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Specialized 2FO Roost flat & clipless MTB shoes lock-in low rebound rubber

specilized updated 2fo roost mtb shoe flats clipless low rebound rubber
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Replacing the 2FO 1.0 are the Specialized 2FO Roost flat and clipless mountain bike shoes. Re-soled with the 3rd generation SlipNot rubber compound, the 2FO Roost claims to offer unprecedented grip on pedal pins without compromising durability. We’re already big fans of the grip and wearability of 2FOs, having owned a pair of the 1.0 and two pairs of the 2.0. Durability was the only thing we felt to be lacking, so we’re excited to see how Specialized has bettered themselves with the 2FO Roost.

Specialized 2FO Roost MTB Shoes

flat mountain bike shoes specialized 2fo roost 3rd gen super tacky rubber lock-in pins grip

2FO Roost Flats

  • 3rd Gen SlipNot Super Tacky Rubber
  • Suede and leather upper
  • Hydrophobic Lining for reduced water retention
  • Sizing: 36-49 and a half sizes 38.5-46.5
  • Colors: Black and Oak Green
  • Price: $120


2FO Roost Clipless

  • Half-length Nylon Shank and EVA Midsole for differential flex
  • Wide chamfered cleat pocket
  • Hydrophobic Lining for reduced water retention
  • Sizing: 36-49 and a half sizes 38.5-46.5
  • Colors: Black and Taupe
  • Price: $130

3rd Generation SlipNot Super Tacky Rubber

new specialized flat pedal mtb shoes 2fo roost

Let’s get straight to the bottom of it. The absolute top priority of any flat pedal mountain bike shoe is the grip offered by the sole. It doesn’t matter how fashionable, quick-drying, odor resistant, stiff, or comfortable a shoe is if it simply won’t grip the pedals.

specialized 2fo roost slipnot gen3 rubber outsole low rebound super tacky grip locks pins

Specialized’s first iteration of the 2FO failed miserably on this very important point, as they themselves admit. Luckily, they’ve come a long way since then, improving immeasurably with the SlipNot 2.0 compound. Now, they introduce the 3rd Generation SlipNot rubber with the Specialized 2FO Roost.

specialized 2fo roost third generation rubber compound super tacky low rebound no bounce high grip conforms to pedal pin shape

The new rubber has very low rebound properties meaning that, when it is forced out of shape, it doesn’t immediately return to its original conformation; check out the imprint left by a coin in the top left image above. This means the rubber should conform to the shape of the pedal pins, locking them into place without rebounding with sufficient force to expel them again. Once you’re in, you’re in.

The development team at Specialized says the new rubber compound is almost solely responsible for the grip properties of the shoe, with the tread pattern playing a less relevant role. It would be kind of insane of them to try to arrange the lugs to suit the vast array of flat pedal options out there, with their differing platform sizes, pin spacing, and heights.

new specialized 2fo roost claims enhanced grip through super tacky 3rd generation low rebound slipnot rubber compound

The lugs haven’t changed much in shape from the 2FO 1.0 and 2.0 shoes; they’re maybe a little larger and arranged in a slightly more interlocked pattern. That’s to reduce the chances of pedal pins dragging straight lines down between the rows of lugs – a problem we noticed on both previous iterations.

Wide Chamfered Cleat Pocket

specialized 2fo roost clip mtb shoe black

The clipless version of the Specialized 2FO Roost mountain bike shoe also gets the super tacky 3rd Gen SlipNot outsole, but as the secondary contact point, it is of less relevance here. The important part is the cleat pocket of course. Clipping in and out needs to be quick and easy for obvious reasons, hence Specialized’s emphasis on a very accessible cleat pocket.

specilized 2fo roost clipless mtb shoe wide cleat box chamfered edges easy access

On the 2FO, the cleat pocket is pretty wide and is chamfered at its edges to allow the cleat to find the pedal clip super easily. The shoe features a half-length Nylon shank that centers around the cleat pocket, to add stiffness where it is needed; at the point where power transfer is critical.

