Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex Review
Cons: Long laces, minimal foot protection
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Specialized 2FO Roost Flat - Unisex
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|$149.95 at Backcountry|
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|$149.95 at Backcountry|
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|$44.97 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Excellent grip, comfortable, lightweight, breathable, reasonable price||Lightweight, fantastic grip, great power transfer, durable||Lightweight, awesome grip, absorbs trail chatter||Excellent grip, Lots of foot protection, durability||Inexpensive, offers a lot of protection, balanced grip|
|Cons||Long laces, minimal foot protection||Breathability is not the best in hot conditions||Minimal foot protection||Bulky and heavy, poor ventilation, not the best choice for trail riding||Not the grippiest, moderate weight|
|Bottom Line||An excellent performing shoe for all types of flat pedal riders that has outstanding grip, comfort, and value||A great performing all-round shoe with great power transfer and the right mix of stiffness, flex, and comfort||A lightweight, well-balanced shoe with incredible grip, all-day comfort, and great trail absorption make this shoe stand out in the crowd||These are great for a downhill-specific rider, as they provide tons of foot protection and tenacious grip||This is an exceptional flat pedal shoe for someone just starting their mountain bike adventures, especially for the price|
|Rating Categories||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Five Ten Impact Pro...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Comfort and Protection (25%)|
|Rigidity and Power Transfer (20%)|
|Specs||Specialized 2FO Roo...||Five Ten Freerider Pro||Giro Latch Women's||Five Ten Impact Pro...||Ride Concepts Livewire|
|Outsole||SlipNot™ ST||Stealth S1||Tack Rubber||Stealth S1||Rubber Kinetics DST6.0 High Grip|
|Tread Pattern||Full Hexagon Dot||Full Hexagon Dot||Gamma tread design||Full Dot||Full Hexagon Dot|
|Measured Weight Grams (pair)||669 g||616 g||593g||986 g||754 g|
|Upper Material||Leather, Suede||Synthetic||Microfiber synthetic||Synthetic||Synthetic, mesh|
|Footbed||Body Geometry||Ortholite||3D molded||Ortholite||D30 High Impact Zone|
|Midsole||EVA||EVA||Mute Foam 3D||EVA||EVA|
|Size Tested||EU 40||8||EU 40||8.5||9|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The 2FO Roost Flat is one of Specialized's newest shoe offerings and quickly became one of our tester's favorites thanks to its grip, comfort, and breathability all at a great price point. Specialized uses their new SlipNot™ ST (Super Tacky) rubber on the sole with hexagonal lugs that provide outstanding grip on the pedal. Throughout our testing, these shoes gripped the pedals, no matter how technical or chunky the terrain, inspiring confidence to attack the most challenging lines. The suede, leather, and textile upper is incredibly comfortable and breathes fairly well. An EVA foam midsole absorbs the trail, without being overly stiff. Overall, we found few flaws with this great new model.
Specialized uses SlipNot™ ST rubber on the sole of the 2FO Roost Flat. We found this to be some of the grippiest rubber that we have tested, inspiring confidence on a variety of trails. Our pedal pins stuck into the shoe's soles and stayed put even on the rockiest and rowdiest of climbs and descents. Unlike other shoes tested, we were always able to maintain contact with our pedal while wearing the 2FO Roost Flat.
The hexagonal-shaped tread pattern worked very well with our Chromag Scarab pedals. The edges of the tread knobs grab the pins and they seemed to fall mostly into recessed areas on the sole providing a secure interface between our pedal's pins and the shoe's sole. The SlipNot™ ST rubber is supple enough to let the pedal pins sink in, and our foot never slipped on the pedal, as opposed to shoes with harder rubber soles where the pins would occasionally slip against rubber.
The only drawback to having such good grip is that repositioning the foot on the pedal requires some thought, as you can not slide your foot on the pedal. A slight lift of the sole releases it from the pedal pins.
While scouting lines and sessioning sections of trail, the SlipNot™ ST rubber grips very well, especially on limestone and sandstone slick rock, and even when the rock is covered in moon dust. While walking laps at the bike park we found we had to weight our feet and dig in a bit more to gain traction into the loose dirt surface because of the shallow depth of the sole tread. The tread pattern does not offer much grip for muddy conditions and quickly cakes with mud.
Comfort and Protection
The 2FO Roost Flat is described as a relaxed fit by Specialized. The uppers are constructed of textile and suede/leather which becomes more supple as the shoe breaks in. Despite being a relaxed fit, we would describe the shoe's fit as medium volume. These shoes are a unisex model, and they are sold in European sizes 36-49 with half sizes between 38 and 47. Our female tester wears an 8.5 women's shoe which equates to a EU39.5. Unfortunately, it was slightly too short, so she sized up and switched to an EU40 which fit perfectly. As with most suede, there is some stretch over time as the leather loosens up. Initially, we had some pressure in the toe box because we laced the shoes a tad too tightly. With a looser lace, this went away and after wearing the shoes for three rides, the suede began to stretch a bit and conform to our foot, resulting in an incredibly comfortable fit. However, we think those with a truly wide foot may find the shoe a bit too snug for comfort.
