Bontrager debuted their Rally clipless shoe this past year
at Crankworx Whistler. The shoe, based off of Bontrager's Flatline shoe, is the brand's first flat sole style clipless offering. They were developed in conjunction with Trek's enduro and gravity teams, and are targeted at riders looking for the benefits of a flat pedal style shoe but with the security of being clipped in.
The shoes have a synthetic leather upper, abrasion-resistant, reinforced toe and heel caps, and a shock-absorbing EVA midsole. The shoe has siped tread at the toe and heel to provide traction off the bike and then a large open platform in the center to allow the rider to easily clip in. Cleats can be placed over a wide range, with enough room to accommodate rides who prefer their cleats positioned closer to the midfoot.
Rally Clipless Details
• Synthetic leather upper
• Abrasion-resistant toe and heel caps, reinforced toe cap
• Hook and loop strap
• Colors: Black, Nautical Navy, Trek Factory Racing, Olive Grey
• Sizes: EU 36-48
• Weight: 840g (pair, size 43.5, tested)
• MSRP: $149.99 USD
The Rally shoes use a lace closure that is reinforced with a hook-and-loop strap for added security. The shoes are compatible with any standard two-bolt cleats. The Rally's are available in four different colorways, in sizes 36-48, and sell for $149.99 USD.
A reinforced toe and heel along with an ample amount of EVA foam make the Rally not only durable but comfortable as well.
There's a nice runway for clipping in and the tread on the bottom of the Rally provides a decent amount of off-bike traction.Performance
The Rally shoes provided a secure fit right from the start and fit true-to-size using European sizing. After a good bit of use, the shoes have not packed out to any noticeable extent where sizing would change. The strap across the top provides a little extra support (think a booster strap on a ski boot), and also keeps the laces out of the way and tied. The shoes don't loosen up while riding or require any tinkering throughout a long day.
The Rallys are supportive and comfortable. The uppers are soft and don't feel overly stiff and the EVA sole provides plenty of cushioning without sacrificing any noticeable power when it comes to riding. The reinforced toe and heels are confidence-inspiring, and although I haven't made a habit of kicking rocks lately, it's good to know that they are there to add an extra layer of defense against broken or bruised toes.
Cleats can be positioned fairly far towards the center on the Rally's, and clipping in is easy with plenty of clearance with SPD, Time, and Crankbrothers pedals.
Off the bike, the Rally's have a good amount of traction and feel, enough so that it's easy to get around and tip-toe across sketchy creek crossings, rocks, and other perils in the trail. The rubber compound doesn't do as good of a job at providing outright grip in wet and slimy rocks as Five-Ten's shoes do, but it's ample for all but the slickest of slick. In fact, I'd say these are the most comfortable clipless shoes I've ever walked around in.
In light rain and wet conditions, the shoes do an excellent job of not becoming overly waterlogged from spray and splashes. That goes out the window a bit when they are submerged. The Rallys do tend to take a while longer to dry out and can stay water-logged longer than some other shoes out there, most notably the Specialized 2FO.
When it comes to durability, the Rally's are holding up with no signs of wear and tear after countless cycles of wet and muddy riding while sitting by the dehumidifier in our basement to dry in-between.Toe to Toe: Bontrager Rally vs. Specialized 2FO 2.0
Bontrager's Rally and the Specialized 2FO 2.0 are targeted at the same riders and are from two of the biggest "full product line" brands out there. How do they compare?Weight:
The Rallys hit the scale at a few grams less than the Specialized shoe - and they're both light but that's when they're dry. Water-logged, the Rally takes on and retains more water, causing it to lose out when it's damp, but they do remain comfortable even when they're totally soaked. Design:
Both shoes share a reinforced toe and heel box. The Rally has an overall lighter construction than the 2FO. The 2FO's utilize an XPEL air mesh construction which ventilates better than the Rally, but it also allows the elements to more easily breach the shoe and find their way to your toes. The Rallys have a strap that provides additional support where the 2FO does not. While the 2FO does have slightly more ankle support and protection on the inside than the Rally, the strap on the Rally gives it a more secure feel overall.Grip/Cleat Position:
The Rally and 2FO both offer a similar amount of grip off the bike and the rubber compound seems to be similar in hardness. The Rally is a little bit easier to walk in and spend more time off the bike without thinking you're wearing a cycling shoe. Both shoes allow for a further back than normal cleat placement and are two of the lightest options currently available for this style shoe.
Amazing fit and comfort+
Excellent support reinforced with strap closure
Drainage and drying isn't the best in extremely wet conditions-
Rubber could be tackier for slick rocky surfaces off the bike