Affordable cycling shoes are typically referred to as ‘entry-level’ or ‘beginner-friendly’ and usually have compromises to reduce the cost. This typically means multiple Velcro straps or bulky ratcheting closure systems and heavier multi-panel designs. The FLR F-11 Pro cycling have a budget friendly $99.99 retail price but more premium features not typically found in ‘entry-level’ shoes. For a fixture system, the F-11 Pro uses an ATOP dial on top and a single lower Velcro strap. Although it doesn’t have a carbon sole (which is rare at this price point), the nylon R250 outsole provides plenty of stiffness.
The FLR F-11 Pro cycling shoes has premium features at an entry-level price. With a dial retention system and soft microfiber upper, the F-11 shoes provides good comfort.
While the trickle down theory is often applied in economics, FLR has used it here to bring many of the premium features from their flagship F-XX II shoes down to the F-11 Pro. The upper portion of the shoe is a seamless synthetic microfiber that provides impressive flexibility and comfort. The shoes are also light for the price, as they only weighed in at a total of 562 grams on our scale for the EUR 44 shoes. In this review we’ll determine if the FLR F-11 shoes are worth buying over other entry level shoes.
|Category||Cycling Shoes (Road)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||562 (EUR 44)|
|Likes|| + Affordable price |
+ All-day comfort with flexible uppers
+ Dial closure system
|Dislikes||– Velcro strap does not do much |
– Limited sizes and colors (Update: Additional colors to be available in 2020)
– Not available in most local bike shops
|Where to Buy (US)||FLR|
The F-11 shoes come in a standard shoe box with FLR logo on the top and front in a metallic finish. In this review we tested the EUR 44 size shoes.
Inside the packaging you’ll find:
- F-11 Pro Shoes
- 2x Look Memory Eyelet screws
The shoes do not come with any instructions, just a simple tag with a little information about FLR.
Consistent with the current trend toward clean and simplified designs, the FLR F-11 Pro has minimal graphics and design elements. Although we wish FLR offered more eye-catching designs, the available white and charcoal variations give the F-11 a high-end appearance that belies the entry-level price (Update: FLR will be releasing Blue and Neon color versions in 2020). The front of the shoes are dominated by ample ventilation perforations and four front vents. With the additional vent underneath the toe, the shoes are very well ventilated for warmer weather riding. The integrated heel and toe pads also help protect the sole of the shoes but don’t appear to be replaceable.
The rear of the shoe features two complementary colors (black/gray for the white version, and black/dark grey for the back version) to add some visual contrast. There is also minimal branding, with the brand name printed on the outer and on the underside of the shoe, and the model name printed on the inner side. Overall, the design is well executed and with the one piece upper design it looks and feels premium. The tongue is soft and padded to prevent any discomfort when riding.
Unlike typical entry-level cycling shoes which have multiple velcro or ratcheting straps, the F-11 uses a more premium dial system for the upper 2/3rds and a velcro strap on the bottom. The ATOP dial allows you to tighten the tension in small increments in one direction or fully loosen it by rotating the dial the other direction. Although this isn’t as slick as the higher-end dual-direction dials, it provides well distributed tension and easy modulation.
There is also a single Velcro strap on the bottom portion of the shoe. Unlike the SiDI shoes which use plastic locking teeth to augment the Velcro, in the F-11 it’s just standard Velcro surface. We found that it didn’t do much in terms of fit, so we simply set it once and left it. However, using the dial we were able to easily set the ideal tension on the shoes without any pressure points.
One of the biggest surprises with the FLR F-11 Pro shoes was how comfortable they are. With the one-piece synthetic microfiber upper, there are no interfaces or ridges that typically cause chafing. Also, the soft tongue doesn’t rub against your skin when the shoe is fully tightened. We would describe the shoes as narrow, with a similar fit to our SiDI shoes. Although FLR doesn’t offer wider versions, we found wearing a size and a half larger than our normal size shoe provided an excellent fit (something we also do with SiDI shoes as well).
The F-11 has R250 nylon outsoles which don’t have the stiffness of carbon outsoles. However, this doesn’t mean the soles are flexible like noodles. It is difficult to pinpoint when the shoe flexes, but they have a softer feel than a more expensive carbon soled shoe. Especially during higher effort climbs or sprints the shoes lack the direct feel of stiffer carbon soled shoes. However, for the average rider the nylon soles of the F-11 should be more than sufficient.
Overall, the FLR F-11 Pro shoes are an impressive entry-level priced shoe with premium features. The dial/velcro closure system provide uniform tension for a secure and comfortable fit. Additionally, the seamless synthetic microfiber upper design flexes and conforms to your feet similar to a knitted shoe. Our only reservation with these shoes is the fact that, at least in the US, the distribution network for FLR is limited so you likely won’t be able to try them on in person before buying. At the time of publishing this article, the F-11 shoes lack the color and size availability of other cycling shoes you would find from larger manufacturers. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an affordable cycling shoe or a backup set, the FLR F-11 Pro has the all-day comfort and features you’ll need.
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.