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Review: Fizik Terra Clima X2 - A Feature Laden Weatherproof Shoe

Oct 21, 2021
by Henry Quinney  


Fizik are an Italian company that is known not only for their shoes but, in recent years, also their componentry. Sometimes, but not always, when European road brands try their hand at mountain biking kit the end products can be weird and wacky. The Terra Clima X2 is certainly a bit different to a lot of other brand’s offerings, but in terms of its features, it seems to balance sensible choices that have great promise.
Terra Clima X2 Details• Weatherproof/breathable upper
• EVA midsole and Vibram tread
• Integrated knitted gaiter
• BOA L6 dial & single Velcro strap
• Colors: Black, Olive
• Weight: 414g (pair of size 42.5)
• MSRP: €250.00
www.fizik.com

In the Fizik range there is also the full-waterproof Artica X2 that I’ll also be reviewing over the wetter months. For now, though, we have the Clima X2, which with its ankle cuff and weather resistance is more of a jack of all trades. Without prompting justified consternation in the comments I'd say it's an autumnal shoe as opposed to a full-winter one. Deep down, I know there’s no such thing but if there was one then this would be it.

I feel like at its core the Clima X2 aims to be versatile. It’s absent of laces to save drying them, a meaty Vibram tread on the sole of the shoe that will grip well on loose dirt or mud, and it uses a woven, ripstop fabric upper that is both breathable and keeps the elements out. It even includes a seemingly football inspired ankle-gaiter to keep any crud out.

The shoe has a stiffness index score of 3. For reference, their top flight road shoe has a stiffness index of 10. It is available in sizes 36-48, with half sizes between 37.5 and 46.5. There are two color options and the shoe sells for €250.

The looks are either stylish or jarring, depending on your personal tastes.

Performance

The Clima X2 is a very functional shoe and I feel like all of its features do deliver.

The gaiter, while perhaps not suiting everyone's taste in the looks department, is a great addition in my opinion. I really like the fact that when wearing trousers and riding on wet or muddy trails there is an extra buffer between you and the dreaded ice-water puddle splash. It also means that once you take off your shoes and trousers you really are spotless underneath.

If you were to submerge your shoes you’re still going to get wet, but when blasting through puddles or streams you can do so without really thinking about your feet. In one particularly heavy deluge, when I was smashing back along a waterlogged fireroad, water did manage to completely saturate my trousers, which in turn meant water was running freely down my calves and then was able to enter the shoe that way. In this particular instance, the water resistant membrane prevented it from quickly exiting the shoe. This was the heaviest rain I've ridden in for a long time, though. Any shoe would get wet here, only they might do a better job of expunging the liquid once it entered.

The sole of the shoe is stiff-enough but could probably be a little stiffer for those that really wish to put the power down. For my needs, while pottering around on my trail bike the stiffness was ample. I used these pedals with cageless Ritchey SPD-style pedals as well as Crankbrother Mallet Es. I would say the stiffness of the shoe was more suited to the latter.

I ran them with the cleat shim underneath and found the clearance to be very adequate with the mechanism of the pedal. The cleat channel is open and doesn’t require any cutting or modifying, should you choose to run your cleats in a very rearward position like I tend to.

The Clima uses both a velcro strap and an L6 Boa ratchet system.

Fit

The fit of the shoes was slightly hard to place, in my opinion. This is naturally a very subjective thing so I can only talk about my experience with them. If you've ever bought ski boots you'll know just how many different fit options can exist and how they vary from brand to brand. In my chosen size, the shoe fit in terms of length but felt slightly cavernous in terms of the volume of the shoe. This is a problem I have experienced, albeit very rarely, with other brands. For my medium-height instep and relatively narrow feet, it seemed a bit too big. The knock-on effect of this is that your foot feels like it is held less securely. The lack of support can almost make your foot want to roll towards your instep a little.

Eventually, I ended up using a very slender “comfort” insole beneath the provided one to bring my foot higher within the shoe. I rode it with and without and I prefer the fit with it in.

After using a similar trick in with the Artica X2’s that I’ve currently got in for review, I feel that the fit is quite different. The Artica uses a Boa device that runs the full length of the tongue. The Clima, however, uses a Boa dial and a velcro strap. Truthfully, I never found I was able to achieve the same level of fit with the Clima. My heel in particular felt loose and not as secure as I’d like.

There is plenty of room for adjustment, even if you have weird cleat positions as I do. Some gravity shoes may have the option for more rearward cleats, but I found the Clima to suit my flat-pedal-inspired position.



