Knits have become an increasingly popular material in cycling shoes and for a good reason. Cycling shoes made with knits offer excellent combination of comfort, lightweight, and breathability. Unfortunately, most knit variations are often limited to higher priced premium shoe models. That isn’t the case with the FLR F-11 Knit shoes which combine FLR’s F-11 shoes with their new XD-Knit construction for only $129.99. As with the standard F-11 shoes, the F-11 Knit shoes use the R250 nylon soles which provide a balance between performance and comfort. At least on paper, the F-11 Knit shoes are a competitively priced shoe with premium features and appearance. Having spent over a year riding with the standard FLR F-11 cycling shoes, we were excited to see how the F-11 Knit shoes compared.
The FLR F-11 Knit shoes combine the comfort and breathability of knits and a relatively stiff nylon sole at a competitive price point.
|Measured Weight (in g)||558 (EUR 44)|
|Likes|| + Affordable price |
+ Ventilated knit construction
+ No Velcro straps
|Dislikes||– ATOP dial only offers micro tightening|
– Lack of color options
– Limited distribution network
|Where to Buy (US)||FLR|
The shoes are packed in a simple black cardboard shoe box with FLR logos on the lid and sides. Inside the box you’ll find:
- F-11 Knit Shoes
- 2x Look Memory Eyelet screws
We’d recommend using or saving the Look Memory Eyelet screws (read our guide on how to use them) as they are easy to lose and difficult to re-order.
FIT AND FINISH
Once you’ve held a knit cycling shoe in your hands, it’s clear to see why they typically demand a higher price. The textured surface not only looks visually appealing and more expensive, but the knit construction makes the shoes flex and soft to the touch. With the F-11 Knit shoes, FLR utilizes a material they call XD-Knit which consists of a triple layer nylon construction with dimpled appearance which aside from some reinforcements on the heel and toe is pliable to the touch. FLR has also incorporated thoughtful details such as reflective elements on the heels for additional visibility and ventilation holes throughout the shoe. Even the tongue is ventilated with several small perforations.
The shoes are currently offered in white and black colors. The white shoes are all white except for the black ring on the ATOP dial and black sole. We were also surprised with how minimal the branding on the F-11 Knit shoes are with the brand name printed in silver near the heel and on the sole of the shoe. In terms of the sole, the F-11 Knit shoes share the same R250 nylon soles as the standard F-11 with an adjustable 3-bolt cleat design and Look Memory Eyelet. Although there are rubber heel and toe bumpers for extra traction when walking and to protect the sole, they are unfortunately not replaceable.
The F-11 Knit shoes utilize a single ATOP dial system with a six point lace routing design. The ATOP dial is similar to a BOA dial in operation, but only has micro adjustments in the tightening direction and is a full release when rotated in the other direction. Those more familiar with BOA dials will have to remember to not pull up on the ATOP dial as that can potentially damage it. While we’re happy to see FLR remove the lower Velcro strap the standard F-11 shoe utilizes which did not offer much adjustment, we did find it a bit difficult to get a perfect fit with the single dial. FLR’s use of reinforcements on the heel and toe also help the otherwise flexible knit construction hold its form well.
Overall, the shoes use a modular construction with the outsoles attached to the knit upper as opposed to the one piece ‘chassis’ style design of Bont Cycling or other premium cycling shoes. This design combined with the nylon R250 soles means you can more directly feel the soles and cleat attachment point particularly during high-effort sprints or when riding out of the saddle. There is also some noticeable flex with the less stiff sole construction which is not surprising at this price point. Nevertheless, we found that we preferred the F-11 Knit shoes over our ultra-stiff Shimano S-Phyre shoes for longer or more relaxed rides as they are more forgiving. Even with our wider feet, the standard EUR 44 were more than comfortable enough thanks to the flexibility of the upper knit construction and the more spacious toe box.
Overall, we found the FLR F-11 to be well designed and competitively priced knit cycling shoes. The XD-Knit upper construction has great flexibility and breathability which keeps your feet comfortable even on longer rides. If you’re a sprinter or someone who chases Strava records, the nylon soles of the F-11 Knit shoes are likely a deal breaker, however for more casual or endurance riders they are quite comfortable. The main downsides of the shoes is the fact that it’s only currently available in white or black and that it may be difficult to find a pair at your local bike shop to try on before purchasing. That aside, if you’re on a budget or looking for a second pair of shoes, the F-11 Knit shoes offer a great balance between performance and comfort.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by FLR. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.