At $100, the new Ranger Shoe is a budget-minded dirt shoe with a silhouette developed from a classic XC MTB shoe, making it ideal for gravel and trail riding alike. The Ranger features a nylon and rubber co-molded outsole for added grip, a Synchwire mesh upper for breathability, rubber fortification in high-abrasion areas, and three, easy to use velcro straps for fit adjustment. The Ranger comes in grey, olive, and black and is in stock now at Giro.com and your local dealer.
I must say, the latest footwear drop from PEARL iZUMi really grabbed my attention. Over the years, the brand has made a big push to constantly update and redesign their classic silhouettes and one shoe that recently got a facelift is their X-Alp Launch SPD shoes. Now with a BOA closure system and this beautiful kiyote tan color, I had to try a pair out. After a few rides on our local MTB trails, I think I got the gist and can talk a bit about them, so read on below for a quick and succinct “This Just In” review…
The Synchwire-constructed shoes Giro has been developing lately are really looking great. This construction is stitchless, vented, and reinforced. The Rincon is the latest in this new family of footwear. It’s a shoe for MTB riding, gravel riding, bicycle touring, and anything dirty. The Rincon features BOA closure and lots of rubber reinforcement areas for protection. Best of all, these high tech shoes only carry a $150 pricetag and yes, they come in black. See more at your local Giro dealer.
The Santa Rita Pricklypear, Opuntia santa-rita, is a brilliant magenta-colored cactus, specific to the Sky Islands of Southern Arizona. The Ruta Del Jefe gravel race traverses this magical mountain range and this unique opuntia are the inspiration for Shimano’s new RX800 gravel shoes in a “purple and green” colorway. Pulling inspiration from the natural world brings awareness to these delicate ecosystems and the Santa Rita Mountains are still under attack from mineral extraction companies. Find out more about the fight to save these mountains at Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and see more details of these beautiful shoes at Shimano.
One of our favorite new “gravel” shoes, the Fizik Powerstrap X4 just got a facelift thanks to the team at PEdALED. Their “JARY” colorway take-over revamps the X4 in a deep blue, with PEdALED branding marked throughout the shoe in a mustard gold, complimenting the gum sole. The Powerstrap already looked great as it was but these new collaboration shoes take the cake. They retail for $192 and are in stock at PEdALED. See more high res images below…
When I hear Oxblood, I think of a pair of Doc Martins, oi boys, and this is England. Giro tapped into this color and its cult-following on their latest collection, including apparel and these tasty Oxblood VR90s. Head to Giro to see the full drop and your local shop to check them out in person (safely).
DZR, makers of casual clipless sneakers, just announced the S240 touring boots. These boots offer ankle support, added warmth, and a different look from the brand. The S240 come in mustard (pictured) and navy, retail for $149, and are in stock now at DZR Shoes.
This shoe is suited for MTB or gravel riding and features a 3D Molded footbed with medium arch support, stainless hardware, a carbon-composite, 2-bolt plate formed to a dual-injected outsole, and an upper made with a dual Boa L6 dial, with both steel and soft lace guides.
The entire shoe is molded from a one-piece Synchwire and thermo-bonded exo structure. In short, it’s like the Ventana, but more advanced. The Sector is available in black or olive drab and retails for $225. Yes, there is a women’s version too! The Sector W. See more at Giro.
MTB shoes don’t have to look like 1990’s era skate shoes. Case in point is Specialized’s Recon shoes, the pinnacle of the brand’s MTB footwear. The Recon utilizes a Body Geometry sole and footbed for comfort and power transfer. These shoes have a stiffness index of 10, thanks to the Carbon STRIDE toe-flex technology and the fully-welded upper body reduces seams, so you don’t have to worry as much about blisters. The Recon 2 ($160.00) features one BOA closure, while the Recon 3 ($225.00) features two. See more at Specialized.
Rapha’s Pro Team road shoes have long epitomized functionality and style in the lightweight road shoe category. Their newest edition features a fabric, Powerweave, designed by weaving technologists Avery Dennison for a modern look with a high-tech feel.