Pros

+ Effective at keeping water and dirt out
+ Combine very well with trousers
+ Good for walking and off bike excursions
Cons

- Not the most supportive in terms of fit
- Sizing is a little odd
- Looks may be divisive



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Clima is a good shoe and where it shines is being able to add increased water resistance on predominantly dry rides. It is a shoe that breathes well and one that you could ride all year round in some regions without suffering from the same drawback of overheating that can occur with waterproof shoes. The ankle gaiter works well and is very functional, I only wish there was a single Boa ratchet to adjust the fit over the length of the whole shoe.Henry Quinney



83 Comments

  • 147 4
 The Crocs are waterproof as well! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 11 0
 But they arent Downcountry compatible, are they?
  • 14 0
 @MrNewman: just put those puppies in 4wd and you'll be set.
  • 28 2
 @MrNewman: @mikelevy will be wearing one of each during the next Downcountry Field Test and report back which is superior!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 15 1
 @danielfloyd: Im in Germany, so Quattro only please.
  • 2 0
 @MrNewman: as long as they aren't 'tdi' you'll be okay
  • 10 4
 @pakleni: @MrNewman I'll just leave this here for you boys... www.tesla.com/modelx - German Engineering, ha!

Elon the CEO over at Tesla is doing some amazing stuff!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 2 0
 @notoutsideceo: That’s good to know. Please sure @mikelevy is not wearing spandex shorts on the next DC field test Smile
  • 4 0
 @notoutsideceo: No thanks, those Teslas dont have an emmisiontest from VW. I wanna know how dirty Im.
  • 6 18
flag realoutsideceo (Oct 21, 2021 at 21:00) (Below Threshold)
 @notoutsideceo: Are you trying to be me? Very funny. Please delete your account.
  • 2 3
 But these look better on Batman than the crocs…

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 9 0
 @realoutsideceo: Very funny, John. I make you CTO and Head of Engineering of Outside+ even though you are widely unqualified and this is how you repay me?!?

First the ban (thanks again Brian Park!), now trolling me..? You got a hard conversation ahead of you come performance review time, my friend...

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 18 3
 That cleat alignment can’t be good for any involved joints.
  • 2 0
 Was just thinking.... first comment has to be something about the alignment of that cleat. Chainstay is going to be rubbed raw!
  • 9 0
 I walk and pedal like a duck. I usually use flats but when I ride clips this is what my cleats look like.
  • 5 0
 @lefthandohvhater: clipless flippers seem more appropriate for you though...
  • 15 2
 Is there an S-Works version? The price is still too low.
  • 6 0
 having owned a pair of these for quite a while they aren't a great fit with Shimano pedals and you end up with quite a bit of slop rather the tread of the shoe contacting the pedal. Since replaced them with a pair of ME7 shoes which are significantly better in every way.
  • 2 1
 Haha, I have a pair aswell and while I like the fit they are somehow less waterproof then the non-waterproof 5tens they replaced. So they really don't justify their price. I wish I had bought mw-7s
  • 3 0
 @briain: less waterproof than non-waterproof Five Tens? So they are actually hygroscopic?
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: The fabric around the angle isn't waterproof so every splash of water goes into your shoe at least with the 5ten kestrel their a fake leather material so don't absorb water as easily as the fabric on the fiziks. This wouldn't be an issue if they didn't make claims about been waterproof or water resistant now, but they really don't justify their huge price tag
  • 5 1
 Swimming pool shoes. When all the water runs down your leg and fills your waterproof, non-draining shoes. Then because they don't dry fast, the funk grows and you get athletes foot every time you wear them. But you can't bear to toss them because they're basically new and cost you $291 USD! As an owner of the Shimano hiking boots, this is my experience. For cold and wet weather riding, I'd prefer a larger shoe size, thick wool socks and disposable sandwich baggie to block the wind on my toes and some of the water. Some people might even try neoprene socks.... Toe covers if it's really cold. Or at least that's what I'll do once I finally wear out my Shimano boots.
  • 2 0
 Water running down your leg in the pouring rain into the shoe might be an issue with these but where the waterproofing is useful is when you ride on generally wet trails, or have to wade through streams or hike-a-bike up super soggy swampy grass fields, as is often the case in the UK. I got some Northwave GTX that are pretty similar to these and are excellent at keeping feet dry and warm when it's wet.
  • 2 0
 Had that happen with showerpass socks on a long ride. I think the flexing at the ankle allowed water to come in from the top which then filled like water ballons. Never again without long pants to keep the water out of the top.
  • 3 0
 @laksboy - If you just get waterproof trousers long enough to go over the top of the boots you don't get wet feet - especially with waterproof socks. I go on all day heavy rain day rides with this clothing setup and do not get wet feet at all (inside or outside of my socks).
  • 3 1
 I've seen where most Pacific Crest Trail through hikers have given up on waterproof footware or socks. They run trail running shoes and wool socks. They say since you're constantly crossing wet snow, your feet never dry out and with waterproof boots and/or waterproof socks, you get jungle rot.

These days I just wear wool socks and slap a piece of gorilla tape over the vent holes on top of the toe box of my Five Ten Freeriders or Shimano AM-9's.
  • 1 0
 Which is why you need waterproof trousers ( pants in the states lol ), to go over the cuff of the shoe so water runs off not into.

That being said, these are hideous...
  • 1 0
 @Bushmaster123: its not nearly cold enough to want to wear pants while riding when it's raining here, especially non-breathable water proof ones. Knee pads are warm enough. @bigtim
  • 2 0
 @laksboy: Shorts year round, I get it. I live in coastal CA. too. I skip the knee pads though, and they're some pretty sweet trail pants out now. Knee pads are way too hot for me unless its mandatory for the zone.
  • 6 0
 I’m more of a one pair of shoes with different types of socks for different conditions kind of rider.
  • 6 0
 When you gotta go duck hunting at 6, and riding at 10. This is the right tool for the job!
  • 7 0
 Bike shoes by LL Bean
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Don't give them any ideas LOL
  • 3 0
 Id say Jack (of all shoes) is definitely Jarring
And quite greedy @ $290.55 US + shipping?
Ill stick w/ my 5/10 Sam Hill edition @ $150.00 US
These remind me of something Pinocchio or Robin Hood would wear
I’ve always wondered if they rode mountain bikes?
  • 11 6
 I'll take "things no self-respecting mountain biker would wear" for 800 Alex..
  • 6 0
 Dam,they’re hideous.I’ll stick with piss wet freezing feet
  • 2 0
 I like the fact you mention the usage of aftermarket insoles, I have quite a few pairs of shoes that were a good fit with the standard insoles but were a great fit with different insoles. They needn't be expensive ones either, I run cheap ones with a plastic heel cup that were less than £5 but transform the fit.
  • 2 0
 After 4 winters in Ireland, for rainy, wet, muddy conditions, nothing beats the Shimano XM9 boots with a good pair of wool socks and the Dirtlej Core edition dirtsuit. I can ride hours under pouring rain, zero issues, feet warm and dry. I already have a new pair of these boots waiting to replace the old trusty ones.
  • 3 0
 Good lord, look at those things. I think you're confusing MTB with climbing Denali! LOL.
  • 5 1
 The most interesting thing about this article is that people still use Ritchey pedals! ;-)
  • 1 0
 I've found the Ergolace X2's (clipless & flat versions) very comfortable for my relatively wide toes. Interested to hear your thoughts on the Artica X2 but these Clima's just seem like a half ass attempt of combining the two.
  • 5 0
 Climax 2. Must be a really, really good shoe.
  • 5 0
 Maybe they're like ski boots and taking them off is a near orgasmic experience?
  • 1 0
 Fit is individual and objectively complex, as the foot is a complex organ. Tools for reducing this complexity include the Brannock device, the orthopedic footbed, and the tape measure. A first step in reducing shoe sizing complexity is to remove its footbed, measure its length, and compare that length to manufacturer size chart. A second, sitting then standing in footbed alone and observing the changes in the weighted organ. Observations on height, width, and volume of the organ's various sectors and how they mate with the shoes upper 'naturally' follow
  • 8 0
 Ah the foot that old organ
  • 2 0
 Yes. I hate it when shoes are reviewed and then judged by fit. Fit, by its very nature, tells you something about how well two things match. So the fact that it doesn't fit this reviewers feet gives me as a reader very limited information.
If a reviewer rides an xc hardtail down an Enduro course (bad fit! ) and then complains about the geometry being wrong every commenter will call them out. But it is not very different from a reviewer trying on a shoe that doesn't fit their foot type and then listing this as a disadvantage.
It is much more useful to describe the kind of foot this shoe will work well for. And yes, that means having multiple people with different feet try them out. Or a 3d measurement device.
  • 1 0
 I'm much more interested in a pair of riding shoes that offers ankle roll protection. All it takes is a bad landing to end up with an eversion or inversion sprain, yet I see almost no shoes that offer anything to reduce this. These are injuries that can take you out of riding for weeks to months, and it's almost like the industry completely disregards them: there really isn't anything offered for those that want it.
  • 1 0
 shimano makes a nice boot
  • 1 0
 Part of that is because there is really no practical shoe that can prevent an inversion sprain. If you think about a person's whole body weight falling laterally to a fixed foot, the boot would have to be unwearably stiff, tight and most of the way up to the knee to make a difference. That said, i also like a mid top, because it does feel more stable. I think it must be because it restricts ROM on low force movements. Nothing short of an ankle foot orthosis though would stop a full on sprain. Just too much force
  • 1 0
 I guess if i were you, i would try a lace up ankle brace inside your shoe. Thats probably your best bet.
  • 1 0
 This shoe is definitely expensive but looks to fill the gap perfectly between a full waterproof winter boot and a race type shoe that's full of ventilation. In 8-15 C when its already wet out or a bit of rain is forecasted I bet this shoe would be perfect. And it comes in black too which looks much more like a regular shoe.
  • 5 0
 Nice house slippers
  • 2 0
 House slippers over orthopedic boots (99% of all gravity clipless shoes) for the win. I wish they made a warm weather version.
  • 2 0
 @jason3559: they do acyally. They're called the Artica X2. Just got them yesterday to test throughout the belgian winter.

