Whether you ride on paved roads or dirt trails, cycling shoes can be expensive and difficult to choose. That’s why we are excited to be reviewing the FLR F-55 Knit mountain biking shoes which offer high end features at an accessible price point. With a retail price of only $69.99 and the M250 nylon outsoles, the FLR F-55 Knit is a hard to beat value for cyclists who prefer to ride in the dirt. Utilizing FLR’s new XD-Knit upper construction, the F-55 Knit shoes have a ventilated and flexible knit upper with a three-velcro closure system. Strategically placed rubber tread on the sole ensures there is enough traction to walk on loose gravel while removable toe lugs provide even more traction. Reinforcements on the heel and toe add a little protection and structure to the otherwise flexible knitted uppers. The F-55 Knit shoes might be the most affordable mountain biking shoes in FLR’s lineup, but they have impressive specs.
The FLR F-55 Knit mountain biking shoes combine a budget priced with flexible knit upper construction and efficient nylon outsole.
|Measured Weight (in g)||706 (EUR 44)|
|Likes|| + Affordable price|
+ Flexible and ventilated knit uppers
+ Includes toe lugs for extra traction
|Dislikes||– Lack of color options|
– Velcro straps can be clunky to use
– Limited distribution network
|Where to Buy (US)||FLR|
The shoes come in a simple black cardboard shoe box with FLR logos on the lid and sides. Inside the box you’ll find:
- F-55 Knit Shoes
- 2x Toe Lugs with tool
The additional toe lugs are designed to provide additional traction for riding in muddy or loose soil.
FIT AND FINISH
As with FLR’s other knit cycling shoes, the F-55 Knit looks more premium than their budget price would suggest. The XD-Knit nylon uppers have a textured appearance that add some visual contrast particularly in the navy blue finish. The subtle black touches in the knit match well with the black reinforcements on the heel and toe. Aside from the subtle embossed FLR logos on the heels, the shoes also have a sleek unbranded appearance. The minimalist styling and subtle reflective elements on the heel of the shoes are particularly impressive at this price point. Ventilation is achieved through a perforated tongue and several perforations on the front and sides of the knitted surface.
In terms of soles, the F-55 Knit shoes use the nylon M250 outsole. It’s similar to the R250 outsole that is used with various entry and mid level road cycling shoes in FLR’s lineup such as the F-11 Knit and has a stiffness index of 7 (half that of FLR’s carbon fiber sole). The mountain biking variation uses a two bolt compatible design and has significantly more anti-slip pads. In addition to the heel and toe bumpers, there is a large rubber pad on the arch and raised side pumpers to the sides of the cleats. We found that the additional traction worked well on loose gravel and muddy trails. FLR even includes additional toe lugs for extra slippery conditions although it does make walking with the shoes a bit more awkward.
As with the standard FLR F-55, the FLR F-55 Knit uses a three velcro strap closure system. While we would have preferred to see a dial closure system, the velcro straps are well suited for dirt or mud as you don’t have to worry about dirt getting onto laces or dials. The three velcro strap design also makes it easy to customize the fit and distribute tension by adjusting each strap independently. Premium touches like matching knitted inlays and non-slip grip details on the end of the straps also make them easy to grip. As with any velcro design, we recommend keeping the velcro surfaces clean to prevent dirt or debris buildup that typically cause the straps to lose tension over time.
Even though FLR doesn’t offer a wide option or half sizes increments, we found the shoes quite comfortable. The toe boxes are already fairly wide, comparable to Shimano cycling shoes, but with the knitted upper construction the shoes can easily expand. The shoes are also well ventilated making them a great choice for warm or cold days when paired with wool socks. On the bike, the nylon M250 sole has some flex during climbs but otherwise is efficient at transferring power. Also, as with other mountain biking shoes that use recessed cleats, the FLR F-55 Knit shoes are easy to walk on or off pavement. With the anti-slip pads on the sole you can walk confidently on slick surfaces without worrying about losing your balance.
Overall, we found the FLR F-55 Knit to be well priced and well designed mountain biking shoes. Despite the affordable price, the F-55 Knit shoes have a premium appearance and details. The nylon M250 sole provides a good balance between performance and stiffness, while the non-slip rubber pads help with traction on loose gravel. We also like the removable toe lugs as they provide even more traction for muddy trails. The XD-Knit upper construction is one of our favorite details though, as it provides excellent ventilation and flexibility to accommodate different foot shapes. If you are looking for an SPD or other 2 bolt style mountain biking compatible shoe without breaking the bank, it’s worth considering the F-55 Knit shoes.
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.