Quoc is back with a new generation of Gran Tourer II gravel shoes, lighter and more refined, now featuring dial retention, an overhauled upper design, improved sole, and a lower price than the originals.
It’s not often we hear new upgrades and lower cost in the same sentence.
But how do they really compare to the original Gran Tourer lace-ups? We put them to the test to break down what’s new and what’s changed.
Quoc Gran Tourer II gravel bike shoes
Quoc has revamped their popular Gran Tourer gravel shoes with a new dial closure Gran Tourer II. Using the same in-house developed dial retention closure as last summer’s Quoc Mono II road shoes, the new GT2 gets a bunch of other new improvements while retaining all of the beloved features of the originals.
The two-tone look is mostly the same with a 360° rubberized protection layer that helps keep water out and the shoes looking good for a long time. But a closer look reveals that the tough synthetic upper, reinforced nylon sole, and grippy rubber outsole have all been revamped for improved performance.
The most obvious shift is the move to a single loop of Quoc’s own dial retention. While the inside dial limits the ability to adjust tightness across separate zones, it does allow for fine micro-adjust of your fit. I’m generally not a huge fan of proprietary parts, but Quoc has shown that these work and last, plus they offer replacements if ever needed.
Less obvious is the new incrementally tougher & more supportive synthetic upper, which gets a lot more perforations for improved ventilation, and a wider opening under the laces that helps get more airflow to the tongue. Quoc calls the vents ‘One-way air holes’ and they do more air pretty well, while being small enough to keep most water out.
Around the ankle opening, Quoc also minimized the padding a bit so they wouldn’t retain moisture as much (and would dry even quicker) without sacrificing fit or comfort (more on that in my review notes below).
Inside, the fiber-reinforced nylon sole is said to now be stiffer, although it’s still plenty walkable. Quoc says they wanted to balance ultra-distance race performance, with a need to hike-a-bike and lounge around camp post-ride in your cycling shoes.
Outside, the natural rubber Gravel Grip outsole also gets a slightly reshaped tread pattern for improved hike-a-bike-ability, and plenty of off-the-bike grip.
All of that with less weight. Quoc hasn’t officially quoted the new shoes’ weight, but our size 43 test samples weigh 713g for the pair (357g each), a savings of 44g vs. a pair of the originals.
Quoc offers the new Gran Tourer II in whole EU sizes from 38-47. The shoes feature a standard two-position sliding SPD MTB cleat mount, include Quoc’s medium cushion vibration-absorbing insole, and get small 3M reflective details on the side & rear for added visibility.
Quoc Gran Tourer II -Pricing, options & availability
The new Quoc Gran Tourer II gravel shoe is available for pre-order now with the first deliveries set to start in the last week of April 2022.
Pick your favorite GT2 color from simple all-black to Quoc’s more flashy Tan & Pink with natural gum sole. In between, there’s a new lighter beige Sand with black sole, or a black version with a gum sole.
The new Gran Tourer II now sells for £190 / $265 / 255€, a cost savings averaging over 10% compared to the original lace-ups. Quoc says that while everything seems to be getting more expensive, they’ve been working hard to lower costs, and make their shoes more accessible to more riders.
Review: How do they stack up against the originals?
Much like the original, the new Quoc Gran Tourer II shoes’ fit seems rather unique, as it feels like their stiffer synthetic microfiber upper actually takes a bit of time to break in, much like an older leather shoe. As I cinch the shoes down tight they form to my feet, and over the course of a couple of hundred kilometers, they fit more like supportive slippers that no longer need to be laced as tight.
As for the new dials… their one-click release is easy, but I typically felt the need to pull both wires out of the dial to get the widest opening (vs. just grabbing the tongue of most Boa-dial shoes). But while some other dial retention guides have slowed their release as they get dirty over time, I’ve yet to have such an issue with Quoc’s dials.
Something of the only minor downside for me of the one-zone dials though, is that I loved the locked lacing layout of the original Gran Tourer, which let me tighten the lower foot more for an efficient pedaling feel, yet the upper foot more loosely for extra comfort.
With the new GT2, I’ve found myself going back and forth, tighter for higher-paced riding, looser for chill spins and general walking around.
Noticeably, ventilation is improved, not just because of the big increase in the number of holes overall, but maybe more so by the wider opening for the tongue and no laces covering the vented tongue holes.
Still they are nothing near a vented mesh shoe, but they let heat out well enough, while keeping road spray outside where it belongs.
The only true negative I found with the new shoes was that their pared-down ankle padding actually created a small pressure point for me. Just like the Mono II road shoes, where the ankle padding stops is also where a vein in front of my ankle tends to bulge.
When I wear thicker socks or when the shoes aren’t super tight, I don’t feel it. But when I wore thinner summer socks and ratcheted the shoes down for a fast ride, I could feel a bit of chafing as I pedaled. I suspect it will get better over time as the shoes break-in, but it hasn’t entirely gone away after the first few rides.
I’ve spoken with two other people who’ve ridden the new Quoc shoes extensively, and neither had the same issue as me. So it might just be my weird veiny ankles?
An updated Gran Tourer Lace-up too
Then, whether you prefer the new Gran Tourer II or the original Gran Tourer essentially boils down to whether you fall into the Boa-dial or traditional laces camp.
I can be kind of lazy, so dial closures are a nice and fast way to get the shoes on & off. But I also appreciate simplicity & durability, so laces win out in that they are easier to replace far from home or anytime there is a mechanical failure.
More good news is, if you prefer laces, there’s an updated version of the original Quoc Gran Tourer Lace that gets the same Gravel Grip & stiffer sole upgrade as the GT2, but at an even lower price – now just £170 / $235 / 195€ (20-33% cheaper), available once they are restocked later this month in either black/black or tan/pink, both with gum soles.
Note: Keep an eye out for the price drop coming soon, as the Quoc site currently still has the higher old prices for the original GTs.
In the meantime, I’ll be out breaking in the new Gran Tourer II on my local trails, and I’ll wear nice thicker socks (like Quoc’s own great Extra Fine Merino Tech Wool socks, here) when I feel like riding hard.