Fizik Terra Artica X2 – Cosy Boots For Warm Dry Feet

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Beate braves the elements to put these Fizik Terra Artica winter boots to the test.

The perfect winter boot does not exist. Which means that I am engaged in an eternal search for warm, dry, feet through the cold, wet months of the year (which are as often August as they are December, to be honest). Lining up wet shoes stuffed with newspaper day after day gets a bit dispiriting (although not quite as dispiriting as putting wet shoes back on. Shudder.).

Clearly shoe companies are engaged in the same quest (otherwise they’d never bring out new models, right?). 

So when I was presented with a pair of Fizik Terra Artica X2s, I was pretty excited (and not at all put off by the Cinderella-esque conditional ‘if you can get these on, you can test them for us’.)

Fizik Terra Artica
Clean, new, waiting for the Calder Valley to do its worst.

Fizik TERRA ARTICA X2 Specification

  • Price: £270
  • From: Extra UK
  • X2 outsole – nylon shank, EVA midsole and Vibram tread, stiffness index 3
  • eVent waterproof/breathable membrane
  • BOA L6 dial & zippered ankle cuff
  • Weight: 438g (size 42- 1/2 pair)
  • Sizes 36 – 48
  • Black

For someone of the larger foot, they look nicely streamlined whilst also preserving a decent, rounded, profile that promised a roomy toe box. And in terms of ‘all weather protection’ they tick all the right ‘waterproof, breathable and insulated’ boxes with a fleece lined neoprene-type fabric cuff to deter water ingress that extends into the lining of the boot so that there are no opportunities for water to seep in through seams and closures.

Fizik Terra Artica
Not so new now

On The Foot (and Trail)

I sat down to try the Fizik Terra Artica on. Unzip the cuff and just slide your foot in? No such thing. Reassured (twice) that they were most definitely my size I wriggled my toes and twisted my foot for several minutes, inching them through the cuff and into the boot proper with little faith that they would actually fit even if I could contort my way into them. However, once I was through the (bottle) neck, much to my surprise, my feet expanded into a snug, comfortable boot, true to size and slightly padded on the interior with much more room than the struggle to put them on belied.

The struggle is real – but worth it

So comfortable that I rode about 500 miles in them earlier this year. After a few goes I have got the time to put the boots on down – they’re still not exactly slip-ons though. However, they’ve been a really genial boot for my feet – accommodating a wide forefoot with plenty of toe space, supporting a low arch and fitting securely round the heel and in to a fairly narrow ankle. They conform to my foot well, enabling a good feeling of power transfer and feedback from the pedals (as far as it goes with SPDs).

Fizik Terra Artica

Although putting them on is a considerable undertaking, they have, so far, been the nearest thing to a truly waterproof boot I have tried. The snug fitting cuff at the ankle, whilst making them unsuitable for tri-athletes or anyone else in a raring hurry, means that water has to try quite hard to find its way in. Knee deep in a raging torrent will do it – but the normal puddles and even extraordinary raininess of the Calder Valley has created a vague dampness rather than ‘water sloshing around on every pedal stroke’ that is the more normal state of affairs.

They’re also suitable for when the muddy trails we have been riding become unrideable – Vibram soles with decent tread mean that the muddy slog or rocky scramble can be accomplished without unnecessary slither. They’re stiff enough, and not the detriment of being able to walk comfortably.

Fizik Terra Artica
Enough grip for walking
Fizik Terra Artica
Be sure to show the zips some TLC

The cuff, however, does have other drawbacks. Mud is unkind to zips and keeping it out of the cuff zips and cleaning them when it gets in is a battle. If I remember to tuck my tights or leg warmers over the top it helps even the odds.

Apart from that they’re a tough pair of boots that have withstood the end of winter and a wet summer with minimal wear. The eVent waterproof/breathable membrane has proved resistant to tearing and has cleaned up fine. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the BOA dial system, it’s worked well on these boots (perhaps they are not under massive strain as the fit is good to start with so they’re just cinching the boot a few mm to perfect conformity).

Overall

Winter boots are expensive and these are about as expensive as they come. The narrow cuff means that they won’t be for everybody. But it’s worth struggling with if you are one of the knights of the holy grail, on the perpetual quest for winter riding attire that means you can ride and retain dry(ish) socks and the circulation in your feet. If the Fizik Terra Artica fit you well, they are worth the investment.

Review Info

Brand: Fizik
Product: Artic Terra X2 Boots
From: Extra UK
Price: £270
Tested: by Beate Kubitz for
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Comments (7)

    For one brief moment I thought at last there might be a pair of flat sole winter boots that actually keep winter weather out. Scrolled down and no, these are SPDs.
    Didn’t bother reading on.

    Desperately need new foul weather boots. But need a job more desperately. Sadly I can’t see me raising enough cash in time for winter this year, especially for the price of these. Steep!

    Warm waterproof mtb shoes – yes….SPD’s – noooo. Nothing to see here.

    First time poster so please be gentle! I have been searching for waterproof flat shoes for a while then came across these: Vaude AM Moab Mid STX. They’re a sort of mid high boot and so far (two wet rides) I am happy. They don’t have an ankle collar so they won’t keep everything out, but that jet spray as you go through a puddle at speed is largely shrugged off. And at £125 they’re reasonably priced. Add to that Vaude seem to be quite environmentally sustainable in their approach. Take a look, that’s my advice.

    They wont be wanting to sell many of those at that price . I am looking for something to replace my Shimano winter boots, but for the money, it wont be these. Not had an issue with SPD boots for the last ten years.

    I too bought the Vaude AM Moab’s and am pleased so far. I suffer with bad circulation so winter’s, no matter how mild, are misery for my hands and feet.
    First impressions from a cold, wet ride on Saturday are positive. And amazing value compared to these boots ho ho ho.

    £270.00 are you Bobby Moore. There is clearly a middle class MTB tax at play here. You can get a pair of high end Scarpa mountaineering boots for a hell of a lot less than this. Sorry folks its all gone a bit boutique for me.

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