My bad you wrote "warm weather" . Then Giro has the VR70 but tbh the fit is super weird and they move quite a lot. Even for gravel. Mike Levy wrote a review about them a while back.
  • 2 0
 @DenSeven: Ik gebruik de terra clima nu al bijna twee jaar. Heerlijke schoen voor ons mooie belgische weer!
  • 2 0
 Would love to see this in a standard wool-and-sandals look but with more velcro straps. Still wouldn't buy them but would bitch about how ugly they still are.
  • 2 0
 Alex, I'll take JARRING for $400.

Q: These new MTB shoes for Danish grandfathers.
A: What are these ugly motherf*ckers?

YES!!
  • 1 0
 The author compares the stiffness of this shoe ("3") to the stiffest road shoe ("10"), but a comparison to a typical mountain bike shoe would be more useful.
  • 3 0
 Xc ones are usually in the 8-10 range, enduro or whatever else usually 5-7ish so this is not a very stiff shoe if that's what you're looking for
  • 1 0
 @n734535: Yes, that's the kind of info I think would have been good in the article, thanks.
  • 1 0
 That knitted gaiter doesn't look like it will be very durable. OKay for road shoes maybe, but I think I'd shred that fabric pretty quickly on the mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney Would you say that the Ritchey cageless pedals didn't provide enough support for the sole given its lower stiffness level?
  • 1 0
 Still rocking my Shimano AM9 shoes from forever ago. Feet are dry after a ride no mater what conditions Im riding in. Bring back the last generation of AM9 shoes please.
  • 2 0
 They look like sandals with socks from afar
  • 1 0
 They don’t look as good as sandals and socks !
  • 2 0
 If only "also available in flat"
  • 1 0
 1. How will they be in the Summer? 2. How will they be whilst using flat pedals? THANKS!!!
  • 1 0
 WOW! Now you can ride your MT Bike wile drees like a Ninja and have some shoes that matches your custom! SWEET!!!
  • 1 0
 Sidi high tops are on sale and a bargain. Get those while you can if you can find them.
  • 1 0
 $250 for a pair of glorified bike moccasin and that's not even bad enough to show up in the cons column
  • 1 0
 The rider's cleat is really that turned? Must have a really duck'd stance like snowboarding. Perhaps I have to try it. Lol.
  • 2 0
 LOL
  • 1 0
 do they come in flats tho
  • 1 0
 Wondered where my wetsuit boots had gone
  • 1 0
 Your mom probably threw them out because they brought shame upon the family.
  • 1 0
 I'll just go with wet feet then.
  • 1 0
 I need new wading boots for fly fishing while I'm riding. These will do.
  • 1 0
 They run narrow, be forewarned and they do not stretch
  • 1 0
 I think the Defender is just a beefy shoe that can take a ton of abuse vs having some sort of weatherproofness,
  • 1 0
 Micky Gough bought some of those to impress his friends at Jesters.
  • 1 0
 Wow those are ugly
  • 1 0
 More like Terra Climax 2

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