Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoes - Review

Feb 9, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test


Specialized's three model 2FO shoe lineup includes a model designed specifically for platform pedals, another that looks like a classic skate-style shoe but is for clipless pedals, and the version reviewed here, the lighter weight 2FO Cliplite. The Cliplite differs from the others in that it employs two Boa S2-Snap dials rather than laces, as well as a hook-and-loop strap below those. This gives them a sort of hybrid appearance that's somewhere between casual and racey, although they do look far more normal than your average pair of cross-country slippers. The $180 USD 2FO Cliplites are available in the black and white shown here, a black and dark grey combo, or a flashier black and green if you want to stand out a bit more. www.specialized.com / @Specialized


The Cliplite's S2 Boa dials are obviously what set them apart from many other shoes, with the idea being that only a quick turn of the dial is required to either tighten or loosen the fit. The system uses a single lace for each dial that's made from woven steel with a protective coating that is routed in such a way that tightening the lace provides a quick way to custom fit the amount of tension without having to deal with standard laces or Velcro. The right-side dials turn clockwise to tighten, whereas those on the left are turned counter-clockwise to tighten.
2FO Cliplite Details

• Intended use: trail riding
• Two Boa S2-Snap dials per shoe
• Nylon composite shank
• SlipNot rubber sole
• Toe box protection
• Extended length cleat slot
• Cushioned EVA midsole
• SPD compatible
• Weight: 438 grams (per shoe, size 44)
• MSRP: $180 USD


There are a number of shoes that employ Boa dials, but the ones on the Cliplites are an exclusive design that is only found on Specialized shoes, and they can be replaced without any tools. You can even buy two-dial kits in green, turquoise, blue, orange, purple, or red directly from Specialized for $20.00 USD if you're looking for some extra flair.


Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
The Boa system is a ratcheting dial that tightens or loosens a thin steel lace.
Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
The steel laces run across the top of the foot before looping back to each dial.


The underside of the Cliplite shoes is home to what Specialized calls their Slipnot rubber which, as you'd expect it to be, is softer and more forgiving than the hard and slippery soles than you usually find on the bottom of clipless pedal shoes. This could be especially helpful at keeping you on your feet if you live and ride in a place like Sedona or Moab where most of your time is spent on rock, as does the recessed depression for the cleat. Much less clickity-clackity to be found here.

And since Specialized figured that some Cliplite wearers might be coming off their platform pedal setup, they've added 4mm of rearward adjustment to the cleat mounts that allow riders to dial in a more familiar and comfortable position.


Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
The Slipnot rubber soles are designed to keep you upright when you're not on your bike.
Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
There's plenty of room to move the cleat back if you prefer a more rearward biased setup.



Performance

As much fun as I may poke at funny looking cross-country shoes, I've always far preferred them over something more casual simply because they put function over fashion. I want my shoes lightweight, rigid and to be more about performance than looks - we're riding bicycles in the forest so it's not like we should be concerned about our kicks, and I wear bike shoes to ride my bike, not to walk my bike. The Cliplites, however, manage to both perform well and look pretty decent.

Their fit is more spacious than other shoes I've had on my feet over the last few years, especially up front in the protective toe box, but they're certainly a bit more close fitting than something more casual. This is great for riders like me who have wider and flatter feet. And like all of Specialized's shoes, the Cliplites sport insoles that are canted ever so slightly outward, but I admit that I couldn't really notice this while wearing them.


Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
  Reliability has been good, with no signs of any seams going south or strange wear to report.


The Boa S2 dials work exactly as advertised, and the two dials per shoe make it easier to fine tune the fit than if there was only one dial. There are no weird pressure points created, even when you crank them down too tightly, and you can back them off or tighten them by one or two clicks at a time by just reaching down when on the go. This was handy for me as I always tend to want to loosen the fit of my shoes twenty minutes after starting out. While easy to use, the S2 dials don't offer the instant release that some other Boa dials supply by simply pulling them outwards to release the ratchet mechanism. Regardless, I do prefer either Boa dial system over a more traditional lace, buckle or hook-and-loop setup. And speaking of hook-and-loop straps, the low-positioned straps on the Cliplites are pretty useless, and I never felt the need to adjust them, let alone undo them to get my feet out.


Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
The uppers are sturdy feeling, although the protection ends below the ankle bone on both the inside and outside of your feet.
Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes review test
For shoes with relatively rigid soles, the Cliplites are great to walk in.


For a shoe with a relatively rigid sole, the Cliplites are great for walking in. The soft rubber bottoms don't make me feel like I'm going to fall on my face when scrambling up or down some rocks, and there's next to no heel lift thanks to the deep feeling rear section. More importantly to me, they feel as rigid and flex-free as many mid-priced cross-country shoes, so it never felt like my feet were being bent over the tops of my tiny XTR Race pedals. They're obviously not cross-country race shoes, and that isn't what they were designed for, but a cross-country rider looking for more protection or more warmth isn't going to be disappointed with the Cliplites.

I don't have anything terrible to say about the Cliplites, or even any really notable complaints, but the one point worth mentioning is that their uppers are quite stiff compared to a sportier shoe. There is certainly more protection there, but the stiff uppers make them feel not quite as form-fitting as lighter duty shoes.



Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThe Cliplites were designed for trail riders and enduro types, but their stiff soles and great fitting Boa adjustment system makes them a good alternative for any rider who wants more warmth, protection or just prefers a more casual look without sacrificing performance. - Mike Levy



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106 Comments

  • + 131
 Specialized is suing boa constrictors for copyright infringement.
  • + 2
 @mrgonzo I was coming down here to write that the band Slipknot is also suing Specialized for the name, and also for implying that Slipknot maybe soft and sticky like Slipnot.
  • + 33
 Suing 5.10 because they make shoes
  • + 15
 Do you think spec is sole-less for suing everyone?
  • + 9
 Maybe they will stop gwinning in court now that they're not gwinning on the race course.
  • + 4
 Sole-less! Ha! Thats nice. I actually don't have any hate for Specialized at all, but I do find all the suing this that and the other jokes funny. I used to ride an old-school Spec back in the days of the 90's myself.
  • + 1
 @VwHarman hahaha I thought exactly the same thing as I read about that Slipnot sole!!! That would be so much fun!!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 maybe they sued all the time to pay for all of gwin's gwinnings
  • + 59
 Worth a mention - Boa guarantees their product for the life of whatever they lace up. The coating on one of laces on my FiveTen Kestrel starting wearing off, jamming up the ratchet mechanism. Just went to their website, new complete system (ratchet, lace, etc) for both shoes were in the mail for free that day. Pretty impressed by the support.
  • + 10
 i have the skate style and by far the best clip shoes I've worn... don't take my word for it go try some on.. and the split knot rubber is amazing...literally will never slip its weird
  • + 1
 I'm a fan of these shoes. Never clipped in before I had these but I have no complaints so I'm about these...
  • + 9
 As a PSA, If you have boney feet or highish arches the 2fo line is almost unwearable due to the fact they use a mesh material for the tongue instead of a padded foam. Also, the rubber is considerably worse than fiveten if you're coming off one of their shoes. They are nice and stiff though, good power transfer and no hotspots from small pedals.
  • + 1
 Just don't get the green ones. All the green padding around the ankle looks like shit after one muddy ride.
  • + 1
 I had the same excellent service from Boa after the mechanism on one of my Specialized shoes broke. They actually sentme two so I have a spare one in case one breaks at a later date.
  • - 31
flag MojoMaujer (Feb 10, 2016 at 4:16) (Below Threshold)
 Really? Boa has great support? When my brand new shoes fail to open/close, i had to open a dispute for 6 months in order to get my money back. Boa told me it was up to the distributor and store to replace it.

