Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe review – lightweight performance gravity shoes

Fizik has taken a unique approach with its Gravita Tensor shoe but has this lightweight design philosophy come at a cost of descending performance?

Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe review
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

BikePerfect Verdict

Fizik’s Gravita Tensor is a lightweight gravity shoe that’s still packed with features. The minimal upper and inner sleeve combo gives them a superb performance fit without sacrificing protection where you need it.

Pros

  • +

    Ankle protection

  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Comfortable

  • +

    Sleek slimline aesthetic

Cons

  • -

    No lace tidy loop

  • -

    Stiffer sole would greatly improve trail/backcountry pedaling versatility

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Fizik is arguably better known for its road and gravel footwear but it also has loads of mountain bike shoes as well as some standout gravity shoes in its lineup. Fizik’s approach is a little different than other gravity shoes too. With a focus on lightweight performance and precise fit, the Gravita range is one of the lightest enduro or downhill shoes. 

The Gravita comes in combinations of clip, flat, lace-up, and lace-up with velcro straps. I have the Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe on test here which combines a clipless sole with a velcro Powerstrap for added support. Despite the slim design and sleek aesthetic, there's a load of neat design features that make the Gravita Tensors some of the best mountain bike shoes around.  

Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe lace detail

The lace offset isn't just an aesthetic choice, Fizik's Ergolace design features across many of their footwear and is said to give a more ergonomic lace-up closure (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

To save weight Fizik has used a thin Ripstop fabric upper which features minimal padding, instead, all the cushioning comes from the tongue which forms an inner lining and is semi-independent from the upper. The tongue is anchored along the edge of the sole and across the top of the toes.

One of the striking features of the Gravita Tensor is Fizik’s instantly recognizable offset Ergolace configuration. Rather than position the lace up up the center of the shoe, Fizik offsets it to the outside of the foot. This isn’t just an aesthetical cue either, Fizik says it offers a more ergonomic lace-up closure and reduces the risk of them getting caught in the drivetrain.

Foot protection is vital for a gravity shoe and the Gravita Tensor is reinforced using a laminated scuff guard that runs around the top of the soel. There is a stiffened heel cup as well as a thicker injection-molded TPU armored toe box. Fizik has extended the inner lining and added some additional padding around the inner adone to offer protection from crank strikes.

The shoe features Fizik’s X6 outsole with a reasonably long and rearward cleat channel for adjusting your cleat position. Within the sole, there is a nylon shank to stiffen up the shoe for better pedaling performance and an EVA midsole to dampen some vibrations. Fizik rates the sole stiffness as a five, which is on par with the Fizik Terra Atlas gravel shoe. The outer exterior has a Vibram XS TREK EVO tread which has a large dotted pattern.

The Gravita Tensor comes in black, black/red, and black/aquamarine, they are also available in the contrasty black and white Team Edition that is worn by the pros.

Fizik offers sizing between EU36 and EU48, with half-sizes between all but the very biggest and smallest sizes. The fit is good as well although I would suggest that if your feet run a little small on a size you might be better off with a half size below.

Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe toe protection detail

Thick injection-molded TPU armors the toe box (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Performance

The Fizik Gravita Tensor has a snug fit that sits somewhere between the wider toe-boxed Ride Concepts Hellion Clip and the narrower Crankbrothers Mallet E Speed Lace. They do require a bit of attention when putting on, starting with a good yank on the inner cuff to make sure everything is sitting right and some careful tightening to make sure there is an even tension across the laces. The Powerstrap comfortably locked my heel in place although it's easy to tighten the strap too much so don’t get carried away or you will get a numb foot. Once everything is done up right though the Tensor wouldn't require any readjustment while riding. My only complaint here is there isn’t an elastic lace tidy, this isn't a big deal as the velcro strap stops the laces from flapping, but it would make adjusting the Powerstrap a little quicker.

Although I don’t bang my ankles on the cranks often I still appreciate the extra ankle protection. The raised cuff has enough padding the fend off most impacts well and along with the offset laces helps reduce dirt from getting inside your shoe too. 

Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe heel protection detail

The inner cuff extend up the inside to offer additional ankle protection (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

The lightness of the Fizik Gravita Tensors is instantly noticeable given that these shoes are around 200g lighter than most of their competitors. While it might not be a huge difference while clipped in they feel less cumbersome and clumpy when you are waving your feet around. This helps them meld into the background when riding and the cossetting fit gives good reactivity for input through the pedals.

I found the sole stiffness to be on par with most other clipless enduro shoes, giving enough support on the pedals without feeling too rough on long descents. Personally, I think the sole could be marginally stiffer as it would improve pedaling performance and the trail or backcountry versatility of this lightweight shoe with little detriment to the comfort or descending abilities.

Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe sole detail

Underneath there is a Vibram sole with a dotted pattern (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Verdict

The Fizik Gravita Tensor is a unique shoe, but I think this approach has paid off. Weight isn't usually a major factor for enduro or downhill shoes but the combination of low weight and performance fit helps the Gravita Tensor excel on the bike. The cuffed upper does an excellent job of holding the foot snuggly in place and the low weight and slimline design helps you forget that you're wearing them without compromising on protective elements. 

While they are some of the best shoes for gravity riding, the low weight and comfortable fit means they also cross over to aggressive trail riding and backcountry epics well too.

They are on the upper end of the price spectrum but I think considering the fit, versatility, and durability they are worth the investment. I think they look great too, especially alongside bulkier riding shoes, although I accept the skew-whiff lace pattern may have the potential to be a bit marmite for some.

Tech specs: Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe

  • Price: $189.99 / £174.99 / €179.00
  • Color:  Black/Black, Red/Black, Aquamarine/Black 
  • Retention: Laces and Velcro
  • Weight: 871g (EU 43)
  • Sizes: EU 36 – 48
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.


Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg