Specialized 2FO Flat 2.0 shoes £130
With the help of the Coastal Crew and some rather fancy live data-logging equipment, Specialized set about rectifying the problems many of us had with their original 2FO flat pedal shoes. These new 2.0 versions are the result.
Changes to the upper are subtle. The toe box is more or less unaltered, save for the removal of venting perforations above the toes, which makes the shoes better at fending off splashes. While the inside ankle is still raised for protection against crank knocks, it’s not as heavily padded. The tongue is thicker, and there’s a rear loop to help you get the shoes on.
It’s the sole where there are big differences. Flexibility, comfort and traction on the pedal have all been dramatically improved, and the arch doesn’t feel as prominent. The new sole is made from a revised ‘SlipNot 2.0’ rubber compound that’s far tackier than the original. As before, some of the tread on the toe and heel is more pronounced, to help when off the bike. But the tread blocks on the new shoes are smaller and less tightly packed.
While the original shoes were quite stiff, the new ones have a far more forgiving feel, thanks in part to the cushioned EVA foam mid-sole. This also feels shallower and provides better feedback from the pedals. In terms of weight, the 2.0s trump their predecessors by nearly 100g, with a pair of size 43s tipping the scales at just 736g.
On the trail, the 2FO Flat 2.0s give an instantly connected feel, in terms of both pedal grip and feedback. The added flexibility and cushioning doesn’t seem to detract from pedalling efficiency massively, but does help to improve traction and comfort. After rattling down alpine descents, our feet didn’t feel beaten up in the slightest. We’ve had a couple of incidences when rough sections have bumped our feet out of position slightly, but for the most part the shoes have kept them glued to the pedals. The SlipNot 2.0 sole isn’t quite as tacky as the Five Ten equivalent, but it’s not far off.
Off the bike, the 2FO Flat 2.0s are some of the comfiest shoes we’ve worn, with no heel slip, making them fantastic for hike-a-bike sections and sessioning bits of trail. While not quite as airy as their predecessors, they still dry rapidly after a soaking. After a couple of months’ use, the soles on our test samples are more chewed up than we’d have expected, though the wear seems to have slowed down now.