtually any type of riding short of an XC race. One minor caveat is that we didn't find our shoes interfaced that well with the platform of our pedals, and the somewhat loose fit of the forefoot resulted in slightly reduced lateral stability.


The soles of the 2FO Roost Clip have what Specialized calls a Soft Lollipop nylon composite plate for sole rigidity. This provides a solid pedaling platform from the cleat mount area back towards the heel, while allowing some flex through the toe and heel for walking. In our ultra-scientific hand flex test, it's possible to flex the sole in front of the cleat box and just a little bit back by the heel. On the bike, we never noticed the sole flexing underfoot, even on the hardest out of the saddle climbing efforts. Shoes that are too soft typically cause foot and calf fatigue while climbing or descending, something we never noticed while riding in these shoes. Of course, these shoes can't compete with ultra-stiff carbon soled race shoes, but for the majority of trail, all-mountain, and enduro riders, we feel the power transfer the 2FO Roost Clip offers should be pretty ideal.

Long slow grinds or short punchy tech, these shoes don't sap your...
Long slow grinds or short punchy tech, these shoes don't sap your power through sole flex.
Photo: Laura Casner

Specialized refers to the cleat mount area of the 2FO Roost Clip as the Landing Strip. They designed this shoe to have loads of cleat adjustability, and there is a pretty large range so riders can dial their cleats in to their exact preferences. Whether you like your cleats slammed all the way back or further up towards the toes, these shoes have you covered so you can have them in the ideal position for downhill stability or to optimize your pedal stroke.

The Landing Strip offers a large range of cleat adjustability.
The Landing Strip offers a large range of cleat adjustability.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

We tested the 2FO Roost Clip shoes with 2 different sets of Shimano XT Trail pedals, the newest version, and the older model. We expected the part of the sole on both sides of the cleat box to interface with the platform of these pedals, but we found that they didn't have the most positive connection. The cleat protrudes from the sole just a touch, so there was a little bit of free play between the sole and the pedal's platform. This may not be the case with different pedals, but it was our experience with the XT pedals used for testing. Additionally, we found the fit of the forefoot to be a touch loose which resulted in a slight reduction of lateral stability.

These shoes are plenty comfortable, although they don't have the...
These shoes are plenty comfortable, although they don't have the most precise fit in the front of the shoe.
Photo: Laura Casner

Comfort


The 2FO Roost Clip are indeed a comfortable pair of trail riding shoes. Specialized has years of experience making cycling shoes and they've succeeded in making these comfortable enough to ride in all day long and even leave on your feet once the ride is over. Similar to the 2FO Roost Flat, however, they do have a slightly quirky fit that is worthy of mention.


We found the 2FO Roost Clip to fit true to size for length with the 43.5 euro size fitting exactly like other Specialized shoes of the same size. Through the heel and mid-foot, they feel about average in terms of width with a somewhat roomier fit in the forefoot. The laces do a great job of getting the shoe tight over the mid-foot and keeping the heel in place. The laces don't extend very far down the shoe, however, so there isn't really a way to tighten them effectively over the forefoot. Riders with average to slightly above average width feet will fit best in these shoes, but those with narrow feet may find them to feel a bit too loose toward the front of the shoe.

Our only real complaint about these shoes is the fit of the forefoot...
Our only real complaint about these shoes is the fit of the forefoot is a bit loose, and the laces don't extend far enough down the shoe to get a super precise fit.
Photo: Laura Casner

Inside, there is a nicely molded heel cup and a bit of padding around the ankle cuff. The tongue is also padded with breathable Airmesh material, and you can't really feel the laces over the top of the foot unless you overtighten them. They also come with Specialized's Body Geometry footbeds which are claimed to optimize the alignment of the leg joints and feet. These footbeds are relatively thin, but we've always found them to be quite comfortable with adequate arch support. While testing, we didn't experience any hot spots or pressure points on the feet, even when they were brand new and not broken in. Additionally, Specialized has cushioned the midsole with EVA foam for vibration absorption and added a rubber bumper that wraps around the front of the toe for protection and peace of mind. There are perforated holes on both sides of the uppers and at the bottom of the laces to provide a little ventilation. That said, they aren't exactly airy, but they don't feel egregiously hot on the feet either. When these shoes do inevitably get sweaty, we found them to dry out relatively quickly.

Hike-a-bikes are no problem in the 2FO Roost Clip. Our only concern...
Hike-a-bikes are no problem in the 2FO Roost Clip. Our only concern is that the tread is prone to packing with and holding on to mud in sloppy conditions.
Photo: Laura Casner

Traction and Walkability


The 2FO Roost Clip perform quite well off the bike. The full coverage rubber soles provide plenty of grip in most conditions and the sole is designed with enough flex through the toe for a relatively normal gait.


Specialized designed the sole of the 2FO Roost Clip with a Soft Lollipop nylon composite plate that allows flex through the toe with a more rigid pedaling platform from the ball of the foot back. A little rocker at the front of the shoe combines with the smooth and even flex from the cleat box forward to allow for a relatively normal walking feel. The entire sole is covered in the new SlipNot FG rubber with a shallow raised hexagon tread pattern. This rubber compound isn't quite as tacky as the SlipNot ST rubber found on the Flat version of this shoe, but it doesn't really need to be. These soles grip very well on rock and most soil conditions. During some particularly sloppy spring rides, we did find that the deeper tread lugs by the heel were prone to packing with mud, although this is an issue with most other similar shoes as well.

The full coverage Slipot FG rubber soles provide good traction on...
The full coverage Slipot FG rubber soles provide good traction on most surfaces.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

One other thing worth mentioning is that we found our Shimano SPD cleats stood just a tiny bit proud of the sole. This means that they will make contact with hard surfaces like hardwood floors or paved parking lots. So, even though they look super casual, if you wear them into the grocery store or a brewery after your ride, you may be clicking with every step.

Our 43.5 EU test pair weighed an average of 375-grams per shoe...
Our 43.5 EU test pair weighed an average of 375-grams per shoe. That's pretty darn lightweight.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Weight


At an average weight of just 375-grams per shoe or 750-grams for the pair in a size 43.5, the 2FO Roost Clip are among the lightest shoes we've test. This is particularly impressive given their relatively casual appearance and full coverage SlipNot FG rubber soles. This puts them roughly on par with the lightweight XC-oriented shoes that we've tested, and significantly lighter than similar trail/all-mountain shoes like the Five Ten Kestrel Lace. With the 2FO Roost Clip, you get a casual-looking trail riding shoe at XC weight.


The only real damage, if you even want to call it that, we noticed...
The only real damage, if you even want to call it that, we noticed on our test pair is the black color rubbing off the sole near the toe.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

Durability


After riding in the 2FO Roost Clip shoes for weeks they appear to be quite durable. There is no damage or premature wear that would suggest that they aren't going to last for at least a couple seasons of riding.


During our test period, we rode approximately 400 miles in the 2FO Roost Clip in a range of weather conditions and terrain. The synthetic leather uppers have seen their fair share of brushes with trailside bushes, a few rocks, and plenty of dirt, yet they look pretty much like new aside from a healthy layer of dust. All of the seams and stitching is intact and the uppers, sole, and toe bumper are all well bonded with no separation. The soles are still in great shape with only slight wear visible by the toe from walking up some steep sections of trail. There is a little scarring of the plastic around the cleat mount area, but nothing out of the ordinary. At the very front of the sole, there is the tiniest bit of wear visible where the black coloring of the sole has worn off to reveal the gum sole beneath. Beyond that, we do have some slight concerns about the lace holes being a possible failure point, but it seems like it will take some seriously tight lacing and a long time to wear them out.

Value


The 2FO Roost Clip shoes are one of the least expensive shoes in our test selection, and we feel they are a great value. They effectively blend good power transfer and off-the-bike walkability in a casually styled and affordable package. These shoes will be the best value to the rider who doesn't require the absolute best power transfer, although they are still pretty good, and prefers the subdued looks of the 2FO Roost, which we assume is probably a large portion of riders out there.

We put our test pair through the wringer and came away quite...
We put our test pair through the wringer and came away quite impressed by these affordable trail riding shoes.
Photo: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The 2FO Roost Clip joins a growing list of quality mountain bike shoes from Specialized. Despite their casual looks, these shoes blend good power transfer, off-the-bike traction and walkability, and all-day comfort in an affordable package. The fit might not be for everyone, but besides that, we feel these are a great option for any type of riding other than XC racing.

Other Versions


The 2FO Roost Clip come in Black (tested) and Taupe. Specialized also makes the 2FO Roost Flat for flat pedal riders. Additionally, they also just released the slightly burlier 2FO DH in both Clip and Flat versions.

Jeremy Benson