The inside of the shoe is lined with XPEL Airmesh which is designed to absorb impact similar to padding, and it has a Body Geometry footbed. Our tester has relatively flat feet and found the footbed to be comfortable with no issues with the feel or shape of the footbed. The heel cup is deep enough to ensure your heel stays in place, even on hike-a-bikes.
Looking at the shoe, one can see that it is more minimalistic in its design and lacks significant foot protection. The majority of our testing was on very rocky trails and on more than one occasion we felt the impact of rock strikes to the foot. There is a bit of rubber above the toe box which protects the front of the toes, but no additional materials aside from the XPEL Airmesh lining for protection. The tongue is padded, but not bulky by any means, and falls just forward enough of the ankle to not be uncomfortable or a distraction. In general, we feel the shoe offers enough protection for most riding, but those seeking true protection may want to look at some other models in our review.
One of the few downsides of this shoe is the incredibly long laces compared to the size of the shoe. We had to double knot each shoe to take up the extra lace so that it was out of the way, even with an elastic lace retainer built into the shoe's tongue.
Rigidity and Power Transfer
The midsole of the 2FO Roost Flat dampens all but the chunkiest of trail vibrations while remaining comfortable to pedal and walk in, a combination that is difficult to find. The shoe flexes the right amount while walking to not feel stiff or uncomfortable, yet is stiff enough to provide very good power transfer into the pedals.
Throughout our testing, we were able to power up steep, chunky, technical sections of trail that required a fair amount of power into the pedals with relative ease. The shoe's medium volume prevents the foot from sliding around helping to aid in power transfer especially on technical climbs and the heel pocket is deep enough to ensure your heel stays in place.
There were a few occasions while descending extra chunky descents where we felt some discomfort in our feet from the trail vibrations. However, it was not enough to make our feet sore or cause pain, and they quickly recovered once the descent was done. The sole flexes enough on the pedal to allow you to feel it, yet the shank and midsole are stiff enough to not allow you to feel everything underfoot. During testing, we were able to feel just enough of the pedal that we were never left searching for that perfect foot placement.
The uppers of the 2FO Roost Flat are a combination of textile and suede leather with perforations in front of the laces on top of the toe box and on both sides of the midfoot. These small perforations do a surprisingly good job of allowing airflow into the shoe. On windy days on wide-open trails, the airflow through the side perforations is very pronounced and you can feel the air coming into the shoe. Even on 80° days in the desert, these shoes breathed well and our socks were only marginally damp after our rides.
The Xpel™ Airmesh lining is designed to help decrease drying time, which is great for riding in wet conditions, but also helps moisture from your feet dry quickly after a ride and helps the shoe to dry overnight after a wet ride.
Despite having a lightweight upper, our testers found it to be incredibly durable. At first, we were skeptical of how well the suede uppers would hold up in dusty, rocky, desert conditions with the occasional creek crossing. After months of use, the uppers are in great condition, despite being quite dirty. The uppers, sole, and toe rand are all well bonded and there are no loose or fraying stitches.
While the shoes are dusty and dirty from all of our riding, there are no visible wear areas in the uppers. The suede is broken is does not show any signs of fatigue. Upon close examination of the soles, there is only the vaguest indication of wear on the rubber. Given the amount of riding we have done in these shoes, we are impressed with how well the soles are holding up to our pedal pins as other shoe's soles have begun to deteriorate more quickly.
The 2FO Roost Flat weighs in at 669-grams per pair for a size EU40/US7.5, which is quite similar to many other similar shoes we have reviewed. They aren't the lightest, but they are very far from the heaviest shoes in the test. Given their relatively light weight, we feel they are a great option for trail and all-mountain riders who don't require the most protective shoe.
We feel the 2FO Roost Flat is an incredible value for the money. It outperforms many higher-priced shoes in terms of its grip, comfort, and breathability. We highly recommend taking a look at the 2FO Roost flat next time you're in the market for a flat pedal shoe.
The 2FO Roost Flat offers a great combination of grip, comfort, and breathability, making it an excellent choice for most trail riding. The new SlipNot™ ST rubber is some of the grippiest we've found and rivals the best in the business. Beyond grip, we feel it is the Goldilocks of stiffness and walkability, offering just the right amount of each to allow the rider to power up climbs and comfortably walk around off the bike. A comfortable upper that breathes well only adds to this shoe's great qualities, and the reasonable price makes it a great value.
Specialized makes the 2FO Roost in a Clip version for clip-in pedal riders. It looks almost exactly the same as the Flat version with the ability to mount a cleat.Specialized also makes the 2FO DH, a shoe made for gravity riding applications. The DH version shares the same aesthetics as the Roost, but with a little more foot protection and slightly heavier weight.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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