Fancy a shoe with race-like efficiency but without the disco slipper style?
The Specialized 2FO Cliplite blends gravity shoe looks and comfort with race-like pedalling efficiency. Making it suitable for all styles of riding.
Any shoe marketed for ‘trail’ use usually sees it stuck between the stylings of a soft soled, grippy flat pedal shoe and the stiff efficiency of a XC race version. Dependent on the brand or model this compromise can pendulum further towards one style than the other. The Specialized 2FO Cliplite however, manages to straddle the tightrope and mix both qualities in almost equal measure.
Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoe review
Pedalling efficiency and foot comfort is integral to all of Specialized’s footwear and the 2FO Cliplite is no exception. At the heart is the Body Geometry footbed and midsole. This places the foot in a completely aligned position for both injury prevention and ergonomics, it also supports the arch and metatarsals in order to limit foot pain and numbness. I’ve always got on with the shape and comfort of Specialized shoes and instantly I could tell that the 2FO follows suit. You do indeed feel the support and throughout the testing period they remained incredibly comfortable. I even prefer them to stiffer shoes for all-day rides thanks to the extra comfort. They fit really well around the ankle, holding your heel rock-solid whilst pedalling or scrabbling about on the trails.
However if you are looking for a slipper soft feel then you might be disappointed. The upper is quite stiff and combines with the double BOA retention system to hold it rock solid to your foot. That stiffness also extends to the composite plate that runs through the centre of the sole, giving it efficiency when clipped in. Specialized has tuned the level of stiffness to keep it comfortable for off bike use. The heel and toe flex more than a race shoe so walking is natural and comfortable.
What about the sole?
The outsole takes inspiration from Specialized’s flat shoe, using the SlipNot rubber and hexagonal tread. The cleat recess is relatively deep and one thing that was noticeable was that it caused engagement issues with a range of larger, platformed clipless pedals, particularly Crank Brothers Mallet pedals. This was easily rectified by using a spacer under the cleat, but it is something to note when setting up the shoe. One thing that is an issue is the level of off bike grip. Here the hexagonal tread and smoother section around the cleat just doesn’t offer enough purchase on steeper or muddy trails.
But if you don’t intend walking much and are looking for a great all-round clipless shoe, the Specialized 2FO Cliplite has all the right qualities.