Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoe review – I put the dry feet "guarantee" to the test

Rich Owen puts the Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat mountain bike shoes through their paces over months of wet trail riding

The Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoe being worn on a bike
(Image: © Rich Owen)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Guaranteeing to keep your feet dry as you ride is a bold claim, but while the Terra Ergolace GTX shoes do a decent job of keeping water out, it does enter via the low-cut ankles. The shoes are comfortable and the grip is good whether on pedal or muddy trail though.

Pros

  • +

    Shrugs off splashes

  • +

    Feet stay warmer when wet

  • +

    Decent grip on and off the bike

  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Good pedaling platform

Cons

  • -

    Low cut makes it easier for water to enter

  • -

    Top end price

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Launched last fall/autumn, Fizik's press release boldly claimed the Gore-Tex enhanced Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoes are "guaranteed to keep riders [feet we assume] dry". I've been testing them over a particularly soggy British winter to see if that lofty statement could be true and whether they're some of the best MTB flat pedal shoes for foul-weather riding.

A pair of Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoes

The Fizik shoes when box fresh (light soiling aside!) (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Design and specifications

The Gore-Tex element of the shoes comes in the form of a triple-layered, waterproof yet breathable membrane, which as you'd hope, has been designed to give protection from the elements and keep riders' feet dry.

The cut of the shoes is very low for a foul-weather model where most give hi-top style coverage to help keep the elements out. Fizik has offset the lace position towards the outside of the upper rather than keeping it central. This should give better protection from water and crud sprayed from the wheels – which mostly hits the inside of your shoes.

A hard-wearing woven fabric is the mainstay of the uppers which are sturdily constructed with reinforced sections at the heel and outer edges. The toes get a rubberized covering and there's solid protection at the toe and the heel.

The inside face of a Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoe

The minimalist inner faces of the Ergolaces are designed to keep the elements at bay – and they do a good job of it (Image credit: Rich Owen)

As for the outsole, Fizik uses its X2 rubber compound with relatively deep, rectangular rubber lugs for a flat pedal shoe. The lugs are evenly spaced around the pedal area, with a tread that resembles something you'd usually find on a Wellington boot towards the heel. Fizik rates the shoes as being a 2 out of 10 on its stiffness scale, which sounds pretty bendy. However, the upper end of that range is reserved for carbon-soled road racing slippers and the Terra Ergolace is actually stiffer than most of its flat pedal rivals.

Inside the shoes, there's plenty of arch support, while padded sections around the ankle, heel and upper part of the tongue help keep things comfy. My test pair weighed in at 796g per pair for size 43 EU (9 ¾ US, 8 ¾ UK), which is pretty lean for a pair of flat pedal riding shoes designed for heavy weather.

A pair of Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoes with one showing the sole

I was surprised how well the more conventional grip pattern performed on the pedals, but the new rubber compound is soft and grippy (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Performance

Professionally and personally, I aim not to judge books by their covers, but when I first saw the low cut of the Terra Ergolace Flat shoes I did wonder about their abilities to shrug off water and so was keen to put that aspect to the test. Handily, for shoe testing at least, it's been the wettest winter for 130 years here in Britain, so there was plenty of water about on my first ride and pretty much all the ones that followed.

The Fizik shoes admirably shrug off puddle splashes and wheel spray, but when fully submerged, as I deliberately peddled through streams and deep puddles, water does enter via the tops of the uppers. The shoes fit quite tightly against my ankles though, so less water can enter compared to a conventional pair of flat MTB shoes. The Gore-Tex liner covers most of the laced section, so water couldn't seep in around the tongue either. Once wet, my feet stayed relatively warm though as less fresh cold water was able to enter the shoes over the course of a ride.

The outside of a single Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat shoe

The outer edges of the shoes are more breathable and armored with protective patches (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Fizik's flat shoes haven't had the best reputation in terms of grip in the past, but the latest incarnation of the brand's rubber sole compound is very good and gives secure all-condition pedal grip and plenty of ground traction during testing too. While there's plenty of pedaling support from the reasonably stiff soles, pedal feel wasn't as numb feeling as it is on some rivals.

Despite getting hammered in nasty riding conditions the shoes have held up well and are relatively easy to clean. The offset lace position means less mud encrusting the laces which aren't yet showing any signs of fraying. The secure fit and Gore-Tex sock means that less crud finds its way inside the shoes too.

The Fizik shoes after three months of testing

The Ergolaces are still holding up very well after three months of testing (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Verdict

Fizik's Terra Ergolace GTX Flats don't quite live up to the claim of keeping your feet completely dry. But while water can seep down your legs into the shoes and your feet will get wet if completely submerged, they do a good job of keeping them mostly dry.

The shoes are grippy and comfortable without being overly heavy, so they make a good all-condition trail shoe. I've yet to try them out any weather warmer than around 12 degrees C, but the Ergolaces have keep my feet at a comfortable temperature so far.

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The lowdown: Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat
AttributesNotesRating
Water resistanceWill keep your feet much drier than a regular flat shoe★★★★
GripReally good on both pedal and ground★★★★
Foot protectionRobustly constructed, comfortable and durable★★★★★
Value for moneyTop end price but a well made shoe★★★

Tech specs: Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Flat

  • Price: $209.99 / £199.99 / €189.00
  • Weight: 796g per pair (size 43 tested)
  • Sizes: EU 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • Colors: Black/Grey/Blue, Ice Grey/Black
Rich Owen
Editor, BikePerfect

Rich Owen is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He's worked as a journalist and editor for over 24 years, with 12 years specializing in cycling media. Rich bought his first mountain bike (a rigid Scott Tampico) in 1995 and has been riding MTB for almost 30 years.

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox, YT Jeffsy Core 3, Saracen Ariel 30 Pro

Height: 175cm

Weight: 69kg