Specialized 2FO Roost Clip Review
Cons: Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stability
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Specialized 2FO Roost Clip
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|$144.00 at Backcountry|
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|$179.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkability||Stealth rubber soles, excellent power transfer, significantly lighter than previous version, great toe and heel protection||Durable construction, comfortable, great traction and walkability||Lightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortable||Inexpensive, comfortable, great off the bike|
|Cons||Roomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stability||No medial ankle protection, short break-in period||Heavy, no ankle protection||Minimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment range||Minimal protection, limited cleat adjustment, below average power transfer|
|Bottom Line||An affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkability||Awesome power transfer, foot protection, and off the bike traction with a mid-pack weight that expands this gravity shoe's appeal to trail riders||A beefy and rugged shoe that should stand up to multiple seasons of abuse||A quality shoe that offers high-end cross-country performance at a reasonable price||A well-rounded, budget-friendly option that's just as comfortable off the bike as it is on|
|Rating Categories||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Five Ten Hellcat Pro||Ride Concepts Talla...||Scott MTB Team Boa||Giro Gauge|
|Power Transfer (20%)|
|Traction Walkability (25%)|
|Specs||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Five Ten Hellcat Pro||Ride Concepts Talla...||Scott MTB Team Boa||Giro Gauge|
|Closure||Laces||Laces plus wide velcro strap||Laces plus velcro strap||Boa iP-1 dial, plus velcro strap||Laces|
|Measured Weight (per shoe)||375 grams||452 grams||539 grams||359 grams||452 grams|
|Size Tested||43.5||10 (44)||11||44||45|
|Upper Material||Synthetic Leather and Textile||Synthetic with DWR||Bonded Cordura mech with TPU toe and heel protection||Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh||Synchwire on-piece composite|
|Footbed||Specialized Body Geometry||Five Ten padded foam||D30 High Impact Insole||ErgoLogic||Die-cut EVA|
|Sole||Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate||3/4 length Dual-density TPU shank/Compression-molded EVA||RC Powerdrive Nylon Shank||Nylon/Glass Fiber Composite||Injected nylon shank|
|Outsole||SlipNot FG||Stealth Marathon||Clip Grip||StickiRubber||Rubber outsole|
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2FO Roost Clip is 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.
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 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.
Traction and Walkability
The 2FO Roost Clip performs 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.
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.
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 tested. 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 almost XC weight.
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.
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.
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.
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
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