The Specialized 2FO Clip 2.0 mountain bike shoe balances weight, protection, pedalling efficiency and weather resistance in a way that makes it a very pleasant place to be. While it performs well in most situations, however, the Body Geometry footbed might not be for everyone and it's a bit pricey.
On the outer ankle, there’s a soft panel that allows some flex when moving around on the bike, and mesh on the tongue and upper to vent a little heat through the foam padding. The smooth parts of the upper are pretty splashproof, while the closure is a simple and strong lace – you also get a handy elastic loop to keep the laces from going rogue.
The 2FO Clip uses Specialized's Body Geometry sole and footbed, which they say is shaped to keep your feet, knees and hips correctly aligned. At first, I found the footbed really odd because it's so heavily contoured – it felt like I was putting weight and effort through the outside edges of my feet rather than the usual spots. However, your weight is actually evenly distributed by the contour, and it becomes more of natural-feeling after a ride or two.
Like the first version, soles use Specialized's own SlipNot rubber compound. In the dry and on loose stuff, off the bike antics are a doddle, though they're not so confident in the wet.
Like some other trail/enduro shoes, the cleat slots are extended rearwards to offer a more central cleat position. The 2FO Clip offers 4mm extra adjustment over their standard shoes, and it's plenty enough to achieve a comfy, gravity-orientated position.
The whole interior of the shoe is nicely padded with a roomy toe box and a protected heel. The inside ankle is relatively high to give a bit of protection against crank strikes. Where the perforated panels are located, there’s lighter padding to encourage airflow. All of that padding is quick to dry too.
Speaking of quick drying, the 2FO Clip holds up pretty well in the weather protection department. Of course, it’s not going to match a purpose built winter shoe, but for light rain and speedy river crossings, they keep you mostly dry.
While the Specialized 2FO Clip 2.0 isn’t as light as some trail shoes, thanks to its decidedly downhill focus, it’s certainly not a brute. It strikes a very happy medium between comfort, cooling, protection, and weather resistance. In fact, they've become my favourite shoe – if you get on with the heavily-shaped footbed, they're a great option for both trail and gravity use.
You might also like: