[First Ride] All New Specialized 2FO Roost Flat & Clip Shoes

Today Specialized officially announced revamped models of their bread and butter 2FO shoes for both the flat pedal and clipless pedal versions. I’ve been riding the clipless version for a few weeks now and also got a set of the flat pedal version just recently as well, so I’ll share some of my initial thoughts on them both here as well as go over their key updates.


Starting with the goal of having fly under the radar aesthetics without sacrificing performance, Specialized kept things looking subtle and clean and offers just two colorways per shoe. The layout and construction for the topsole, tongue and laces is quite similar, but the soles obviously vary between the two shoes and the flat version sees a suede toe box. Let’s dive in for more …


  • Lollipop nylon shank is paired with an EVA midsole to flex where needed while remaining stiff for pedaling.
  • Micro-perforated synthetic provides a soft and supple feel without sacrificing protection and durability.
  • XPEL hydrophobic lining provides cushioning and doesn’t retain water.
  • Landing StripTM cleat pocket guides the cleat into the pedal for insanely fast engagement.
  • $130 MSRP
  • Available in Black and Taupe
  • Sizes: 36-49, half-sizes 38.5-46.5

A clean silhouette and a lower profile toe box area keep the shoe looking surprisingly normal – for a mountain bike shoe anyway. Stealth mode engaged…

The “landing strip” cleat pocket allows loads of adjustment and cleat positioning that sits quite a ways back.

The cleat pocket sees more updates to its shape as well – the inboard and forward edges are angled to help coalesce the cleat into the pedal for fast engagement and an easier release.

While the toe bumper is less bulky, it doesn’t skimp on protection. Shown above is its very firm protective section.

Lace tabs remain in play on both shoes to keep things tidy.

Lastly – also on both shoes is the Body Geometry insoles. These are available with varying levels of arch support as aftermarket options on the Specialized website, but the stock neutral insoles are quite comfortable and supportive. Highlighted above is the metatarsal button – which helps increase blood flow and prevent numbing while you’re riding.


  • SlipNot SuperTacky Rubber: flat pedal specific compound keeps riders glued to the pedal through the rough stuff with a secure and locked-in feel.
  • Upper Material: Suede and leather create a soft and supple feel while providing protection and durability to handle the demands of the trail.
  • XPEL hydrophobic lining provides cushioning and doesn’t retain water
  • $ 120 MSRP
  • Available in Black and Oak
  • Sizes: 36-49, half-sizes 38.5-46.5

The mix of suede and leather not only looks quite casual and understated (more of this please!), but the suede is placed in high wear areas for improved durability. 

This is the third generation of Specialized’s “SlipKnot” rubber compound, and it is WAY grabbier this time around. A great deal of time and effort went into optimizing the lug pattern on the outsole, and the shoes features a shank that ends just before the toes and heels for improved walkability without sacrificing power transfer and stiffness.

The contoured and padded cuff has been a staple of the 2FO since its inception. It’s comfy, supportive and offers great protection.

There are a great deal of perforations everywhere and our experience in the past with 2FO shoes is that they have always been very quick to dry. These are no exception.

Lastly, the toe bumper on the flat version crosses over in a similar manner from the clipless version offering clean, minimalist aesthetics without sacrificing protection.

On the trail

At present I’ve done a great deal of riding in the clipless pedal version and have only had a couple of rides in the flat version. Here is how they’ve worked out so far…

2FO Clip

Coming off of the last iteration of the shoes and having also worn the model before that, there has been a steady progression in the overall fit, quality and and on-trail performance attributes from the 2FO in general. In terms of duty, the 2FO is just right for everything from Trail to Enduro riding, however I would recommend something a bit more substantial for downhill racing. Where the 2FO Clip 2.0 had a rather bulky toe box that was all rubber, this new version takes a slightly sleeker approach without sacrificing much in the way of protection. The shoe has lost a good bit of weight as well – my size 44.5EU shoes weight exactly 180 grams less for the pair. Now, I’ve mostly ridden them in these cooler Fall and Winter months, but based on the lack of rubber, I think they’ll also be running quite a bit cooler in the warmer months as they’ll likely breathe better, but that’s purely speculative on my part. One thing I can say is that they do dry out really quickly, much like past offerings.

Right out of the gate I noticed that unlike the last iteration, I didn’t need to trim any rubber on the outsole in order to get an easy, positive engagement. Rather, these were so easy to get in and out of that I ended up tightening up the spring preload on my pedals so as to prevent unintentional disengagement. As far as comfort and fit goes, much like their predecessors the 2FO clip was super comfortable with no hot spots and even pressure from the laces. The heel cup fit on the snug side to keep your feet nicely engaged and the toe box was on the roomier side so as to accommodate a wide range of foot profiles while still allowing for nice blood flow and breathing room. Lastly, on power transfer and walkability, for a shoe aimed at the center of the market in terms of duty, I think these were just right. You get the power you need, but you could spend some time off the bike, hiking around and cleaning up trail without feeling compromised. The flex at the front and rear was just enough as was the stiffness directly in line with the cleat pocket. All in all, a great set of shoes which have become and will continue to be my go to.

2FO Flat

As mentioned earlier, I’ve had limited time on the 2FO flat, but here are my findings thus far. The shoes are very much in line with the clipless offering discussed above in terms of the updates and changes it has seen – particularly with regard to weight loss and toe box construction. However, I will say the materials used in the topsole (leather vs. synthetic) make it feel a little bit more substantial and thus, I’ll likely be extending usage of these to my downhill bike. What struck me right away was just how noticeable the increased grip was on the pedals. Personally I’ve never been much of a Five.ten guy and have generally opted for less grippy skate style shoes when I am running flat pedals. It can’t be overstated enough – these things are GRABBY! On my limited time on them it did take some time to get used to that aspect. Once the pedal bites the shoe, it tends to want to stay there so the on trail adjustments to foot placement tend to be more conscientious rather than subconscious.  What I will say is that I did feel an increase in stiffness in the shank compared to the last iteration. This could be due to the fact that the shoes are new and will likely soften up and “give” with time, but at present the power transfer is excellent, particularly for a flat pedal shoe. I’ve found that the new 2FO Flats tend to derive their grip more from the ultra sticky compound used in the outsole rather than from a combination of a moderately sticky compound paired to a bit more sole flex hugging the pedals. 


From what I’ve gathered so far, I’m quite impressed with both of these shoes. Regarding the Clip version, the updates made have improved the ride experience with easier in/out and a substantially lighter weight, while managing to keep the positive aspects of past 2FO models – walkability, comfort, quick drying and sturdy power transfer. As far as the Flat version is concerned, I’ll need a bit more time on them to see how the outsole wears in. So far I’m very impressed by their grip and power transfer. Personally I’m hoping that as they soften up and break in, they’ll be less grabby. In any case they certainly are comfortable, offer great protection, and a nice trail feel. It’s also worth pointing out that both shoes are some of the more aesthetically pleasing shoes I’ve seen from the MTB world – at least in my opinion anyway. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes, the new 2FO family is very much worth consideration. One last thing that’s certain is that they’re both priced right!


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