Build quality and foot support really boosts the 2FO package
Launched last year, the latest Specialized 2FO 2.0 shoes are more flexible, much lighter and use a tackier sole than the first generation.
Spesh also offers a softer, lighter 2FO 1.0 model we’ve tested that has a feel closer to a skate shoe or the recent Shimano GR9 shoe. This 2.0 version is the pricier of two 2FO models, uses thicker, more durable materials and is rated for downhill and enduro use.
Significant foot protection takes the form of reinforcement against rubbing, dense foam embedded in the upper and armoured toebox, and a chunky, dual-density midsole to absorb impacts. The interior shaping and insole uses Specialized’s Body Geometry principles and spreads the toes a little, supports the arches and angles the foot for pedalling – this might sound weird, but it’s all particularly comfortable and natural when riding.
To lock onto platforms, the 2.0 uses a new, improved formula of ‘SlipNot’ rubber, which is now squidgy and stickier, but also more durable according to Spesh. There’s a new, tightly woven pattern of lugs around 5mm deep to help mesh with flat pedal pins too.
At first, the sculpted 2FO feels pretty stiff (more like a clip pedal shoe), but after a few long rides breaks in nicely and, with both the upper and sole loosening to conform to feet and pedals, becomes really comfy. Support and protection feels spot on with a textured tongue and ankle cup that locks the foot in place, and a perfectly stiff sole that balances good pedal feel with shock absorption. On rough rocky ground the thicker midsole is enough stop your feet clawing over the pedals and getting tired, and the 2FOs also resist splashing well and shed water to dry quickly if soaked.
Compared to Five Ten’s legendary rubber compound, the 2FO gets pretty close – it’s not quite as sucker-like, but the tread pattern meshes well with multiple pedal shapes. I’m really picky about grip and found the overall hold is locked down enough, but it’s the solidity, build quality and foot support that really boosts to the 2FO package.
This is a rock-solid shoe that’s proving durable despite loads of riding, hiking uphill, and even trail maintenance like kicking out muddy drains, meaning it stands side by side with some of the best flat pedal shoes available.
Specialized's latest 2.0 model really clamps the foot comfortably and the sturdy sole absorbs shocks on rough trails and gets the power down while cranking. It’s hard wearing too, with excellent support and protection and stays relatively warm and dry in wet UK conditions.