Review: Specialized's 2FO Clip 2.0 Shoes Are Designed for Descending

Oct 16, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  
Specialized 2FO 2.0


The Clip 2.0 shoes are the latest addition to Specialized's 2F0 lineup, a DH and enduro-oriented model that was designed with input from Specialized athletes including Loïc Bruni and Finn Iles.

The 2FO Clip 2.0 features several design updates from the first generation 2FO shoe. They sell for $160 USD and are available in sizes 36-49, with a number of popular half sizes. They're available in the all-black, as shown here, rocket red, and white, if the other two colors are too slow for you.
2FO Clip 2.0 Shoe Details
• Body Geometry construction/footbed
• Lace closure
• Reinforced toe box
• Stiffness index - 6/14
• Cleat slot extended 4mm back
• Colors: black, rocket red, white
• 708g (pair, size 43.5)
• $160 USD
www.specialized.com


Specialized 2FO 2.0
The upper of the shoe is designed to shed water away and provide the rider with protection from impacts.
Specialized 2FO 2.0
The cuff of the shoe extends up on the inside for extra ankle protection.


Construction

Specialized designed the 2FO Clip 2.0 for use on the World Cup DH circuit, with a focus on ensuring they provided a good amount of protection, along with enough stiffness for those moments when a rider needs to really put down the power. They also aimed to make the shoes relatively light and quick drying.

The 2FO Clip 2.0 shoes use a simple lace-up design, with an elastic loop to keep those laces from flapping around uncontrollably. Look inside and you'll find Specialized's Body Geometry footbeds, which are claimed to increase pedaling efficiency and reduce the chance of injury by promoting good hip, knee, and foot alignment.

The 2FO Clip 2.0's cleat pocket has 4mm of extra rearward adjustment so riders can put the cleat more in the center of their shoe. The bottom of the shoe is constructed with Specialized's 'Slipnot' rubber for a little more off-the-bike traction on sketchy terrain, and there's a reinforced area around the cleat to help guide it in and prevent the shoe from prematurely wearing after repeated clipping in and out.

The shoe has a sturdy foam upper for protection and XPEL air mesh on the tongue to keep water from building up too much should you find yourself riding in the rain or swimming with your shoes on. There's also a 'Lollipop' inner plate in the shoe to stiffen up the sole and transfer power to the pedals and a layer of EVA foam to damp hard impacts.

The XPEL lining is a unique spacer-mesh lining Specialized decided to use for the 2FO 2.0. Unlike many typical linings, the XPEL liner doesn’t onboard water when exposed to wet conditions. By the numbers, Specialized claim that the 2FO 2.0 takes on about 60% less water (or 100g) than a shoe using typical construction methods.


Specialized 2FO 2.0
The XPEL mesh on the inside of the shoe helps it dry quickly.
Specialized 2FO 2.0
The bottom of the shoe around the cleat is reinforced for durability.


Performance

The fit of the 2.0 is nice and secure - you're not going to mistake them for a pair of floppy, unsupportive skate shoes. The shoes feel as if there is a lot of protection throughout, especially in the upper, but they don't feel bulky, and they do an excellent job of staying comfortable and breathing well.

I spent time riding the shoes on trail and DH style pedals, as well as a more race style SPD that doesn't have a platform. A lot of DH/trail style shoes are uncomfortable on a smaller platform SPD pedal because of how much they can flex without that additional support, but the 2FO 2.0's are stiff enough that it is a non-issue.

Off the bike, the 2FO Clip 2.0's have a good amount of traction on dirt and wet rocks and roots. When they get wet, the 2FO 2.0's do an impressive job of drying quickly and not becoming overly waterlogged. They do not dry as fast as Specialized's 2FO Cliplites, however, since there is a lot more material in the upper of the shoe to dry.


Specialized 2FO 2.0


Five Ten Hellcat Pro review
Five Ten Hellcat Pro
Specialized 2FO 2.0
2FO 2.0


How Do They Compare?

A good shoe to compare the 2FO Clip 2.0 to is Five Ten's Hellcat Pro. Both shoes are designed for the same purpose of clipped-in gravity racing and use laces instead of a Boa dial or other system.

The first thing to note is that the 2FO 2.0 is far lighter than the Hellcat Pro. The Five Tens weigh in at 1120g for a pair. Take the same size 2FO Clip 2.0's and they weight just a little over half that at 708g. The Specialized shoes offer a slightly better footbed and dry exponentially more quickly than the Five Tens, largely because they don't retain water like the Five Tens do when they get wet.

