[First Ride] Specialized 2FO 2.0 Flat Shoes

[First Ride] Specialized 2FO 2.0 Flat Shoes


Over the past couple of years, Specialized has been working on a revamp of their 2F0 flat pedal shoes. Along the way we’ve been lucky enough to test the two prototype versions that lead them to this new, production pair – the 2FO 2.0. We’ve enjoyed providing feedback on the first and second prototype versions, but after a few rides on the final product we felt that we may as well share our thoughts with you on our first on trail impressions.

For the Specialized take on the new shoes as well as some Q&A, you can read up on their 2FO Whitepaper.

Details

  • Body Geometry sole construction and footbeds are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment.
  • SlipNot™ 2.0 rubber compound is our softest, grippiest rubber, and it’s optimized for the ultimate in pedal connection
  • Engineered lug pattern was specifically designed to integrate with pedal pins.
  • Dual-density midsole adapts to the pedal, protects the foot, and results in superb pedal control.
  • Captured foam in the upper protects the foot from impacts.
  • Air mesh on the tongue and uppers provides protection, while quickly shedding water weight.
  • Smooth, thermobonded upper for lightweight durability and a snag-free profile.
  • Cushioned EVA foam midsole is sealed with a protective skin for support and tear resistance.
  • Lacelock™ elastic keeps laces out of the chainrings.
  • Relaxed Fit for a balance of pedal feel and off-the-bike comfort.
  • Approximate weight: 347g (1/2 pair, Size 42)
  • $150 (US)
  • Available now
The new tread pattern and a softer, grippier rubber compound.
The back outer corner of the shoe is ever so slightly angled and devoid of the standard tread pattern – this improves walkability, durability and foot out/heel down cornering.
A great deal of mesh can be found in the tongue and on the sides.
The all rubber toe protection is very sturdy and the toe box is quite wide in fit.
Pull on tabs…this will especially make your life easier if you wear ankle braces.
“Lacelock” keeps your laces out of harms way…
The insole offers incredible support and is well thought out, with pedaling dynamics in mind.
The flat laces and snug eyelets do a good job of keeping even tension and pressure across your vamp.

First Impressions

Covering some of the basics, we felt the fit was spot on right away. We tested a 44.5, which is our go-to size for MTB shoes in general. The heel cup fits snug, secure and slightly narrow while the toe box feels roomy.  When you lace the shoes up, the seemingly tough laces are really good about applying even tension and not slipping while you’re actually lacing them. The arch support and contour in the footbed are excellent.

The first prototype version that we tested were way too thick in the soles, the second pair was too thin. Proving that Specialized was listening (and that we’re not crazy) the production version is “just right” in terms of thickness. The sole itself is rather comfortable yet initially it felt rather stiff just walking around…The rigidity would change over a few rides though.

On the Trail

As mentioned, the soles of the 2FO 2.0’s felt quite stiff in the very beginning, but after a handful of rides they broke in and provided a bit more give. On our first ride, we headed out in the OneUp pedals pictured below. Their convex shape didn’t play all that nice with the 2F0’s curved sole on our first couple of rides.

We quickly swapped to our tried and true DMR Vault flat pedals, which offer much more concave, as you can see below. These were a bitter fit for the shoes, but after 4-5 jaunts, as the shoes began to break in and soften up, the OneUps actually provided a pretty good, responsive trail feel . With that in mind, we feel this shoe works best with a flat or concave show. Also worth mentioning is that while the 2FO’s broke in nicely, they haven’t become overly pliable by any means. They still offer excellent power transfer and control.

Anyhow – loosely related pedal shape semantics aside, we really like these shoes. They’re extremely comfortable on and off the bike and the grip is superb. However, they’re not so grabby that it becomes difficult to make minor placement adjustments while you’re riding. The support is truly spectacular everywhere. The heel cuff hugs you nicely and the insole contour is perfect. The brilliant laces and roomy toe box means no hot spots and no numbness. We are floored with the incredible toe protection, but it seems to come at a small price: the toe area doesn’t have any mesh or ventilation to speak of, so these run a little bit on the warm side – in our opinion, that’s a small price to pay for safe toes. Lastly, the impact absorption at both the heels and the forefoot is great in the event that you have to bail.

Overall

In the grand scheme of things, there is plenty of room for more brands than Five Ten in the flat pedal world. That said, while this shoe seems to be intended more for the trail bike to enduro crowd, we’d love to see a mid top version that’s aimed at expanding further into the DH/Freeride crowd. Paired with ankle braces, these are surely tough enough for DH use, but a mid top option would be lovely. All in all, the 2FO 2.0 is a truly excellent flat pedal shoe; keep in mind we’ve only been riding these production shoes for a couple of weeks, so we’ll keep you posted on their long term durability.

www.specialized.com