Bontrager just announced the newest addition to their footwear catalog, marketed towards gravel riding and bicycle touring. The GR2 is an off-road specific shoe, with lace closure, a grippy sole and visual cues to the outdoor industry. This vibrant mustard-yellow with red laces and a speckled sole is quite the looker, or there’s a more muted all-black model. A Tachyon rubber outsole gives the shoes plenty of grip, while the Gnarguard upper reduces wear and tear from hike-a-bikes. The GR2 retails for $139.99 and is in stock now at Bontrager stores.
If you’re like me, you’re discontented with the mountain bike industry’s offerings when it comes to footwear. With most options looking like a mid 90’s skate shoe, they tend to feel bulky and heavy, which is not ideal if you’re the type that enjoys bigger backcountry loops with hiking usually involved.
The same can be said about gravel shoes, with most being adopted from ‘cross racing shoes. They’re narrow and not ideal for hike-a-bikes or long days in the saddle. This is all ATMO, of course, but I’m always on the hunt for the ideal in-between shoe for gravel riding and mountain biking.
Giro’s latest shoe, the Ventana seems to be the perfect in-between shoe for both activities. Can it replace your gravel and mountain shoes? Read on to find out.
Giro’s newest shoe, dubbed the Ventana, was designed to be comfortable on and off the bike during day-long rides or multi-day trips. The shoe is based on a heavy-duty nylon shank, developed for the world DH World Cup racing, combined with an injected EVA cushioning midsole, as well as a Sensor® rubber outsole. The Ventana relies upon the BOA system for closure, to provide a secure fit and when biking turns to hiking, the reinforced heel and toe box offer protection from scrapes and impacts.
Oh and those colors!
Now, I know it might sound silly to call a cycling shoe “gravel” specific but hear me out. Traditional ‘cross racing shoes have extra padding, extra stiffness and aside from deep treads to shed mud, are different than what you’d typically want for just riding dirt roads. Lots of companies have taken their ‘cross shoe line and expanded into less racing-oriented designs and while a lot of bigger companies have stout offerings, I wanted to shed some light on the Quoc Gran Tourer all-terrain gravel shoes here.
Products like this intrigue me. They pique my interest and pull at my heartstrings. Oftentimes, I find the cycling industry’s apparel offerings to be too wrapped up in the supergraphic, the superhero, the loud, obnoxious, and ostentatiously-designed garb most of us are forced to wear due to brand simply one-upping, building off of and straight biting-off of other’s designs. Personally, I want my cycling gear to emulate my outdoor gear. I want my cycling shoes to look like boots and honestly, most of the time while I tour and bikepack, I wear just that.
Fizik’s Terra lineup – their dirt-focused shoes – has trapesed about the tundra that is earth tones and laces for some time now but it wasn’t until their Ergolace X2 model dropped earlier this year that I was intrigued enough to reach out to the brand to review a pair. So, aside from a rugged aesthetic, how do they really feel in person?
Meshing hiking boot stylings and their road shoe functionality, Fizik’s new X2 mountain shoe line is quite the looker. With lacing, velcro and Boa closures, in high and low top, with great colors and stylings, the X2 line has something for everyone.
Head over to Fizik to check them out and see more specifications below.
Fizik’s newest shoes are marketed to gravel riding and are a part of the Terra off-road series. The Terra Powerstrap X4 is designed to have a close fit, with the quick and easy Powerstrap Velcro closure system to give your feet a secure fit.
These shoes have a walkable sole, touting a stiffness index of 6. They weigh 292g (size 42- 1/2 pair) and retail for $149. See more information at Fizik.
A few years ago, I rode the Kokopelli trail with some friends. I decided to take a single pair of shoes to lighten my load on my Knolly Endorphin (which is decidedly not a “bikepacking” bike). That pair of shoes was the 5.10 Kestrel Boa. I spent a few years riding in those shoes. They were stiff, durable, stylish, and sleek. More recently, I’ve given up the power of clipless shoes for the comfort and nuanced control of flat pedals. After a long term review of a carbon hardtail with very large, very sharp flat pedals (the Kona Wah Wah 2), I took a long, hard look at my shins. They are covered in scars and the tops of my socks stained with blood. It was time to see how the skills that flat pedals have shown me translated to clipless riding. I dug around my parts bin and found my old pedals, and then began to look for my old Kestrels. They were gone. I racked my brain and realized I had left them in Mammoth last summer. A week later, I got an email asking me to review the new version of the shoe. I was stoked, to say the least.