Fizik’s off-road range is dominated by Microtex-upper, rigid race-shoes but look beyond those and you’ll find this super-stylish off-road option ideal for gravel, as well as your commute.
The upper adjustment, which is based on the revamped R1 road shoe’s design is excellent, with the offset tongue and single Boa threaded through offset anchors.
As you turn the dial to tension, the upper seamlessly pulls together across the slick, smooth and (contrasting) bright-orange tongue for a crease-free fit. The single Velcro strap across the toe-box helps to take up any slack.
The upper combines perforated Microtex sections and polyurethane (PU) reinforcements with a luxurious, highly breathable natural suede that gives the shoes more of a hiking look than your usual mountain-bike shoe.
The sole has large PU-bonded grip pieces from front to back, making them sturdy and supportive, and easier to walk in than other mountain-bike options. Neat details include reinforced woven heel-loops, meaning you can hang them from your tent to dry, further adding to the X5’s more adventurous design.
The fit is superb, being both supportive and close fitting yet surprisingly supple. The same goes for the reinforced carbon sole and TPU grip sections. The sole maintains enough stiffness to help get the power down, but has enough flex to make walking or shouldering the bike and running more comfortable, allowing you to make the most of the large block treads when the going gets sticky.
At 790g a pair (size 45) you will find lighter off-road shoes, but the weight isn’t ever an issue. The X5 offers such a superbly comfortable fit that I'd easily take the minimal extra weight.
I also love the suede finish, it may not seem that practical for a shoe that’s going to spend a fair amount of time getting mucky, but mine are scrubbing up well and the suede is taking on a patina like your favourite pair of hiking boots.
- 1. Dial Up Get great control over the fit and adjustment with the Fizik’s Boa dial system
- 2. Suede Shoes The suede-effect material has scrubbed up well after our various off-road adventures
- 3. Get A Grip The PU- protected carbon sole has been designed to provide grip when walking