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
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.
Effective at keeping water and dirt out+
Combine very well with trousers+
Good for walking and off bike excursions
Not the most supportive in terms of fit-
Sizing is a little odd-
Looks may be divisive