First Look: Specialized 2FO ClipLite

Finding a good mountain bike shoe can be a tough endeavor. The demands on such a shoe are often under appreciated when you take into account what you expect out of your “simple” shoes. Here at MTB-Vacations, we have struggled finding shoes that can hold up to the demands placed on them. Repeated clip ins and outs, smashing our toes into rocks, creek crossings, miles of hike a bike over sharp rocks, etc. Our latest contender for the coveted role of equipping our feet is the Specialized 2FO ClipLite. This shoe strives to bring the simplicity of a skate style shoe to our clipped in endeavors. Before we get into any marketing speak, let me tell you why we bought this shoe. The key reason is that Specialized may have came up with a way of overcoming a significant problem with todays shoes and preventing the sole of the shoe from separating from the plastic shank that provides stiffness to the shoe. The area around the pedal clip has a protective ridge that we hope will prevent the rubber portion of the sole from separating. This is different from popular Shimano and Giro offerings that simply glue the rubber and plastic together without any protection, leaving the rubber exposed to your pedal and allowing it to grind and eventually start the separation process. The shoe is relatively light and looks like it will dry quickly when exposed to water. There is a protective box covering your toes which we hope will prevent the black toe nails we have been sporting for the last two summers. The area to mount the pedal clip is longer than on most shoes allowing you to fine tune your foot placement on the pedal. We were intrigued (but not necessarily sold) on the BOA dials that determine how snug these shoes feel on your feet and finally, they look pretty badass for an mountain bike shoe.

We’ve taken the shoes out for a few rides at this point and in general, I’m pleased. The shoes feel light on your feet and the BOA dials make them easy to dial in the desired tension. I’ve mounted the clips relatively far back to get more of a “Flats” feel from the shoe (this takes some getting used to). My only compliant so far is that the bottom of my foot starts to ache after about 30 minutes of use. Luckily, Specialized offers 3 different insoles for the shoe and we plan to experiment with a different insole to customize the fit and remedy this ache.

I’ll provide an update after we get some more miles on these shoes. The shoes haven’t received a proper thrashing yet but that will happen in the near future.

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