Fizik's X5 Terra is a stylish, sleek and comfortable shoe with a sole that is stiff enough for big power efforts yet still comfortable on long rides. They’re slightly narrow, but the upper forms to the foot while being durable too. I’m a big fan of these shoes.
As a cross-country rider, cyclocross racer and road rider I find a lot of MTB shoes to be a bit clunky so I was pretty happy to get the X5 Terra on test. These off-road shoes feature a lot of aesthetic similarities to Fizik’s road shoes and they perform similarly to their road counterparts too. They are a pair best suited to XC, cyclocross and gravel riding, my testing has subjected these to some rather brutal cyclocross races and trail rides.
Starting off, the fit is on the narrow side but the Boa L6 dial combined with the velcro strap makes getting the shoes comfortable pretty easy. I’d prefer a double Boa system, but you can get that by moving up to the Infinito X1. At £324.99 though, I guess one dial will be fine!
The fit was a tad narrow on my regular width feet to begin with but the upper relaxing slightly around the forefoot over the course of a couple of rides. Once worn in though, these were perfectly comfortable on longer rides. The fit around the heel is nice and close, holding the foot in very well.
The sole is a real highlight in these shoes. It’s a composite carbon fiber piece that offers a brilliant balance between stiffness and comfort. I think that cyclocross racing is the perfect testing ground for soles as you’re constantly putting big power through the pedals but then also running quite a bit too. A super rigid sole as found on Bont shoes might be a little better in a sprint, but it’s near impossible to run in them. Fizik has struck a perfect balance here.
Sticking with the outsole, it’s covered with a very aggressive tread pattern that bites down well into the mud for some of the best running grip that I’ve tried. The rubber that Fizik has used is rugged and finished with a slightly textured surface for more grip in the cafe queue!
One issue that you’ll want to be aware of if you’re intending on using these for CX racing is the space between the cleat and the main sections of the tread is quite tight. It can result in the cleats becoming clogged, but the conditions do have to be pretty horrendous. I’d still like to see some guidelines for cutting away a section. I’ll admit though, that is rather race-specific and for the most part with XC and gravel use in mind, the shoes perform well.
The X5 Terra might look sleek but these are seriously tough and rugged. The toe and heel are protected with toughened material that has dealt very well with rough treatment. The microtex upper is very easy to clean and the shoes have stayed looking fresh.
Alternatives around this price point are pretty decent but Shimano’s XC7 and Bont’s Riot MTB both come in at £169.99 and personally it’d be hard to convince me to part with the extra 20 quid.
These Fizik X5 Terra shoes look brilliant and perform well above their price point too. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you’ve got wide feet though.
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