First Look Review : Pete’s Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoes.

A few months of a Scottish winter has given Pete a good idea of what the Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes can and can’t do.

How will Specialized’s trimmed down version of their 2FO Clip shoe stand up to the Scottish mountains? Well, Pete got a set of the 2FO Cliplite shoes and set about putting them through their paces.

Need to know:

  • £140.00 RRP
  • Double independent Boa S2-Snap Dial closure.
  • ToeBox toe protetction.
  • Landing Strip cleat cut out.
  • SlipNot rubber sole.
  • Seamless thermobonded upper.
  • Approx. weight 760g (pair, size 42).

Buy online: Buy the 2016 Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoe online at Tredz for £104.99

Buy online: Buy the 2018 Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoe online at Tredz for £140.99

They’ve already been through a filthy Scottish winter

The Specialized 2FO Cliplite has more of a running shoe appearance than other mountain bike shoes, but that leads to a significantly more snug fit around the foot and will be the friend of people with a narrow foot profile like me.

A snug fit and a relatively stiff composite sole means there’s plenty of feedback through the shoe, with additional EVA padding only where necessary, with the addition of toe box protection.

As yet, I haven’t had any issues with wear or damage, despite having run these through a fairly filthy Scottish winter.

They feel snug but take a bit of getting used to

The Boa S2-Snap closure only serves to enhance the snug feeling once you’ve wedged your foot into the far from massive opening. This closure system certainly seems to spread the tightness of the shoe across the front of the foot, as opposed to across the ankle like on a normal lace-up. This means anything your foot does, translates to movement in the shoe, so it can take some getting used to on pedals with limited float.

Water ingress does seem to be fairly dramatic and it’s not all that surprising for such a light weight shoe, and while the shoe doesn’t absorb much of the wet stuff, it does do a good job of holding the water against the sole of your foot, especially at the ball of the foot. Nothing a good pair of waterproof socks wouldn’t sort though, and that has been on the wettest of rides.

Out on the trail they’re stiff but not uncomfortable

Out on the trail, the stiff sole translates to good power transfer and the fit means your foot isn’t moving inside the shoe. That stiffness pays dividends on the climbs but doesn’t become uncomfortable, even on the longer descents.

Off the bike, the same stiff sole does mean they feel a bit odd to walk in, but on hike-a-bikes they don’t feel any worse than other shoes. The sole lacks the tread to really grip when things get steep or slippy, so you do need to pay slightly more attention to where you’re putting your feet when the hike-a-bike gets a bit more interesting, but this isn’t really what these shoes were designed for.

Finally, I’m not entirely sure why the Velcro closure is required on this shoe. The Boa closure does a fantastic job of making your foot feel secure, and heel lift is never an issue. The closure above the toe doesn’t, in my opinion, achieve anything the Boa hasn’t already done. When clogged with mud, the Velcro tab catches on the cranks.

What do we think?

Overall, the 2FO Cliplite is a snug, efficient, well-made trail and enduro shoe.

I’ve yet to ride a shoe for general trail duties that offers a better fit around my feet (Euro size 40, E fitting).

We love:

  • They’re nice and light weight
  • Stiff sole is great at getting power down
  • Snug fit gives a neat, comfy feel with no unnecessary material

Not so good:

  • Not the best we’ve tested at keeping the water out
  • Grip on the sole could be better when pushing up

You can find full details on the Specialized 2FO Cliplite over on Specialized’s website.

Keep an eye out for a full review later in the year over on our Gear page.


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