I know someone who raves about Bontrager shoes and I have been tempted by some for a long time. But they’re expensive, and they don’t sell them in any local shops so I can’t try them on, and having in-between sized feet I’m hesitant about ordering online. But as luck would have it, I popped into the Singletrack office on the same day that these beauties arrived in my actual size.
Slipping my foot into them was a revelation; they aren’t trainer-like squishy but they’re smooth and soft and just fit – equally, all over, no loose parts, no tight parts. Design wise they are a slim race-looking kind of shoe, where normally I’d go for something more trainer-like. It was an adjustment for me to wear something this smart and I think it’s a shame about the pink in the heel cup – it’s not a colour I particularly like (and doesn’t match my favourite red shorts) but colour is a personal thing. The upper is coated with something called Gnarguard (really) which is designed to deflect mud and the like. I’m guessing that’s what makes them so shiny. Fastening is eased by a Boa dial, simple to use and works a treat. It’s is easy to adjust on the trail if you need to as well.
My first ride with these was in the Dales and a bit of route confusion meant that pushing up some hills was required. The shoes performed brilliantly. The stiffness is rated as 6/14 which I would say is fairly stiff with just enough flex to make walking comfortable. I also found out that day that the shoes do let water in but stay comfortable and dry out quickly enough.
They are the comfiest riding shoes I have worn, cut low enough not to interfere with your ankle or walking, and I get no heel lift or rubbing. At the Glentress 7 they sat happily on my feet for hours, and gave me no problems at all. The cleats are set quite deeply and clipping in is a little more difficult as I’m not used to this. This makes it tricky if you’ve stopped and need to clip in quickly for an obstacle ahead. I also wore them for the ‘Ard Rock Enduro and on that day, would have preferred some ankle protection and a little more grip on the rock when I was pushing. However, one pair of shoes can’t do everything perfectly.
Needless to say I’ve worn these for almost every ride since I got them, only choosing a different pair when it was raining. And they’re still shiny, a quick wipe-down when they get muddy is all that’s needed to keep them looking good. But would I spend £130 of my own cash on them? Despite the pink and the lack of waterproofing I would. And if Bontrager ever bring out any ladies waterproof boots I’ll be first in the queue.
Overall: the Rovvs are smart, robust, secure and flexible. Most importantly, they are very comfortable for both walking and riding and have proven themselves in varied conditions. In fact I like them so much I don’t care what colour they are. Recommended.
|Product:||Rovv Women's Mountain Shoe|
|Tested:||by Vic Alker for 5 Months|