The Fizik Infinito X1 shoes are incredibly stiff for maximum power transfer, ideal for racers and pedal thrashers that don't want to give away precious power to a flexy sole, and the highly adjustable Boa dial arrangement and fit provides great comfort. Not so impressive is the high price, but if you can afford them they are a good choice.
Fizik shoes are a common sight in the road market but less so in adventure and mountain bike circles, but these top-end Infinito X1 shoes bring the Italian company’s expertise to a high-level shoe that is ideal for the most demanding riders, those that want a seriously stiff shoe for maximum power transfer.
The Infinito X1 is basically a mountain bike version of the range-topping Infinito R1 road shoe. It shares the same upper but it’s bonded to an aggressive rubber sole with a two-bolt cleat drilling and optional stud mounts up front. That's ideal for cyclocross racing, but not a lot else. Between the upper and the tread is a unidirectional carbon fibre outsole that is designed to provide maximum power transfer. It’s vented and there’s plenty of clearance around the cleat recess to avoid clogging.
Boa dials are massively popular on high-end road and MTB shoes and Fizik has used a pair of IP1-B dials on each shoe as part of the “Infinito Closure System” that gives the shoes their name. The main point is the lower dial pulls a wire laced in a figure of eight loop that is intended to provide forefoot volume control. The secondary dial pulls over a large flap at the top of the foot. It’s all about distributing pressure evenly and providing maximum fit adjustability.
The fit is superb, the size 45 shoes fitting my feet as good as any other top-end shoe I’ve ever tested and sizing well compared to other brands. The twin Boa dials let you adjust the fit with precision and pressure is spread very evenly over the entire foot. There are no hot spots or pinch points. The Boa dials can be easily tightened and loosed on the fly too, and popping them up releases the tension so you can easily and quickly get out of them.
You notice their lack of weight when pedalling, but what really grabs your attention is the impressive power transfer. Stamp hard on the pedals and there’s no hint of flex. The shoes are super stable too when you’re pushing on the pedals. It’s very positive and rewards those cyclists that like to push hard on the pedals all the time.
I’ve been testing them for many months, through the winter and into the summer, with riding that has included cyclocross, mountain bike and gravel riding. They’ve stood up to everything I’ve thrown at them exceedingly well. The upper material cleans up after muddy rides really well and they dry out quickly too. They’re not the airiest of XC shoes for the higher temps we’re dealing with at the time of writing though.
Durability has been really good. The shoes are reinforced in the key places to avoid the upper getting damaged when walking up an unrideable track or smashing your toe into an unseen rock. The rubber tread is showing little sign of wear and tear despite a reasonable amount of hike-a-bike and cyclocross racing, which is a good thing as it’s not replaceable.
With that super stiff carbon fibre sole, you don’t want to do too much walking. For running up a muddy bank with a cyclocross bike over your shoulder, or pushing a gravel bike up a climb that is just too steep to ride, they’re okay. But for anything longer, a slightly less stiff soled shoe would probably be preferable. These are best for racing and fast riding, not an epic multi-day adventure into the wilderness.
The only slight issue that has shown up recently is the lower Boa dials becoming a little sticky and stubborn to release. Boa dials can be serviced however so it’s likely I need to have a look at the service guide on the Boa website and give them some TLC. https://www.boafit.com/repair
Otherwise, I’ve been really impressed with the performance of the Infinito X1 shoes, but the only thing that doesn’t impress is the rather big price tag. £325 is a lot of money to spend on a pair of kicks, though it’s worth shopping around as you can find them cheaper. Not as cheap as the Shimano XC7 shoes that Rachael reviewed recently however. Still, if you want maximum performance and aren’t put off by the price, they’re a good pick.
You might also like: