It's a never-ended quest to find mountain bike shoes that will keep toes warm in low temperatures, rain, slush and snow, but the Fizik Terra Artica X5 are pretty damn close to the best solution out there.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Fizik Terra Artica X5 GTX


  • Warm, easy to put on and well made. Great grip off the bike


  • Takes an age to dry


Fizik Terra Artica X5 GTX Winter Boots review


Price as reviewed:


The Fizik Terra Artica X5 GTX are, as the name suggests, a winter-ready set of bike shoes. Featuring a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofing, plus insulation, the aim is to stop water getting in and heat getting out while you ride. And based on our test in seriously cold, wet weather (at least for the UK), they really impressed, putting them up there with the best winter mountain bike boots on the market.

When winter temperatures plummet in Britain, they rarely do so alone. Rain, slush and snow all contribute to our chilly extremities, multiplying the effect of low temperatures and speeding up the process of heat loss. It is a never ending quest to find shoes that will keep the old toes warm in these circumstances but the answer isn’t a straightforward one, unfortunately.

Yes it is good to be waterproof, even if it is just for slogging through puddles and mud without sending freezing water straight in the cleat holes every time our feet touch the ground. But the water will find its way in eventually, running down your legs and generally filling the shoe up if it is a long, wet ride. Short of wearing waterproof trousers that seal around the ankle it is always going to happen.

Throughout a long and very wet test the Gore-Tex lined Fizik X5 boot wasn’t immune to this effect. Its secret weapon, however, is the thick fleecey lining that insulates well even when wet. We rode in sub zero frozen temperatures, in fact down below -5c on one three hour ride, and they kept our feet warm even with standard summer socks on.

Fleecy insulation certainly adds warmth, but it also acts like a sponge and takes a good 48 hours to fully dry out

One slight drawback to that fleecey lining and neoprene collar is the length of time it takes them to dry – around two full days in front of a wood burner, which meant we were regularly sliding our feet into them damp. On the upside it was only noticeable for a few seconds, then the fleece would warm up and it would be business as usual.

With their rigid outsole they are perfect for cross country riding, the rubber tread is surprisingly grippy and solid over soft and rooty ground. There are holes for studs too, should you want to up the ante, but we managed without. They have also proven excellent as winter gravel shoes too, if that is your bag.

BOA retention works brilliantly for winter boots because there are no frozen laces to mess with: instead you can mirco adjust your fit with ease

The slick PU laminated upper is an excellent choice as it doesn’t give many nooks for the mud to get lodged in, and is very easy to hose off post ride. We also like how our plain black model looks nicely low-profile, just getting on with the job, although you could opt for a more garish mixture of purples if you want to cheer up those long winter rides.

The BOA has always been a firm favourite of ours for consistent tightening without resorting to slimy mud-soaked laces or velcro that eventually gives up the ghost when saturated with grit and ice. It performed perfectly throughout the test, snugging the X5s up beautifully and releasing without a fuss when it came to kick the shoes off at the end of the ride. That was helped with a small skoosh of silicon spray now and again to keep the runners sliding smoothly and the laces tensioning evenly.


Unlike many winter boots they are also refreshingly easy to pull on, with handy tabs at the back to haul on. The whole package is beautifully made and, although pricey, they do feel like they will last a good few winters.


Weight:960g (size 44)
Colours:Black, Purple