Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review

    I thought this might help some folks out as these two are the most progressive and lightweight shoes on the market designed for end.... errr, oh, I mean riding bikes on mountains with friends.

    My feet have been size 10.0 since I got my driver's license in 1999. They are still a 10.0. They are literally the easiest feet to fit, ever. Every shoe I own is a 10. They are not wide.

    I picked up the Kestrel in a 10.0 and they looked great. Construction seems to be high quality. This shoe has a lower volume than the 2FO. The toe box is mostly made of a rubber-ish material that seems like it will repel water very well, but won't breathe. Very little padding around the ankle, or anywhere for that matter.

    Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review-20150810_163356.jpg

    Weight was significantly higher than advertised. Actual weight of 475g/size 10 vs. advertised of 403g/size 9.

    Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review-20150810_155942.jpg

    Despite my low-volume foot, the top of the toe box was fairly snug. I was concerned about the single BOA system, and these concerns turned out to be valid. I had serious trouble getting these things to be both comfortable and secure due to the single BOA and stiff sole. It was either massive heal lift or numb feet. I gave them 6 rides, which is generally enough to at least begin the break-in process and see some increases in comfort. Ultimately, they just did not work out. It is a shame because that rubber really is amazing. Also, they squeak. Like crazy. Like more than my FS bike that gets put away wet. I literally lost track of any sounds the bike made because every pedal stroke with the Kestrel made a ton of noise.



    The Cliplites were hard to get but a friend works at a Specialized dealer and was generous with the hook up. The two more desirable colors were sold out until October but the fatigue green was available and I thought they looked pretty dope. I went with 43.5, which most EU size charts will say is smaller than a US 10 but Specialized says they are a 10.25. They are a bit higher volume than the Kestrel, but shorter in length. I like these BOA closures a bit better as they do not pull out to release, and I experienced a few accidental releases of tension when hitting the Kestral BOAs on trail debris.

    Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review-20150824_184747.jpg

    These were also heavier than advertised, but still lighter than the Kestrels by a good bit. 420g/size 43.5 vs. 379g/size 42 advertised.

    Specialized 2FO Cliplite vs. 5.10 Kestrel - A Review-20150824_165754.jpg

    In the end, the dual BOA closure and larger volume won out for me in terms of comfort. They were already significantly more comfortable than the Kestrels on ride 1. I got less heal lift when hiking despite lower tension in the cables, and I could still feel my feet. Obviously YMMV but this just seems to be a better design choice than the single BOA, and the actual BOA adjusters seem to be of higher quality. No sounds from the BOA either. Also, you can get your cleat wayyyy back in the channel on these, a bit further than the Kestrels. I'm able to keep the exact same foot position over the spindle that I would with flats.

    TL;DR

    Kestrel pros: construction quality, looks, rubber
    Cons: Single BOA, comfort, heal lift, squeaks like crazy

    2FO Cliplite pros: looks, dual BOA, better BOA hardware, comfort, weight, also seems to be built well, silent, cleat positioning
    Cons: Your favorite color might be hard to get?

    I'll be keeping the 2FOs and returning the Kestrels. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say YMMV in terms of fit/comfort, but I just think the dual BOA is a better design.

    Hope this helps some potential buyers.

    Edited to make the pictures show up.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for reveiw. I'm going through my second pair of Kesrels in five months. They fit me really well. No heel lift. I really like them. The front part of the sole just fell apart. Got another pair from REI no questions asked. Duel BOAs would seem a plus. I've had good luck with Spec shoes in the past. If these fall apart Ill give the 2FOs a shot
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  3. #3
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    Nice review. Thanks.
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the review! Anybody else with time on the Cliplite?

    I've been on the Specialized S-Works Trail shoe for the last two seasons and REALLY like them although a couple issues, rubber chunks off on the bottom and very stiff (12 rating) for hike-a-bike, although the toe lugs help when its soft and steep, and VERY expensive.

    Owned the Kestrels for a month and didn't like them at all, too warm with the rubber toe, both soles started peeling off, not as comfortable overall.

    So interested to read more reviews on the Cliplite.

