The Fizik Terra Clima X2 is a sturdy mountain bike and gravel SPD shoe that's waterproof, extremely comfortable both on and off the bike, and stiff enough for decent pedalling. They aren’t warm though, and the shoe's waterproofing is easily foiled by the water-loving knitted cuff.
Aimed squarely at off-roaders, the Terra Clima X2 is built to take knocks. It has an outer of ripstop fabric, plus a large covering of tough rubber on both the heel and toe. Coming in brown or brown they aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, but they at least mimic walking boots rather than blacked-out orthopedic foot braces (naming no names).
Integrated with the outer is a knitted gaiter to shield you from dirt, which again may not please everyone with its odd, 'I'm wearing two pairs of socks' look. It certainly won't please many with its performance.
This cuff isn’t waterproof – only the upper of the shoe itself is waterproof. Any water hitting the knitted part is free to soak in and drain down into the shoe. In practice, the Terra Clima X2 is more splash-proof than waterproof, no matter what you wear it with.
Where, for instance, my Shimano MW7s sit nicely under waterproof trouser cuffs to seal out the weather, the Clima X2 – in the same situation – gets wet. The water runs down the leg, meets the knitted sock and soaks its way inside.
Fastening comprises a BOA dial and a Velcro strap. They're quick and easy to get on, and pressure is distributed evenly across the top of the foot. I like a BOA dial, and have never had any problems with them coming undone or getting clogged in mud.
Beneath the Vibram tread, the soles are stiffened by a nylon shank in the EVA midsole. While Fizik rate the stiffness at just three out of a possible ten, bear in mind their system includes carbon road shoes. The Terra Clima X2 is stiffer than the aforementioned Shimano MW7, if not as stiff as Fizik's own Artica X5 shoes, and perfectly good for both efficient pedalling and walking without looking like a penguin.
They're well-tuned for general off-road trail/gravel use in other ways, too, as opposed to being dedicated XC performers. The Vibram sole is grippy, and the little bit of give means hike-a-biking is easy and comfortable. The cleats can be adjusted notably far rearward too, which many (including me) prefer for trail riding.
As with any shoe with a upper sleeve, these require a knack and a bit of force to get your foot in, but they're not a problem. Once you're in they're all-day comfortable, with a fit that leaves plenty of room for large socks. Socks you will likely need, as the Clima X2’s are not insulated. On cold days they get chilly, despite the windproofing and (somewhat wasted) waterproofing.
If you buy these to stay dry in the very worst of the weather you’ll be disappointed, as water is free to get in via the knitted section, and there's no insulation despite those bulky looks. For deflecting splashes or showers in warmer temperatures, however, these are great.
That makes the Terra Clima X2 a pretty niche shoe, especially given the £250 price tag. If you're looking for a well-made shoe to bridge the gap between full summer and full winter footwear – and you don't mind the double-sock look – these could be right up your presumably very expensive street. If you're after serious winter versatility, however, look elsewhere.
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