Specialized 2FO Roost still has the Body Geometry design orthotics fitted, but this is a ground up redesign and it starts where the rubber meets the road
Enter the new Specialized 2FO Roost Flat. Since the introduction of the Specialized 2FO 2.0 shoe, Specialized has had a firm footing with flat pedal riders. And while grip was never on par with the Five Ten Freerider Pro, the big S did what it does best, innovate. With neat features like cambered midsoles and custom foot beds to improve pedalling efficiency, the 2FO wasn’t simply another over-priced skate shoe. It was also the first of many to introduce water-repelling uppers that didn’t triple in weight when wet. Construction was first rate too, making it solid and dependable.
Specialized’s latest SlipKnot ST compound is purported to offer “unsurpassed flat-pedal grip and connection”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard shoe brands make the exact same claim only to fall well short on their promise. So let’s get one thing clear straight away. The Specialized 2FO Roost is the only flat pedal shoe other than a Five Ten where you may have to sit down and unweight the pedals to reposition your feet. Yes, they really are that grippy and it makes Specialized the only brand other than Five Ten to nail it.
The connection with the pedal has also been improved with a lower profile EVA foam midsole. Granted, it doesn’t offer as much cushioning as the old 2FO, but it does make the pedals less prone to flipping over. I like the simple lace closure and so far the leather and textile upper has proved durable. There are currently no half sizes available in the UK and like the original 2FO, the Specialized 2FO Roost version sizes up small in length, even though the toe box is generous so it’s a good idea to upsize.
Lots of brands have tried, but until now, none have succeeded in breaking Five Ten’s vice-like grip over flat pedal riders. And for good reason, Five Ten’s Stealth rubber had unmatched grip and control. Specialized has got the rubber to match but it’s also priced to go toe-to-toe with the Freerider Pro. So while some riders may switch brands, most will probably stick with what they know.