The Afton Vectal Clipless Shoe won’t be the first shoe that jumps into your mind when you think of clip shoes. Lewis has been seeing how they stack up.
Can a young Californian brand fight it out with the giants like Shimano, Five Ten, Giro, and the rest? Lewis has been testing the Afton Vectal Clipless Shoe to find out.
Photos by Dave Price.
- Afton’s second generation Intact® rubber
- Oversized clip box and 35mm of clip travel
- Thickness ranging from 4mm to 12m
- Reinforced toe box
- Anti-microbial molded foam insole
- Size 7, 8, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 12 and 13 available.
- £99.99 RRP.
Afton have brought a new style of clip shoe to the market that could be popular for its stylish design, but will the specification and technology within the shoe make it a contender in a dense and dominated market?
I have been riding two colourways of the Vectal shoes for the last two months. Since then, I have ridden various enduro and downhill trails that have tested the shoes in most areas. The shoe sizing are very good along with its anti-microbial moulded foam soles make them very comfy to ride and also walk in.
In addition to this, the 35mm of cleat adjustability allows plenty of configuration that makes clipping into and out of my pedals was very easy (HT Components) but I feel the rubber bottoms are a tad slippery when trying to push-up or when trying to rest the feet above the cleat. Lastly, The Velcro strap keeps the laces in-place and adds to a better fit around the front of the foot.
The shoe offered plenty of stiffness when climbing that offered pedalling performance and comfort. When you really want to put the power down on climbs or sprinting, the front of the shoe is stiffer that allows greater stiffness for maximum efficiency.
When descending, the flex within the shoe makes controlling the bike easier by allowing the rider to ‘feel’ the bike underneath them, this is great for controlling the rear of the bike on steep or fast terrain. Also, the low profile of the shoe allows great protection in the sole and toe so that you can dab or not worry about hitting hard objects. The ventilation also keeps your feel cool and not get sweaty on longer rides.
What do we think?
If you want a stylish mountain bike shoe that offers great all-round performance, the Afton Vectal shoes is definitely worth an option. The only downside would be the Suede style material that may be a problem in the worst weather, but this does not impact the adjustability and performance that the shoe offers to both enduro and downhill riders.
- Comfy and stylish
- plenty of colour options
- Perfect amount of stiffness and flex
- Good cleat adjustability
Not so good:
- Material may not be good for a British winter