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?
Specialized’s first 2FO shoe was a disappointment. The sole was too stiff and wooden and it had a raised heel that tipped your foot when you walked, but, critically the rubber was too hard and it didn’t stick to flat pedals like a Five Ten.
Specialized didn’t give up though. It took the criticism on board and recruited a team of riders around the world to help with development. And now it’s back with two new versions of the new 2FO – the range-topping 2.0 at £130 and the 1.0, tested here, at £100 – but both use the new, updated SlipNot rubber outsole.
Specialized has retained the hexagonal lugs from the original incarnation, but spread them out across the surface area. As a result, pins seem to engage better with the sole and you don’t have to be so precise with foot placement.
Happily the new rubber compound also feels much stickier than its predecessor. Can it compete with Five Ten’s limpet-like Stealth rubber? In our view, the original remains the best in terms of outright grip.
Comfort was not a strong point with the old 2FO. Whether walking or riding, the mid-sole would transmit shocks through to your feet, increasing fatigue and unsettling your grip on the pedals. The 2FO 1.0 flips this on its head, with one of the most comfortable mid-sole and upper combinations on the market.
How much that is due to the Body Geometry insole is hard to say, but the metatarsal button and longitudinal arch add noticeable padding and support. It’s a joy to mooch around in, yet doesn’t collapse under hard pedalling efforts. And the fact that it’s so light and narrow makes spinning the cranks a breeze.
It feels brilliantly secure thanks to that neoprene booty – so you don’t need to batten down the laces. Just don’t expect it to seal out the elements, as the perforated toe box offers minimal defence against water ingress.
It offers decent traction, excellent comfort and fit, and is superlight, making it a big improvement over the original.