Fox Racing has leapt feet-first into the mountain bike shoe world with the arrival of the brand-new Union shoe.
Comprising of three models (two clip-in shoes and one for flat pedals), the Union is the brand’s first foray into performance mountain bike footwear. All three shoes lean towards the gravity end of the riding spectrum and feature grippy rubber, in-built protection and a low-profile aesthetic.
The most premium option in the range is the Union BOA, which as its name implies, uses dual BOA ratchets. The shoe gets a glass-filled nylon shank for stiffness and stability, with a large asymmetric cleat pocket that’s designed to provide smooth pedal entry when clipping in.
The regular Union shoe trades the BOA dials for a Velcro strap and lace-up closure system, lobbing a hundred bucks off the price tag. Otherwise it shares a near-identical construction to the Union BOA, which includes moulded heel cups and reinforced moulded toe caps for protection. The outer sole uses the new ‘Ultratack’ rubber compound to provide damping and grip when scurrying up the side of a trail.
The cheapest model is the Union Flat. As with the clip-in shoes the Union Flat features a welded one-piece upper, moulded toe and heel caps, and a custom-tuned EVA midsole that’s designed to help absorb impact energy without feeling doughy. The outer sole also uses the Ultratack rubber compound, with a hex-shaped pattern to provide a grippy platform for flat pedals.
Right off the bat, we had some issues with the fit of the Union kicks. Mick wears a 42 in basically across basically every shoe brand he’s tried to date, and yet the Unions we received have caused him quite a bit of grief — even causing some blisters on his heels. This is because they are built around a comparatively high volume last, so there is quite of lot of space inside the shoe.
They’re well finished and we expect these will be some supremely popular riding kicks, these are definitely a pair of shoes you should try on before you buy them.