PB Please no more specialized stuff every other day. Maybe no more at all. It breaks, it is cheaply made, and it is overpriced.
  • + 1
 @Nobble I disagree. I have very high arches from years of ballet, and I suffer from BFS (Boney Foot Syndrome). These shoes fit me great...
  • + 6
 @MojoMaujer ladies and gentlemen! Expecting media to choose their content based on his experiences. Maybe you have bad experiences with all of these different companies you complain about because you are actually shitty to deal with? At a certain point, it's common denominator, and the only commonality here is you!
  • + 2
 I've had the same pair of specialized shoes for almost ten years, only now am I considering replacing them as a small spot near the toe crease on both shoes is starting to rip...ten years!
  • + 1
 yep, broke a boa on my specialized Rime (my fault too), had replacements within days. no hassle, fast turn around. awesome.
  • - 6
flag probi (Feb 10, 2016 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 Blew up my 510 boa system as well, never could bring myself to follow the directions to lace up the replacement boa lace. Garbage system for anyone riding near rocks. Probably OK for XC pinners / the white shoe crowd.
  • + 17
 Can someone make a shoe for flats with the BOA system? Laces are so 1900's.
  • + 8
 I went through 2 pair of 510 Kestrels due to issues with the soles. I hated to give them up but didn't want to hassle with them again. I switched to these and love them.
  • + 3
 Exactly the same experience. These are the best bike shoe I've ever owned by miles. Terraduro and kestrel don't compare.
  • + 2
 Yep...2 Kestrels since June 15' - nice - but reliability and those soles!!!
  • + 1
 Yeah Five Ten shoes perform great but don't last long. I tried the Terraduros but didn't like the hard plastic sole.
  • + 2
 Had the same issue with the soles on my Kestrels too, on my second pair now. I got the 2FO clip to try them out and they are really good. I like the second set of BOA, in comparison to Kestrel, as it helps get the fit that much better.
  • + 1
 Did your Kestrel soles last more than 4 rides? Mine didn't.
  • + 2
 About 5-6 months
  • + 6
 I have size 12.5 wide feet and these were way too narrow. The most comfortable shoe i've tried for wide feet is the giro terraduro hv. I wish they made a wide version of these, because they are definitely nice shoes.
  • + 1
 how wide of feet do you have? EE width? im looking for a comfy EE width shoe and it's been very difficult to find a comfy pair.
  • + 1
 I have super narrow size 12.5 feet. I went to the lbs to buy these. I tried them on and found the toe box was HUGE. Lbs guy said i was the first guy to complain about specialized shoes fitting too narrow. Tried on some Rimes and found them to be my solemate.
  • + 1
 I wanted to try some giro hv shoes (didn't know wide bike shoes existed since about 2months...lol) but now I want those Crankbrothers Enduro Mallet pedals so I need some relax, flat sole, shoes...no xc race shoes anymore! Frown

I heard Rimes were narrow as f*ck and those Cliplite were large. I can try some but 240$ cad +15%tx is a lot... I can have any 5 ten shoes for about 150$ cad tx in. so I thought about the Impact VXI CL as Kestrel are ugly as f*ck and seems to be shit! I don't know whats my width but I just need something with more room than normal race shoes as I always buy bigger size shoes for the width to be okay. Can you help me choose between those 2 or any other flat sole shoes (Mallet pedals have pins) that I could like! And 5 ten seems really hot for trail riding in summer, what about the Cliplite and the other same style shoes?
  • + 1
 @useport80 I'd say I'm 2EE, though the width seems very subjective between shoe manufacturers.

@Timo82 I tried the Impact VXI Clipless and those were pretty nice. A bit heavier than the Terraduro and not quite as wide but they would have worked. I also tried the Giro Chamber Clipless and those are nice, second to the Terraduro for me. A bit heavier as well, but they fit my wide feet, not quite as comfy as the terraduro. The thing that was weird is you can't move the cleat as far back on the chamber as you can on the terraduro. Strange because the chamber are more downhill oriented.
  • + 1
 @useport80 check out some Fivetens. I'm not sure if all the models are like this, but I purchased the Maltese Falcon Race shoes and they fit perfect right off the bat. They even feel good with thick wool socks. And my feet are wide; I usually have to go up half a size just for shoes to be comfortable, not so with these.
  • + 1
 Thanks, I thought about the chamber but wasn't hv so thought it could be too narrow!

