Specialized has added two new models to their recently revamped 2FO shoe line up, the 2FO DH Clip and Flat. As the name implies, the new shoes are aimed at riders who are more focused on the downhill portion of a ride, although there's no reason they couldn't serve as all-round, everyday riding shoes either.
Highlights of both shoes include an asymmetric cuff that provides a little extra padding near the inside ankle, a synthetic leather upper for easy cleaning, and a hydrophobic mesh on the inside to help keep them from getting waterlogged during soggy rides. There's also Specialized's Body Geometry insoles that are supposed to do all sorts of impressive things, like increase efficiency, optimize hip, knee, and foot alignment, and reduce injury risks. I’ve crashed at least once while wearing these shoes, so unfortunately it seems like they don’t mean those
kind of injury risks.
The clipless version has a generous cleat mounting slot that provides plenty of room for a more rearward cleat positon. Both use Specialized's new SlipNot rubber compound, with the slightly harder FG rubber used on the Clip, and the stickier ST compound used on the Flat model. I recently reviewed the more casual 2FO Roost
shoes that use the same rubber, and came away very happy with the level of grip – I never had any issues with my feet sliding out of place.
The 2FO DH Clip is priced at $170 USD, and the 2FO DH Flat goes for $160. The Clip models comes in Black/Cool Grey or Cool Grey, and the Flat model colors are Black Redwood & Cool Grey. Sizes: 36 - 49. Initial Impressions
So far I've been impressed with the performance of the 2FO Clip, although I'd still love to see an even burlier version emerge, one with a higher cuff and maybe a strap over the laces (these use an elastic lace holder). In the meantime, the fit is comfortably snug without being restrictive, and they're easy to rinse off after a muddy ride.
They're easy to walk around with off the bike too, although the cleat box isn't super deep, which means that, at least with Crankbrothers cleats, you'll make the distinctive 'clip clop' noise when walking on hard surfaces that lets everyone around you know that you're either a cyclist or a tap dancer.
It's too early to comment on durability, but there's nothing that immediately stands out as being reason for concern. Overall, the revised 2FO lineup is looking good, with styles that don't immediately scream "I'm a mountain biker," and lots of little features that all add up to create shoes that perform exactly as they should.
More information: specialized.com