If it's protection you are after, you'll find it with these Fizik Gravita Tensor clipless mountain bike shoes
Fizik’s Gravita Tensor has gone up £10 since we last tested it, but it’s a really durable and comfortable gravity/enduro boot, which goes some way to offset the high price.
It’s not as bulky as it appears – the reinforced ankle protector is low-profile and the ripstop Nylon upper is pretty lightweight and easy to keep clean. The ¾ insert is formed into a neoprene sock that sits inside the body of the shoe, which really helps protect your ankle. Fizik also adds a massive PU-laminated bumper to the front of the shoe and wraps more material right around the heel – if you clip a rock or stump it may still hurt, but this is easily the most protected shoe on test.
Fizik is the king of the offset – the laces are angled towards the outside of the shoe, which stops them from catching on the chainring, and the cleat box is also positioned closer to the crankarm. This moves the shoe slightly outboard, increasing heel clearance and eliminating crank rub. And you only have to look at the shoe after several months of riding to know this works – there are no wear marks anywhere.
Fizik is still running with the X6 outsole, which uses a Vibram MegaGrip dual-compound sole and a nylon shank for stiffness. There’s a zonal lug pattern at the toe and heel, which uses a slightly harder compound to increase the bite when off the bike. The rest of the sole is slightly softer, which stops the shoe skating on the pedal if you can’t get your foot clipped in. The large cleat box has a good range of adjustment and it’s also quite flat, which we found makes cleat set-up easier.
If you’re looking for the best mountain bike shoes, we’ve tried and tested loads to ensure you find the right ones for you.
When we tested the Gravita Tensor two years ago it was quite expensive, but there are now plenty of clip-in shoes pushing £200 or more. This shoe is still an investment, but it is really well made and offers a level of protection few can match, which is why we’re upping the score a point this time around.