Well fiveten just updated their site and I found my best bet for the price!!! Big Grin I'll give them a try if wide enough, they won't be as warm as the Impact VXI and a lot cheaper than Cliplite! www.fiveten.com/us/bike/maltese-falcon-carbon-red
  • + 6
 Had two sets of 5.10s come apart recently. Headed towards these next for sure.
  • + 2
 NOTE: If you are using HT pedals, I suggest using one of the plastic shim/spacers behind your cleat. The depth of the cleat track is great on these shoes, but a tad too deep for the ht cleat. I have been running these shoes for a while now and I love them. The toe box is really quite hard, so make sure to pick a size that gives your toes room.
  • + 1
 Mike, did the shoe sort of hover over your pedal when clipped in? I have the xt pedals and was curious. I have 5.10 shoes and it feels like I'm hovering over mine. I guess I'm asking if the recess for the cleats is deeper? Thanks
  • + 2
 i run these shoes on xt pedals and it doesn't feel that way, no hotspot either.
  • + 1
 Thanks
  • + 3
 I got a pair of these to replace my Terraduros. These are way way stiffer and lighter. Surprisingly they are very comfortable and walk really well. Pricey but amazing.
  • + 1
 Yeah pricey as f*ck for a ''bmx'' style shoe... I really want those but 240$+tx is ALOT since I can have any 5 ten for about 150$ tx in!!!

Is there any better price for these on internet or whatever...or should I buy them at my LBS for 240+tx???
  • + 4
 That was a well written review, actually answered every question I had about these shoes. Good job!
  • + 0
 I was shopping around for shoes and these were one of my options. I decided to buy the Shimano AM5 instead mainly because I was worried about breaking those thin laces. Maybe, if the seller had spoke about the replacement parts it woud have been another story. The only downside of the AM5 is weight. Other than that, they are flawless.
  • + 2
 How do they perform in the wet, @mikelevy? Do they dry up quickly or just soak up water like a sponge and take days to dry out like the old 5.10 impacts?
  • + 1
 these shoes are the best at draining water in this shoe category.. i walked through creaks and after a few steps there is no sloshy feeling at all and it keeps my feet warmer in the winter!
  • + 1
 After working in the snow sports industry, I'm skeptical about Boa...the bootfitting shop I work in is actually trying to convince snowboard boot brands to get away from Boa because they tend to break so much
  • + 2
 I've seen a ton broken on snowboard boots too, only one on a bike shoe though (caught on something). The difference I think is the forces like leaning back and forth on a snowboard boot vs what you see on a bike shoe.
  • + 1
 @ThisDudePwnsYou: What you said. After breaking two Boas on my Vans snowboard boots, I'm back to laces. Break a lace, tie a knot and keep riding. Simplicity at it's best (& infinitely customizable!).
  • + 1
 bsavery:
valid point, also no edges than can catch on the Boa when on the lift or constant need for adjustment.

ridestuff: traditional lace all the way.
  • + 3
 I wonder what they look like new?
  • + 1
 Do you know I wish they made these shoes in a flat sole as strange as that may sound. I actually love the look of them but I only ride flat pedals.
  • + 1
 They make them for flat pedals, No clip!!
  • + 2
 They don't. They make the 2FO for flats. These are 2FO Cliplite.
  • + 1
 I just want to know if they get chunked up soles if you climb rocks. I really want these but we got a couple tough hike a bikes.
  • + 1
 Selling a pair of size 44 and size 43 both lightly worn - check buy/sell or message me if interested.
I bought too big twice - costly fail.
  • + 2
 Mike, Are these shoes too warm for the desert? I live in Albuquerque, need something that can breath. Thanks.
  • + 1
 I use this shoes to ride Downhill/Race .. They are lighter than the original Downhill shoes from specialized.. They are awesome Big Grin
  • + 1
 The boa system on the Kestrels is a terrible design. It does not tighten the shoe up evenly at all. I have to tighten and loosen numerous times to get the tension even.
  • + 3
 I left 5.10 for these and absolutely love them. Review is spot on.
  • - 11
flag MojoMaujer (Feb 10, 2016 at 4:24) (Below Threshold)
 Really? Hard to belive.
  • + 2
 ^^They're better than your wildest dreams. And I don't even like Specialized that much...
  • + 1
 Trying to decide between these, Terraduros or Shimano M200s - what are peoples thoughts?
  • + 2
 I have these, the M163s (mid-priced version of the M200s) and have owned the Terraduros. Honestly, the Giros were probably my favorite from a fit and performance perspective, but they quality is just terrible. I mean, the worst-built shoe I've ever bought. They warrantied four pair for delamination in about a six-month period before I gave up. The Shimanos are fine, nothing wrong, nothing great, don't fit my feet particularly well. The Specialized shoes have been terrific so far, but I only have a couple rides in them. Assuming they hold up, they'll likely be my go-to shoe for clips. I also have the Rime experts and those are also pretty great with the Vibram sole, which works well here in Arizona.
  • + 1
 I tried a bunch of different shoes and settled on the Terraduro. I had heard of quality issues as well, some online reviews mention the sole coming apart. I haven't had an issue with mine after 6 months. Hopefully they fixed the problem. The look well made when you look at them.
  • + 1
 I love my m200s. True to size, perfect fit for my low volume feet, great toe and ankle protection, real rubber lugged outsoles, solid closure system. Liked them so much I bought a second pair.
  • + 3
 Got em. Love em.
  • + 1
 Just wonder if those are narrow enough for xc pedals like xtr race or xpedo baldwin
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Could you please compare this model to Spec Rime?
  • + 1
 If you absolutely won't ride Shimano or Mavic. These would be fine.
  • + 1
 you can get shimano AM45 for $55 right now.
  • + 2
 What are thooosee
  • + 2
 I digg.
  • + 1
 Do they come free with a Michael Jackson fancy dress costume? Hee heeeee!
  • + 3
 thats bad..
  • - 3
 Hahah
  • - 1
 Only buy Specialized shoes if you care about your toes. I haven't found anyone else who has any reasonable toe protection in their shoes, including the XC style shoes.
  • + 0
 I kick rocks with my Five Ten Ravens
  • + 6
 Mavic Crossmax shoes have awesome toe protection
  • - 10
flag MojoMaujer (Feb 10, 2016 at 4:25) (Below Threshold)
 Hahha. Specialized fanboys are out in numbers today.
  • + 0
 Holy sh!t 180 USD vs. 235 EUR MSRP. Do you finance bro?! I think I'll pass.
  • + 1
 These things look like Air Monarchs
  • + 1
 Yeah... NO!
  • + 1
 I like that
  • - 2
 What we really want to know is...did Specialized develop these fine shoes in their Win Tunnel? Will they make me faster with aerodynamic styling?
  • - 1
 they kinda look like Nike training shoes
  • - 3
 Can't hate on Spesh's shoe game. Other things..... That's another story
  • - 1
 seems ppl disagree and you CAN hate on their shoe game I tried saying something nice
  • - 2
 180$ usd ... ok bye
  • + 2
 5.10 Kestrel's are the exact same price...
  • - 2
 Ugly shoes..but i'm sure it's good ^
  • - 2
 Do they come out of the box looking muddy?
  • + 10
 Yes but only if you go with the 'Trailhead Poseur' option that makes it look like your a serious rider but without all the actual effort of riding.
  • + 1
 I got a pair and they were blindingly white out of the box, look way better once they're muddy Wink .
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