Review: Fizik Terra Clima X2 – A weather-resistant shoe loaded with features
Fizik is an Italian company known not only for its shoes but also, in recent years, for its components. Sometimes, but not always, when European road brands try their hand at mountain bike kit, the end products can be weird and wacky. The Terra Clima X2 is certainly a little different from a lot of other brands’ offerings, but in terms of specs it seems to balance some smart choices that show great promise.
• EVA midsole and Vibram tread
• Integrated knitted gaiter
• BOA L6 dial and unique Velcro strap
• Colors: Black, Olive
• Weight: 414g (pair size 42.5)
• MSRP: € 250.00
In the Fizik range there is also the fully waterproof Artica X2 which I will also be reviewing in the wetter months. For now, however, we have the Clima X2, which with its ankle and weather resistance is more of a jack of all trades. Without causing justified dismay in the comments, I would say this is a fall shoe as opposed to a winter shoe. Deep down I know it doesn’t exist, but if there was one, it would be this one.
I have the impression that at the base, the Clima X2 aims to be versatile. There are no laces to keep them from drying out, a meaty Vibram tread on the sole of the shoe that grips well with dirt or mud, and it uses a woven ripstop fabric upper that is at the both breathable and keeps the elements out. It even includes a seemingly football-inspired gaiter to keep any dirt out.
The shoe has a stiffness index of 3. For reference, their premium road shoe has a stiffness index of 10. It is available in sizes 36-48, with half sizes between 37.5 and 46, 5. There are two color options and the shoe sells for € 250.
The looks are either elegant or jarring, depending on your personal taste.
The Clima X2 is a very functional shoe and I feel that all of its features are up to par.
The gaiter, while it may not suit everyone’s taste in looks, is in my opinion a great addition. I really like the fact that when you’re wearing pants and riding wet or muddy trails there’s an extra buffer between you and the dreaded splash of the icy puddle. It also means that once you take off your shoes and pants, you really look spotless underneath.
If you were to dip your shoes in you’re still going to get wet, but when you find your way through puddles or streams you can do so without really thinking about your feet. In a particularly intense downpour, as I was crashing along a waterlogged fire route, the water managed to completely saturate my pants, which meant that the water was flowing freely down my calves. and could then enter the shoe that way. In this particular case, the water-resistant membrane prevented it from coming out of the shoe quickly. It was the heaviest rain I’ve ridden in a long time, however. Any shoe would get wet here, only they could do a better job of removing the fluid once it got in.
The sole of the shoe is stiff enough but could probably be a bit stiffer for those who are serious about reducing power. For my purposes, as I rode on my track bike, the stiffness was sufficient. I have used these pedals with cage-less Ritchey SPD style pedals as well as Crankbrother Mallet Es. I would say the stiffness of the shoe was more suited to the latter.
I performed them with the cleat wedge underneath and found the clearance to be very adequate with the pedal mechanism. The cleat channel is open and does not require any cutting or modification, if you choose to place your cleats in a very back position like I usually do.
The Clima uses both a Velcro strap and an L6 Boa ratchet system.
The fit of the shoes was a bit difficult to place, in my opinion. This is naturally a very subjective thing so I can only talk about my experience with them. If you’ve ever purchased ski boots, you’ll know how many different fit options there can be and how they vary from brand to brand. In the size I chose, the shoe is fine in terms of length but is slightly cavernous in terms of shoe volume. This is a problem that I have encountered, albeit very rarely, with other brands. For my medium instep and relatively narrow feet, it felt a bit too big. The ripple effect is that your foot feels like it is being held less securely. The lack of support can almost make your foot want to roll towards your instep a bit.
In the end, I ended up using a very thin “comfort” sockliner under the one provided to bring my foot higher in the shoe. I rode it with and without and I prefer the fit with it.
After using a similar trick with the Artica X2 I currently have for review, I think the fit is quite different. The Artica uses a Boa device that runs the length of the tongue. The Clima, however, uses a Boa dial and Velcro strap. Honestly, I have never found that I was able to achieve the same level of fit with the Clima. My heel in particular was loose and not as secure as I would like.
+ Effective in preventing water and dirt from entering
+ Combines very well with pants
+ Good for walking and cycling tours
– Not the most favorable in terms of adjustment
– The size is a little weird
– Appearances can divide
Pinkbike’s point of view