A big improvement over the original 2FO
Specialized 2FO 1.0 is one of the most comfortable mid-sole and upper combinations on the market. Can it compete with Five Ten’s limpet-like Stealth rubber?
Review by Alice Burwell
Specialized makes two flat pedal shoes, the 2FO Flat 1.0 tested here and the more-expensive Specialized 2FO 2.0 Flat, that my dad [Paul Burwell] tested a couple of months ago. Both share some of the same features, such as the SlipNot rubber compound and smooth thermobonded upper with EVA surface reinforcement, but the 2FO Flat 1.0 has more lightweight mesh at the back of the heel. This makes this shoe less protective against rock strikes and also less effective in wet conditions, as water can seep through the lightweight material. On the other hand, it is a lot more flexible and forgiving. And I’ve found this extra flex lets you mould your foot more easily to the pedal platform and that means more grip when climbing or when trying to keep your feet planted when descending. Obviously, there is a slight decrease in pedal efficiency, but I reckon that’s a price worth paying, or in the case of this shoe not, because it is actually £35 cheaper.
Even with the engineered tread and in-house rubber compound, the grip isn’t quite as good as a Five Ten shoe, but it still holds pretty well in all conditions. The 2FO Flat 1.0 has Specialized’s high-quality, supportive footbeds and Air mesh on the tongue, which allows for good breathability and it dries quickly, although on wet rides the mesh does let water in.
Things I like about this shoe include the Lacelock, which is an elastic strap on the tongue that stops the laces wrapping round the chainring or pedal axle. Like a football boot this shoe also has a sock lining, or Internal bootie, which feels comfortable and offers a bit of warmth in harsh conditions. There are also two pull-tabs on either end of this sock – making it easy to slide the shoe on, which is handy if, like me, you can’t be bothered to do your laces up.
Rarely does a cheaper sibling out-perform its more expensive big brother, but that’s the case here – the 2FO Flat 1.0 is a definite step up from the 2FO Flat 2.0 and, best of all, you don’t have to pay any extra for the performance gains.