The Specialized Recon 1.0 clipless mountain bike shoe is a versatile and lightweight trail shoe that happily takes on gravel riding too. It's comfortable, stiff and easy to walk in, and well-priced as well. Other than the flimsy-feeling Velcro straps, there’s not much wrong with them at all.
Built around the brand's well-established Body Geometry footbed, the Recon 1.0 uses a nylon outsole with a TPU injected forefoot, which allows for some flex at the toe – something that makes off-the-bike antics easier. Even with a bendy toe area, the shoe sits at 6.0 on Specialized's stiffness index (it tops out at 13).
The aggressively-shaped tread uses Specialized's SlipNot rubber compound, and it’s impressively grippy. I’ve been perfectly happy walking on most surfaces, even when steep. However, damp paving slabs are nothing short of treacherous.
The upper is a mixture of perforated paneling and a tongue area of breathable fabric, and it ventilates well enough to mean the Recon 1.0 is not so great in wet weather. You might want a more winter -focused shoe for damp trails.
The fit is close around the heel and mid-foot area, but opens up to leave a roomy toe box. Thanks to the Velcro straps, the Recon 1.0 is quick and easy to get on and off.
I have absolutely no complaints about the Recon either on or off the bike, though if my house was surrounded by wet paving slabs I might. The sole is stiff enough for general trail tomfoolery while the shoe is perfectly comfortable, even after long stints. If your riding is gravity-orientated, you might find the Recon a little lacking in protection and rearward cleat adjustment, but for all-round trail and gravel use, it's spot-on.
Okay, it seems I lied about not having any complaints. But my only (minor) complaint about the shoe is that the Velcro straps don’t feel very sturdy. They've already become a little tatty, and look set to get worse as they’re used more.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, do-it-all shoe for summer use, the Specialized Recon 1.0 certainly fits the bill. It’s comfy, grippy and stiff enough for all round trail use. And if, like me, you’re not a fan of the Velcro closure, the good news is the Recon 2.0 comes with a Boa retention system – though it does cost more than this.
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