Words: Will Shaw

Photos: Edward Kelly

If you’re new to the sport, you might be wondering why a bike manufacturer makes such good apparel, footwear, and protection. Specialized dived into apparel and footwear earlier than many other brands. They invested heavily in the sector and advancing their ‘Body Geometry’ concept, which is about matching each riders’ goals to their apparel in terms of fit, performance, and comfort. This sounds like marketing waffle, but there’s plenty of science that goes into it. Specialized’s shoes are co-developed with Dr Andy Pruitt, who’s a biomechanics expert from the Boulder Centre for Sports Medicine.

Whilst the 2F0 Roost Canvas’ look like a casual shoe, there’s a fair bit going on underneath the hood.

Whilst the 2F0 Roost Canvas’ look like a casual shoe, there’s a fair bit going on underneath the hood. Some people report the bed in period for a set of Specialized shoes to be borderline painful, but I didn’t have any issues getting to know the 2F0 Roosts. I usually ride a 45EU, and the fit in this size was spot on.

Specialized brought out a brand new 2F0 Roost model last year, so the main change with this model is the canvas upper, which is said to be very breathable, and offers a more casual aesthetic. Whilst I didn’t ride the shoes on any super-hot days, they felt light and airy on my feet, particularly compared to other flat pedal shoes I’ve ridden of late.

The canvas upper is very breathable.

An area Specialized have excelled in recently is quick drying footwear. The new 2F0 Roosts are no exception in this area. Whilst I didn’t test the shoes in pouring rain during the testing period, I did soak them and leave them overnight stuffed with newspaper, and I came back to almost completely dry shoes in the morning. In terms of splashing through puddles on the trail, the canvas upper repels droplets of water nicely.

They’re definitely a trail shoe as opposed to a more protective gravity-oriented shoe

 

Comfort and drying are both important features of any mountain biking footwear, but how they perform out on the trail is what really matters. I alternate between flat and clipless pedals, and recently I’ve enjoyed riding in a range of flat pedal shoes including the Unparalleled Dust Ups, and Ion’s Scrub range (including the regular Scrubs and Scrub Selects). The 2F0 Roost Canvas’ are more similar to the Unparalleled Dust Ups than Ion’s offerings by comparison.

The Roost Canvas’ sole is stiff enough that you get good power transfer through to the pedals, but it’s not quite as stiff as the Unparalleled Dust Ups. The grip is also good, but the Dust Ups once again offer slightly more grip. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing with the Roost Canvas’, as there are times with the Dust Ups that they almost have too much grip, although the grip on offer will also be dependent on the pedals you’re running. One area that isn’t ambiguous is weight, and my size 45EU 2F0s weighed in at 735 grams, compared to 833 grams for the Unparalleled Dust Ups, and 1043 grams for the Ion Scrub Selects.

The new 2F0 Roosts stick with a lace up design, which works just fine from a performance perspective and keeps with the casual aesthetic of the shoe.

 

The new 2F0 Roosts stick with a lace up design, which works just fine from a performance perspective and keeps with the casual aesthetic of the shoe. The shoes do feature sturdy toe protection, but they’re definitely a trail shoe as opposed to a more protective gravity-oriented shoe.

All in all, the Specialized 2F0 Roost Canvas’ are another great footwear offering from Specialized that’ll suit riders who’re after an all-round trail shoe. Their $220 asking price is competitive, as they come in cheaper than both the Unparalleled Dust Ups ($239.95) and the Ion Scrub Selects ($285). The Roost Canvas’ are offered in two colours, the slate tested here, as well as a Taupe/Oasis colourway.

RRP: $220

From: specialized.com/au/en/

Hits:

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Good levels of grip and sole stiffness
  • Casual aesthetic will appeal to many

Misses:

  • Not the stiffest or grippiest out there

 

See below for some other flat pedal shoes we’ve reviewed recently:

TESTED: Unparalleled Dust Up Shoes 

TESTED: Ion Scrub and Scrub Select