Fizik Vento Proxy shoe review – bold and breezy

Fizik’s new Vento Proxy is pitched as an off-road shoe with pure racing DNA, is the punchy color scheme backed up with performance?

Fizik Proxy shoes pictured in a forest
(Image: © Future)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Fizik’s Proxy looks great, comfortable, and extremely well ventilated although the soft sole and difficult closure means they fall short of their “developed for competitive riders seeking race-ready features” claims


  • +

    Great ventilation

  • +

    Strong aesthetic

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    Comfortable for general off-road riding

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    Grippy sole for walking

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    Metatarsal button could offer relief for riders who suffer foot numbness or hot spots


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    The metatarsal button won’t suit everyone

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    Sole too flexible for long or repeated intense efforts

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    Retention cable is sticky and can create pressure points

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Fizik isn’t shy of producing a shoe with a bold aesthetic and its new second-tier gravel shoe is possibly the wildest-looking one yet with its bright colors and multi-layer design. In terms of performance, it’s positioned below Fizik's best gravel bike shoe and shares much of the same tech and construction as the premium Fizik Vento Ferox. If you want to make a visual statement with your footwear however the Vento Proxy takes it to the next level.

Looks aren't everything though, so we have put some miles on them if they still look and feel as good at the end of a ride as they do at the start.

Fizik Proxy shoes pictured in a forest with a short depth of field

The bold aesthetic is eye catching and personally I love it (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Design and specifications

Fizik has used a multi-layer PU Laminated mesh upper with translucent sections across the top of the toes and along the sides giving the Proxys a lightweight breathable construction and a unique aesthetic. The tongue is a little thicker and features perforations to further help with ventilation. Scuff-resistant panels are positioned around the front of the foot and heel section to offer a little extra protection.

The Proxy drops the Vento Ferox’s Velcro Power Strap for a single low-profile Li2 BOA dial. The Li2 is Boa’s low-profile dial with both tightening and loosening micro-adjustments. The BOA cable crosses twice across the foot and is anchored with five fabric cable guides. 

Proxy’s feature a redesigned X3 fiber composite sole which Fizik rates as an eight on its own stiffness scale. For reference, this positions the Proxy's between the Terra Atlas rated as a five and the Vento Ferox Carbon which tops the scale at a ten. The sole is covered with the same rubberized tread used on Fizik's other off-road shoes, including toe studs if you fancy a bit of muddy cyclocross

Fizik Proxy shoes leaning against each other showing the sole, pictured in a forest

Fizik rates the sole stiffness at an eight and the Proxy's have the same tread as Fizik's other off-road shoes (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

Interestingly Fizik has fitted the Proxy’s with a metatarsal button on the insole, something which isn’t featured on the premium Vento Ferox or the Terra Atlas below it. The metatarsal button is a bump built into the insole that is positioned under the foot's transverse arch and designed to spread the metatarsal bones in the front of the foot to reduce numbness or hot spots when riding.

The Proxy’s are available between EU36 and EU48, with half sizes between EU37 and EU47. I have previously found Fizik shoes on the roomy side so I sized down by half a size to an EU 42.5 and the fit feels right. My test sample Vento Proxy weighs 668g on our scales, making them a little lighter than the more premium Powerstrap-equipped shoes. 

When the press release came through the Coral / Purple colorway immediately caught my attention and it's just as eye-catching in the flesh. If this very bright color scheme is not to your taste, there is also a Sky Blue Reflective (Blue and Black) and a plain Black version.

Fizik Proxy shoes toe vent details

The translucent panels offer plenty of airflow (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)


Unsurprisingly for a pair of shoes with an outer that you can see your socks through, the Proxy’s are very breathable. Even at low speeds, there’s a high level of airflow across the top of the foot making these a great option for riders in hot climates and the most ventilated pair of gravel shoes I have used. It doesn’t take much for water to get in but as there is little padding they dry quickly too.

The Proxy’s give a good pedaling platform but compared to the stiff carbon-soled Vento Ferox, the Vento Proxy’s sole has a noticeable amount of give to the sole if you are out of the saddle and pushing hard. It's not enough that it causes issues for the majority of riding, however powerful race-focussed riders will wish for a stiffer pedaling platform for high power or extended tempo sessions. 

Fizik Proxy shoes BOA closure detail

I found the cable routing and guides struggled to offer an even closure (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)

I struggled to find an even closure with the single Li2 BOA Dial, I found that the lace had a habit of binding when tightening which stopped me from getting optimal tightness and could occasionally lead to discomfort across the top of the foot. The BOA tension can be easily adjusted tighter and looser giving accurate fine-tuned fitment adjustments on the move.

Personally, I rarely suffer from numbness or hot spots with cycling shoes and haven’t felt much benefit from metatarsal buttons in the past. That said plenty of riders do, so including this feature in Fizik’s gravel range may open up the Proxy as an additional option for them. One thing to note is that, unlike Specialized Body Geometry shoes like the Recon ADV which also feature a metatarsal button, the Fizik one is quite prominent and could cause discomfort over longer rides for riders like myself.

Fizik Proxy shoes insole with a metatarsal button

A metatarsal button is designed to spread the bones in the foot to alleviate numbness  (Image credit: Graham Cottingham)


If you are looking for a bold eye-catching gravel shoe with superb ventilation in hot conditions then the Proxy gets top marks. Fit is comfortable and the thin flexible uppers mean the Proxy’s can closely hug the foot, assuming you can get the BOA’s cable tension right.

Sole stiffness is good enough for most gravel, XC, and adventure riding although they didn't quite offer the racey rigidity I desired when sprinting or powering up climbs. Combined with the difficult closure not giving a close even closure, I found comfort suffered under repeated high loads making it hard to deliver full power to the pedals when compared to other performance-orientated shoes like the stiff Shimano’s RX8 or the superb fit of the Suplest Mountain Performance

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The lowdown: Fizik Proxy shoe
DesignExcellent construction although closure could be more even and secure★★★
DurabilityDurability has been decent★★★★
WaterproofingBasically non-existent but dry quickly★★
BreathabilityOne of the most breathable gravel shoes I have worn★★★★★
Value for moneyExpensive for a mid-tier shoe★★

Tech specs: Fizik Proxy

  • Price: $249.99 / £229.99 / €229
  • Color:  Coral / Purple, Sky Blue Reflective, Black
  • Retention: Li2 BOA
  • Uppers: PU Laminated mesh 
  • Outsole: X3 fiber composite sole 
  • Weight: 668g (size 42.5)
  • Sizes: EU 36-48
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. 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