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Specialized 2FO Roost Clip shoe review

Can Specialized new 2FO Roost Clip shoes match serious shredding performance with relaxed steez?

Specialized 2FO Roost Clip shoes
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Street style with a lightweight, weather-resistant, pedal performance for trail or enduro pinners, but might be too stiff for some.

For

  • Lightweight
  • Fast-drying
  • Excellent pedaling transfer
  • Slim profile
  • Roomy toe box
  • Grippy rubber
  • Orthotics

Against

  • No forefoot tightening
  • Might be too stiff for some

Specialized’s 2FO (Foot Out, Flat Out) shoes are already one of our go-to shredding shoes in Clip or Flat format. The new Roost versions go lighter and stickier for increased performance while flashing fresh lace-up street sneaker looks. 

Construction 

At just over 800g for a pair, the Roost shoes are significantly lighter than most trail shoes and over 20% lighter than a lot of DH/Enduro/skate style clipless shoes. A lot of that weight loss comes from using an Xpel Airmesh hydrophobic liner rather than lots of thick foam padding. The micro-perforated synthetic upper is thin but still plenty stiff, with the Roost Flat also getting suede and leather reinforcement. The laces start relatively high on the shoe, leaving a generously high toe box area and they’re a reasonable width for size too. There’s no wrap-over strap to add a fast tightening option though. 

Specialized’s inbuilt Body Geometry orthotic bulges and wedges are obvious in the way they cradle and splay your foot in different places. The nylon ‘Lollipop’ shank within the low profile EVA midsole is seriously stiff. The extended ‘Landing Strip’ cleat pocket is profiled for easy targeting and gives an extra 4mm of cleat mount movement in the slots for those who like a more centralized pedal position to mimic the flat pedal feel. 

3rd generation SlipNot sole rubber is designed to give more grip and stick on the pins and platform when you’re not clipped in or just trying to find extra lateral bike control through your feet.

Performance

If you normally wear sturdy DH/Enduro shoes, the lightweight, unpadded character of the 2FOs is obvious straight away. The sole- and upper-stiffness means there’s no flop or mushy comfort either and they give a distinctively ‘sharp’ feel to your feet at first. The nylon shank and stiff upper means they seem to transfer power as well as most mid-range XC shoes too. The cleat slots are well placed to stop outward foot roll and the extra fore/aft adjustment is great for getting you centered on the bike. The high-set lace ladder gives more lift/space in the forefoot than normal and you’ll need to tighten the laces carefully to stop that creating hot spots if you’re trying to compensate for that with overall tightness. Even if they felt tight at first they generally relaxed into a tension sweet spot while riding and we had no issues with lace loosening as long as we used the elastic retaining loop. They shrug off splashes and dry really fast as well, so if you’re after a fast pedaling, lightweight trail shoe with street style, these are fantastic.

When things get rowdier, the Roost doesn’t droop and mold to the pedal like a softer design would, but the SlipNot rubber still gives them a much more planted feel than you’d expect. They don’t skate or blow off the pedals as soon as you unclip and you can still load up the pins to twist the bike through corners too. Unsurprisingly they don’t feel as sturdy and protected as a heavier, bulkier shoe, but the rubber toe bumper and padded heel collar do their job well and so far our feet have been fine. You’ll really appreciate the lower weight when you’re accelerating the bike, at the end of an epic day, or when everyone else has still got sodden shoes on day two of a multi-day mission.

Specialized 2FO Roost Clip shoes

Specialized offers 4mm extra space for cleat adjustment (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

They might look like a skate shoe, but Specialized’s 2FO Roost Flat shoes are closer to a lightweight trail shoe in performance. Full-on gravity riders might find them too stiff, skimpy and not quite molding/sticky enough. Trail/enduro riders who want serious pedal efficiency in a lightweight, fast-drying and casually styled shoe that still supports and grips well on a platform style clipless pedal are going to love them.

Tech Specs: Specialized 2FO Roost Clip 

  • Colors: 2FO Roost Clip: Black and Taupe, 2FO Roost Flat: Black and Green)
  • Weight: 422g (44 with cleats)
  • Price: 2FO Roost Clip: $130/£110, 2FO Roost Flat: $120