The Five Tens have better traction on wet rocks, but the rubber the sole is made out of wears faster. They also have a little bit more robust protection in the toe and sole of the shoe than the 2FO 2.0's.

If you're standing in a store and need to pick between the two shoes, you're going to get a high-performance gravity racing shoe with either one, but the Specialized 2FO 2.0 wins in my book. It's $20 cheaper, better constructed, and lighter. Of course, I'd recommend trying both shoes on and going with whichever fits the best since everyone has different feet.


Pros
+ Light
+ Drains water well/dries fast
+ Superb fit
Cons
- Rubber could be a touch softer for wet rock traction
- Less protection than some other DH shoes



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe 2FO 2.0 is an excellent all-around clipless shoe for gravity-oriented riders. Specialized took what was already one of the best shoes out and managed to make it even better. The fit, comfort, and protection are all there, and for someone looking for a durable shoe or one that dries fast, it's a tough one to beat.Daniel Sapp







71 Comments

  • 44 12
 I will never understand why the term “clipless” caught on for shoes that clip into pedals (I know the history, but it must be so confusing for new riders!).
  • 4 6
 Enlighten me
  • 4 2
 If you know the history then you would understand why!
I've heard all debates about , oh no it must be confusing let's call them clips but come on , loads of shit because of historical reasons is confusing and sometimes illogical but that's what makes it fun and esoteric.

I started riding mid-90's and to be honest to a DMR V8 (ripoff copy as I couldn't afford them ) rider the term clipless was just as confusing then!
  • 9 0
 It made sense in the 70's/80's when "Clipless' pedals systems were launched and the norm was still those big old steel toe clips with straps. I agree that now it really doesn't make sense, rarely do people use Toeclips anymore. Usually just for those classic pub bikes where people want it to be authentic and they can wear their vans to the pub.

Should be referred to as clipped, I guess its because those signing off these kind of changes probably grew up riding with toe clips.
  • 4 36
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 16, 2019 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 @Chilliwacker: "If you know the history then you would understand why!" way to make yourself old. The name is as stupid as most of the elitist cyclist jargon. So fckng Allez... We will not lose sleep over it, we will not make president Trump make a speech officially condemning the use of word "clipless" and using "clip-in" or "spd" or other quite unfitting word instead, but not admitting how stupid the word "clipless" is in relation to pedal/shoe interace, and consequently not understanding that people are likely to be confused by it, is a sign of striking incontinence. Sorry and Chapeaux.
  • 3 0
 I agree, it's like calling a gasoline "unleaded" these days. But what's the alternative? "Click pedals"? In Poland we usually call it "locking pedals" (pedały zatrzaskowe, Google Translate would still return "clipless pedals" for that) or just SPD, no matter the system they are.
  • 9 0
 Maybe they could just learn some history, it cant be that difficult..
  • 5 0
 @look-out: Yap, in German they're called "click pedals". So easy Big Grin
  • 1 0
 It was , a £100 misunderstanding !
  • 1 0
 Cinelli started the clipless revolution in 1970 all other pedals take after what they invented
  • 6 8
 Flat pedal shoes are for descending.
  • 2 0
 No manufacturers that I know of actually use the term "clipless". The reviewed shoes are called "clip", and you can't find the term "clipless" anywhere on the websites of pedal manufacturers like Shimano, CrankBros, Time, etc. It's just an informal term that some people use. I'm not sure how it got popular either, since I was around back then and toe clips and straps were typically referred to as "straps" not "clips" where I lived, so "strapless" would seem like a more obvious choice. I like the term "clip-in" today.
  • 2 0
 @lehott: though let's be real, no one but track riders used those Cinelli deathtraps that you had to use your hand to clip out of. Look made the first successful clipless pedal
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: My point isn't that it's not a stupid term , my point was generally there's loads of stupid terms in life from historical reasons so just get over it!
Oh and Waki I can assure you I am definitely not strikingly incontinent!!

Incompetent maybe. I'll agree with that.
  • 3 6
 @Chilliwacker: I always write about incontinence with tongue in the cheek. Smile
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Ah sorry! I wasn't sure whether it was an intentional Malaprop so I defended myself just in case Smile
  • 11 8
 @Chilliwacker: A bit unrelated but when it comes to intellectual pretentiousness, I have an idea for a set of drawings "no, just an a*shole" where a boy walks/rides around with his dad asking about people they meet. For example they walk around town and see a hipster:

Dad? Is that guy with big beard and checkered jacket in café a wood cutter?
- that would be a lumberjack son...
- is he a lumberjack?
- no, just an a*shole.

Dad? Harry's father told me he has geometry numbers of all 2020 Specialized bikes in his head. Is he a bicycle geometrist?
- that would be a bike designer son...
- is he a bike designer dad?
- no just an a*shole.
  • 1 0
 Universal call for a name change.... Clippies. UFOs are great except they need a non-mesh version for those riding in the cold n damp. And are a bit narrow in the toe box.
  • 9 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Hey dad, is that guy with the spandex bib riding a 29er hardtail mountain bike and talking about his fitness all the time a mountain biker?
-that’s a dirt roadie, son
-oh, I just thought he was just an a*shole
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: The hipster one cracked me up. You could pretty much do a whole a-hole series.
  • 3 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 16, 2019 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 @benz-tech:
Look how ot would play out with the girlfriend:

-Honey? Janice boyfriend knows all the latin names of hops used in Ipas brewed in Seattle
- oh yhm, wow
- what oh yhm wow?
- does he have a brewery?
- no, why are you so...
- then he’s just an a*shole!
- you’re just jelaous! What if he’s a botanist?
- no I checked his profile, he’s a graphic designer... and an a*shole
  • 2 0
 Enter the term "Cleats"
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: You'd be up there with Taj if you could get that together.

I'm sure there's one about forum commenters with all the answers but none of the knowledge to add to that collection.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: truth. However, Cinelli is the reigning innovative company to produce a "modern" clipless pedal back in 1970 . LOOK only capitalized on Cinelli to make a better pedal and they did just that with their PP65 in '84
  • 10 0
 Dad? Is that guy who posts absolutely endlessly on Pinkbike a journalist?
- that would be a PB commenter son...
- is he a PB commenter?
- no, just an a*shole.
:trollmoji:
  • 5 1
 @number44: what took you so long
  • 7 0
 Can we just ban Waki from posting ever again. He takes up more text on a page than a liability waiver. Dead Horse
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Despite my best efforts I still haven't been able to spend all day waiting on comments, or writing them. I'll do better, and until then I can dream... Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @bizutch: I need more mushrooms and weed. Whenever I am using I don’t want to comment for weeks... soon... another break
  • 2 0
 @number44: me neither
  • 1 0
 @look-out: I for one would prefer to refer to them as pedały zatrzaskowe.
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: My Avocado toast is offended
  • 1 0
 @SacAssassin: I love avocado toast egg...
  • 1 0
 My daughter scrolls through my phone's pictures.

'Dad who is that a-hole with the full face helmet and ebike in this photo?"

"That's me honey..."

"Dad, your an a-hole?!"

"I've been told"
  • 8 0
 The boa version are the most comfortable shoes i have ever worn. Cycle two pair with some medium inserts and they have lasted 2 years and show no signs of actual structural wear. Probably close to 8k of of trails on them. If you have feet issue whilst riding, try these.
  • 1 0
 +1 for the cliplites. While they are supposedly a less protective version, I've had some nasty pedal strikes and whacks of my foot in them with no issue. Also I've ridden 5+ hour days with 2-3 hours of hard climbing and they've remained stiff and comfortable.
  • 5 1
 Why on Earth would anyone ride shoes with laces when a comparable/better version exists with BOAs? I'm on my second pair of the BOA ones after my first pair was worn to threads. Such good shoes. Being able to accurately adjust tension while riding is awesome.
  • 2 0
 @alexsin: Downside to most BOA models is if they break your screwed. Early boa adopters know what I’m talking about. Boa is far more robust now. However if it breaks you likely can’t temp repair it with a zip-tie like you can with lace up shoes.

Plus maybe people like picking stickers out of their laces.
  • 1 0
 agreed, great shoe. best ive owned
  • 1 0
 I've got them as well after trying about 4 other different types of shoes. I have short but wide feet and these make all the difference. I also use an insert from superfeet, which helps with comfort and support, but I use those in all my shoes so it's not a dig against these.
  • 1 0
 I am on my third pair of cliplites. First pair in 2014. The shoes wear well, stuff, comfy, dry well, and boa. Spec has done well with their shoes.
  • 9 0
 They look like hospital shoes.
  • 1 0
 Probably cost less though?
  • 4 0
 I really like my 2fo shoes! They’re great for a lot of types of riding, I’ve done everything from commuting to racing and road rides. I have sworks road shoes and xc MTB shoes (all specialized shoes because I really like the fit), but 90% of the time I grab the 2fo’s.
I think the biggest upgrade to the new 2fo is the styling.
Another note- there’s a boa option. I’d get that one if I upgraded, but the laces work just fine.
  • 4 0
 Love mine too. They hold up well and I think the stiffness is the perfect balance of comfort and pedalling support.
  • 1 0
 These shoes are awesome. For winter riding they dry out insanely fast. They may feel light and seem like they lack protection but they are robust and last and protect you well enough. Their flat pedal versions are a mile ahead of five ten in my view. Love them!
  • 3 0
 When will manufacturers of mtb shoes notice that if only they cover that clip slot with rubber they will have the best flat pedal shoe ever?
  • 1 0
 ^this^
  • 1 0
 I wanted to like these shoes cause they look great but alas they just dont fit the shape of my foot very well. With that said I have a pair of shimano AM9's and AM5's that have been amazing shoes and held up for over 3 seasons. It also seems the 2fo are rather heavy as well. I notice how much lighter my AM9 is than the AM5 (the 5 has noticeably more toe protection so use for dh and 9 for trail) and from the specs it looks like the AM5 is quite a bit lighter than the 2fo. Just a thought.
  • 1 0
 Rode 2FO's for two years, switched to the Hellcat pro and felt unreal foot fatigue/cramping shortly after starting, and went back to my clapped out 2FO.
It seems like more and more companies are moving the clip channel towards the medial side of the shoe, in what I'm guessing is an attempt to allow a wider stance on the bike, and put riders in a more "athletic" stance on the bike by being on the ball of their foot? Anyone else notice this? Or am I just totally full of shit?? Bueller??
  • 4 0
 2FO flats or Shimano GR7. 5Ten for driving to the store
  • 1 1
 I have the first generation 2FO and never use them because the sole footprint is very narrow and the sole is tall, which results in a noticeably less stable platform than other shoes like the Five Ten Kestrel. The 2FO gen 1 are basically half way between an XC slipper and an all mountain shoe.
  • 2 0
 Agree. Love the shoes but are too narrow and tall. I use Impact xvis instead.
  • 2 1
 They are peddles that maintain a secure connection
With your foot (shoe) without the use of clip on straps. Hence, clipless. Even though they clip...
  • 3 0
 Err.... Wat?
  • 1 1
 Do light shoes make a difference for gravity riding? I mean, on one hand (foot) you have a heavy shoe to lift on the up stroke, but that is countered by the weight of the other shoe pushing on the down stroke.
  • 5 0
 1106gram shoe like the 510 is really heavy. That's uncomfortable just walking around, like wearing a pair of boots. It makes a huge difference when you're spinning the pedals at 60-90 rpm.
  • 3 2
 In fact, I'd argue that pedals/cleats/shoes are the single most important place to care about weight for most riders.
  • 4 7
 @dthomp325: luckily before each ride I down 300g of monster and flush away 700g leaving me with net 500g spare which I use for carrying cash, a packet of chewits and a pocket trail maintenance handbook tucked behind the laces of my 5:10s
  • 5 3
 Dammit they are going to sue me for using my favorite caption, telling someone "2 F*** O**"
  • 1 0
 More grip rubber would be better. My only gripe. On my 2nd pair now, BOA awesome.
  • 1 0
 I would also add the 2FO's have excellent geometry. Soles seem angled a bit for better cornering.
  • 1 0
 The older cliplites were painfully narrow. The flats version 2FO 2.0 are legit.
  • 1 0
 “Cool colours” - my 82 yr old gramps. What’s with the all black orthodox look lately?
  • 1 0
 I’d get these, if they just had a lace cover!
  • 2 1
 The elastic works perfectly well and looks WAY better than a lace cover
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: totally agree, much better than the lace cover
  • 2 0
 No straps, no dice.
  • 1 0
 they compare favorably to 5/10's, shocking...
  • 1 0
 Look like cheap work shoes from Walmart

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