“Clearance around the cleats is super good. They’re ready to go and don’t need break-in. It’s not a race shoe and my friends will love it.’’ – Finn Iles

The shoe is a lot more flexible at the heel and toe areas. This should make the shoe more comfortable for simply walking around in, and when you’re pushing back up the trail to session a really exciting feature or awkward corner. You need to be able to dig your toes in when it’s steep going up and dig your heel in when it’s steep going down, so flex in these regions is important.

Specialized 2FO Roost Body Geometry Fit

Beyond the contact point, fit and comfort are next on the list of priorities. Specialized pay close attention to this, dropping terms like Longitudinal Arch, Varus Wedge, and a Metatarsal Button into the marketing presentation. I’m decidedly not an expert on foot anatomy, so bear with me here.

loic bruni inspecting new specialized 2fo roost mtb shoe
“Comfy, light, and great for having fun on the trail without racing. The wide clearance for cleats is really good and I love how clean and good looking they are.’’ – Loic Bruni

Put simply, the Varus Wedge refers to the 1.5mm increase in thickness on the medial (inside) side of the insole. Both versions of the Specialized 2FO Roost MTB Shoe have one, positioned at the forefoot only. It serves to prop up the inside of the foot a little, offering support to prevent the foot from collapsing inwards and bringing the knee with it.

finn iles trying specialized 2fo roost size fit comfort

As for the metatarsal button… that’s a very subtle lump in the heel region of the insole. Specialized says it stimulates your toes to spread over a wide area, as they do naturally when walking. It should encourage your foot to assume a very stable conformation simulating walking while it is essentially stationary on the pedal.

Is there a Women’s Specialized 2FO Roost?

specialized 2fo roost flat mtb shoe black 3rd generation slipnot rubber compound low rebound high grip

No. The 2FO Roost is a product that conforms to their “beyond gender” strategy. In their market research, Specialized found that the variation in foot shape and size was greater across riders broadly than between men and women. Thus, they saw no real reason to produce a gender-specific MTB shoe.

Also, feedback from riders showed that many male riders really liked some of the features you’d find on a typical women’s specific shoe. The tight and secure heel cup, for example, is a feature lacking on many MTB shoes including the Ride Concepts Hellion and FiveTen Freeriders. 

Finishing touches

mountain biker steep slab rock role flat pedal mtb shoes specialized

The new Specialized 2FO Roost Flats and Clipless shoes both feature an XPEL Hydrophobic internal layer that prevents them from retaining too much water. The 2FO shoes have always been lightweight, whether wet or dry, and they dry very quickly too.

lace up flat pedal mtb shoes black leather suede upper
A wee elastic loop on the tongue secures laces to stop them flapping about and getting caught on stuff

The uppers are composed of a combination of leather and suede, so they should be flexible and comfortable enough, with the suede adding an abrasion resistant layer. The toe area gets a bit of added protection to keep your toes safe during those inevitable rock strikes. 

Pricing & Availability

green specialized 2fo roost mtb shoes

Pick up the new Specialized 2FO Roost flat pedal and clipless MTB shoes for $120 and $130, respectively. They are available globally now.

These replace the heavier 2FO 1.0 shoe. The 2FO 2.0 remains part of the line-up for now. However, Specialized did hint heavily at the imminent prospect of a more robust, more well-protected shoe on the way for bike park days and free riding. Stay tuned.


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Claude Bike
Claude Bike
3 years ago

why the slot for the cleat isn’t centered? This way it seems that the actual Q-factor would get worse (wider)

3 years ago
Reply to  Claude Bike

The tread is wide, and there’s a minimum usable distance between tread and crank arm before you can’t clip out.
Also, wider does not necessarily equal worse. That’s a myth created in the late 80s/early 90s by theorizing without actually testing anything.

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