Fizik added the Terra Artica X5 GTX to their existing wet/cold footwear range just in time for this season. I’ve been riding it alongside the best winter boot options in slop, snow, frost and rain for months. Warm, mostly dry comfort with good pedaling performance is undermined by grip and sealing details though and price is high.
The Terra Artica X5 GTX looks more like a conventional boot than Fizik’s radical sock style Terra Artica X2. It has a stiffer nylon shank sole (a 5 rather than 3 rating on Fizik’s scale) for a firmer push through the pedals. The cleat position is conventional XC/gravel/road rather than pushed back for gravity centring. Tread is limited to two shallow siped bars at the toes and largely toothless pontoons either side of the cleat slot with only the heel providing proper grip unless you screw in toe studs.
The upper is a perforated synthetic leather with a deep unperforated rand (the contrast purple strip) above the sole. A dense ripstop fabric forms the webbed tongue and upper cuff. The interior uses a Gore-Tex membrane for breathable waterproofing with Koala furry lining for extra insulation.
It comes in a wide 36 to 48 size range with half sizes in most choices so you can get a really accurate fit too. The main fastener is a Boa L6 dial pulling plastic cable between five anchor points. A hook and loop upper strap controls cuff closure.
Fizik have upsized the fit of the Terra Artica X5 GTX so it’ll fit the same as a your normal shoe size. That’s a relief if you’ve suffered from boots where the insulation has taken a lot of space internally, but if you want to wear fat socks for extra warmth then you need to size up. Even with thin socks, my feet stayed warm down to freezing point as long as I remembered to keep wriggling toes and not letting them press against the front. The Koala fleece, GoreTex membrane and upper fabric perforations meant I had no issues with excess sweat build up in the shoes either. Lack of background dampness real win when it comes to putting them back on again the next day so another point in favour of high frequency riders/bike packers.
The GoreTex membrane and webbed tongue means you can wade pretty deep without them letting in any water too. Reasonable pedaling stiffness, middling weight and relatively low bulk suits their XC/gravel/trail remit compared to the floppier, grippier All Mountain/Enduro X2.
The stiff collar makes it very hard to get a decent seal without the cuff being too tight though so water gets in easily from splashes etc if you’re not over topped them with trousers. While the compound is OK on roots and rocks, the lack of decent tread leaves them annoyingly slippery in mud and wet too. I also had consistent issues with full release on the Boa dial so often had to fight the boots off despite a potentially generous opening when fully undone.
Pricing is high as well although durability seems good so far and that’s been the case with other Fizik shoes I’ve worn for years.
Fizik’s Terra Artica X5 GTX winter boot wins in terms of decent warmth, generally impressive waterproofing and efficient pedalling in a wide range of sizes. However sealing is undermined by the stiff cuff, the Boa fasteners can be temperamental and sole grip is poor. It’s more expensive than our favorite Shimano Gore Tex option too.
Tech specs: Fizik Terra Artica X5 GTX
- Price: $259.99 / £249.99 / €259.00
- Sizes: 36 - 48 (including half sizes from 37 - 46)
- Options: Grape/purple or black
- Weight: 1060g (size 44, slightly muddy/damp)