Actually, the weight saving isn’t all that huge to be honest, saving about 140g for the pair when compared to standard 2FO Clip shoe, but they are a much neater, nicer shoe overall in our opinion.
While we really like the 2FO Clip shoes, we find the laces a bit finicky in muddy or gritty conditions. That’s why we’re stoked to see the increasingly popular Boa dial system on the Cliplites. It’s a very simple, fast and precise adjustment system, and it’s practically impervious to mud too. It’s easy to adjust on the fly as well.
The fit isn’t as ‘glove-like’ as we’d hoped – the upper is pretty stiff around the ankle, and we did notice that if we had the top Boa dial done up quite firmly that this top edge of the shoe dug in a bit. We’ve heard other riders make the same remarks, so it’s not just our boney ankles! A little more padding, or use of a more flexible material in this area, wouldn’t go astray. Backing off the tension of the Boa dial a couple of clicks resolved it, but gave us more ‘float’ in the shoe than we like.
Leaving that issue aside, there’s a lot to like. The Cliplite has a grippy SlipNot sole that ensures you don’t end up on your arse if you have to hike the occasional section of trail, and the extended cleat slots (4mm longer than most Specialized shoes) lets you run your cleats further back, which is common amongst more aggressive riders.
Getting back into your pedals is made easier thanks to the Landing Strip, which is a deep, long cleat recess and which seems to work particularly well at catching and guiding your foot back into the pedals. If you’re the type of rider who likes to dangle a foot in loose corners, you’ll appreciate this.
To date, they’re proving to be nice and durable. The finish wipes clean easily and the tall rubber edging off toe box is tough. While the black and white versions here have a bit of ‘foot in a fairy penguin’ vibe to them, you can also get them in an understand black/grey or a lairy green/black too.
Try them out for fit first and make sure they play nicely with your ankles (remember, Specialized also do a range of great Body Geometry inner soles too), as they’re certainly a great shoe for the trail rider if they work with your leg-ends.