  6. #6
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    i wish they made the 2fo cliplite in wide sizes. that would be my dream shoe lol
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  7. #7
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    If they weren't so damn expensive, I'd likely get a pair of 2FO's.

  8. #8
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    where are you guys finding the 2fo for sale? I went to a couple of lbs and couldn't find it, usual online places also don't have it

  9. #9
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    If you cannot find the 2FO Cliplite at your LBS, I'm pretty sure that you'll have to buy it direct from Specialized. According to one shop that I found online, Specialized does not allow this shoe to be sold online.

    I purchased a pair direct from Specialized. Free 2 day shipping. But had to pay Texas sales tax.
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    I wear casual shoes made by Keen which have a wide toe box. So the 2FO Cliplit feels narrow/tight. But after wearing them around the house for 2 days, they are starting to break-in. Tomorrow will be my first ride.

    I normally wear the fi'z:k MB5 UOMO, which is not as tight as the 2FO. The problem that I have with the MB5 is that if I don't correctly position my foot when trying to click-in to my Time MX4 ATAC pedals, the lugs on the sole can hangup on the pedal. Hopefully the smooth soles on the 2FO will solve this for me.

    M5B UOMO review with images of sole:
    Tested: Fi?zi:k M5B Uomo Shoes Mountain Flyer Magazine

  10. #10
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    2FOs were too narrow for me. Kestrels fit well. I'd rather have two Boas than one as I prefer to snug the shoe over the middle of the instep and leave it looser at the top. Also, I have to tighten the Boa several times during a ride as the shoes seem to get looser over a ride...probably due to the type of padding they employ. Kestrels are flat a stiff and tend to pull off the heel when walking. A friend of mine likened them to wearing bricks on your feet.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    2FOs were too narrow for me. Kestrels fit well. I'd rather have two Boas than one as I prefer to snug the shoe over the middle of the instep and leave it looser at the top. Also, I have to tighten the Boa several times during a ride as the shoes seem to get looser over a ride...probably due to the type of padding they employ. Kestrels are flat a stiff and tend to pull off the heel when walking. A friend of mine likened them to wearing bricks on your feet.
    yeah i dont nkow why the newer 2fo cliplite is more narrow than the older 2fo clip shoes. makes no sense to me. as a person with EE wide feet, a wide version would be nice for the 2fo cliplite
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  12. #12
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    I don't think the Cliplite is actually narrower, just that the hexagonal material is that much stiffer, maybe a little too stiff actually for comforts sake. I was stoked to try this shoe out but had it on the other day in 45, coming off the SWorks Trail in 45, not sure I can do it.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    I don't think the Cliplite is actually narrower, just that the hexagonal material is that much stiffer, maybe a little too stiff actually for comforts sake. I was stoked to try this shoe out but had it on the other day in 45, coming off the SWorks Trail in 45, not sure I can do it.


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    i'll see if i can get my lbs to bring some in to try. i remember reading 2-3 reviews saying the 2fo cliplite is narrower. that was the only reason why i didn't buy it.
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  14. #14
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    After spending a day riding and hiking, my 2FO Cliplites have broken-in. Several sections of the trail that I was on were not rideable due to long stretches of deep mud/clay. So I spent a good deal of time carrying the bike both on level ground and up a few long hills.

    Note that the width of my feet are what would be called normal, D. But I prefer shoes that run wide, like Keen.

    That said, I'm keeping mine, the shoe is very comfortable and easier to walk in than the fi'z:k MB5 UOMO.

  15. #15
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    A glitch on the Canadian website has revealed the new Cliplite colour way. I want it!!!

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  16. #16
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    5.10 Kestrel didn't last me two months before they fell apart (junk) .. going to give the 2fo a shot... Having said that 5.10 has an excellent warranty and did refund 100% of my money without much hassle... I just wish they made a more rugged shoe..
    Also as noted above - the Kestrel was very tight fitting with a narrow tow box .. And the boa would pop open on rides at least one to two times on tight singletrack.. I'm hoping that the 2fo will have this problem.

  17. #17
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    does anybody can make a size comparison between the kestrel lace and the cliplite? Spec sizing is a little weird with their eur to us conversion...

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