One of the nicest clip-in shoes to walk around in that we’ve ever tested
My rides are split between flat and clip-in pedals, and Bontrager Rally shoe has quickly become my favourite clipless footwear, overtaking the Giro Chamber.
So what makes the Rally so special? Firstly it’s really light – weighing some 250g less than my old Giros. That means it takes less effort to spin the cranks. Less material usually means less durability, but so far that’s not the case with the Rallys, and they’re showing barely any signs of wear. Helping in that regard is the reinforced toe box and the GnarGuard abrasion-resistant coating on the heel and toe cap.
Comfort is on another level – something that’s vital when it comes to footwear. The fit is superb, with the laces giving an even tightness across the top of the foot, but the broad Velcro strap keeps everything secure when putting the power down. Compared to the old Giro Chamber, the heel cup isn’t as deep, but I had zero issues with heel lift as a result. Bontrager has added a shock absorbing EVA mid-sole to the Rally, and this really works a treat – isolating your feet from a pounding over rough terrain and taking the sting out of harsh landings; keeping them from getting fatigued. However, the outer sole is quite thick, so thick that we needed to stack two spacers under the cleat in order to get enough clearance from the pedal to allow us to unclip. Once we’d figured this out, setting up the cleats was a doddle, and the long cleat channel allowed us to position them further back for a more planted foot position that emulates a flat pedal set-up. With a blocky tread pattern on the sole, we found grip was really good when weighting the bike when paired with our favourite Crank Brothers Mallet DH pedals, but the softness of the sole means it wouldn’t be our first choice for use with non-platform pedals.
Off the bike, the Bontrager Rally shoe is equally as comfortable. In fact it’s one of the nicest clip-in shoes to walk around in that we’ve ever tested. Grip for hike-a-biking is acceptable but not exceptional. Providing you’re not planning on too many summit assaults, and you can stretch to the somewhat lofty asking price, the Rally shoe comes highly recommended.