Fizik Goes Gravity with Versor and Tensor Shoes – first ride review

by and 6

Fizik has gradually built up its shoe range, starting with road, then heading through XC, trail and gravel – not forgetting winter boots – and now onto Gravity riding. The new Gravita Versor and Tensor are Fizik’s response to the quest for the perfect Downhill shoe. Let’s take a closer look.

There are two shoes in the Gravita gravity range: the Versor and the Tensor. Both models are available as either a flat or clipless shoe. The Tensor is a racing shoe, aimed at performing in the rough and tumble (or hopefully not tumble) of the World Cup Downhill or EWS circuit. The Versor is designed to be a little more suitable for the casual rider – still with a gravity focus, but not so pricey as the race shoe.

All the shoes were created through what Fizik calls the ‘Fizik Concepts’ process. Here they bring in people from outside the company to try and bring a fresh perspective to the product design, to try and break away from the bonds of tradition. Instead of taking existing shoes and asking how they can be improved, they looked at racing and asked what demands today’s race courses place on shoes – and feet. With input from Unno’s Cesar Rojo and former World Cup racer Bernat Guadia, it was decided that the primary consideration was grip, with a secondary focus on protection. Comfort, performance and weight were next down the list of priorities, with longevity and water management just behind them.

Blue sky thinking done, they came up with the first designs, based around a standard size 42 last, but also around a size 46 so Bernat could try them out. About six iterations were made of these initial samples, before progressing to Fizik’s pool of field testers, and then pro riders – some of whom spent the end of season races in 2020 racing in these shoes, under the radar. This testing process goes as far as testing the shoes in all sizes and making sure that every colour finish has also been given field testing – just in case a specific dye doesn’t prove as durable as another.

So after all that imagineering and creativity, what have they come up with? Well…some quite normal looking shoes. They’d certainly not leap out at you in a line up of current gravity shoes as offering up anything revolutionary or ground breaking, but perhaps there is the right mix of finishing touches to catch your attention.

Fizik Gravita

Both the flats and clips have the same upper shoe construction, and the RipStop fabric is used across the Versor and Tensor. The soles are the same across the Versor and Tensor (though obviously different between the clips and flats), so it’s in the upper construction that the distinction is drawn between the race shoe and the more casual Versor.

Fizik Gravita

Going back to that list of priorities identified in the design process, the grip comes from the sole and Fizik partnered with Vibram to improve the sole to both companies’ benefits. The clipless sole is a little less sticky than the flat sole in order to allow clipping in and out without sticking to your pedal platform, and the cleat track goes back into the foot so that you can get a good rearward placement of cleats. The cleat track is also offset to one side of the shoe so that your rubbery soles don’t rub your cranks.

Often a shoe will be designed on a standard size 42 last then scaled up or down for the other sizes – this means that then pin placement in relation to the tread doesn’t end up consistent across sizes. On these shoes, both the clipless and flats, the spotty tread pattern has been designed specifically for each shoe size to allow optimal placement of the pins between the spots. At the toe and heel the tread is a little deeper for grip off the bike.

To give protection, the shoe has an injection moulded rubber toe and rubber laminate around the heel – protecting both the shoe and the foot inside. For the foot inside, there’s also protection from an Aeroprene liner within the shoe – this gives a nod to that low down priority of ‘water management’ in that it doesn’t hold or absorb water, meaning the shoes will dry quickly. The race focused Tensor comes with a built up heel cuff with extra protection for the ankle bone, but this is absent from the Versor (apparently your average trail rider doesn’t need this, the clumsy among us might have ankles that would disagree).

Fizik Gravita

Performance is however more of an issue for the racer, and with an emphasis on explosive power in race settings – out of the start ramp, on flat sections, or across the finish lines – the shoes are designed to transfer power into your pedals. The Tensor is equipped with a ‘power strap’ to help hold your foot in place, and the outsoles are designed to be stiff enough not to waste any power – although the flat shoes have enough flex for you to wrap your feet round the pedals a bit for grip.

Does all that add up to a shoe that performs? Our DH ‘racer’ George Thompson has some first ride impressions of the Versor, in its clipless guise. Singletrack World Members can read his thoughts below.

Fizik Versor First Ride Review

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TENSOR Specifications

Clipless

  • Ripstop fabric + TPU reinforced upper
  • Laces + instep velcro closure
  • X6 outsole – nylon shank, EVA midsole, Vibram® Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 5
  • Weight: 410 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • Intended use – downhill, enduro
  • Colours – Black/Black, Grey/Aqua Marine, Red/Black
  • £174.99 / €179 / $179.99

Flat

  • Ripstop fabric + TPU reinforced upper
  • Laces + instep velcro closure
  • X6 outsole – EVA midsole, Vibram® Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 2
  • Weight: 310 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • Colours – Black/Black, Grey/Aqua Marine, Red/Black
  • £164.99 / €169 / $169.99

VERSOR Specifications

Clipless

  • Ripstop fabric upper
  • Laces closure
  • X6 outsole – nylon shank, EVA midsole, Vibram® Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 5
  • Weight: 355 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • Colours – Black/Black, Black/Purple, Grey/Mud
  • £129.99 / €139 / $149.99

Flat

  • Ripstop fabric upper
  • Laces closure
  • X6 outsole – EVA midsole, Vibram® Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 2
  • Weight: 270 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • Colours – Black/Black, Black/Purple, Grey/Mud
  • £124.99 / €129 / $139.99

The shoes are available from Fizik dealers and UK distributor Extra UK.

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