Have the Fi’zi:k Gravita Versor flat shoes knocked Andi’s current favourite flat pedal show off their podium?
There is a lot to be unhappy about in the world, but I like to try and find a little happiness no matter how small and insignificant it might be. So while we’re still in the grips of a Pandemic, and bikes are in short supply I can still happily say “what a great time it is for mountain bike shoes!”. Yeah, hardly world-changing, but I believe it is true that there are more excellent mountain bike shoes on the market today than there ever were.
As a flat pedal rider, I believe that this statement is even more accurate, and the industry has moved on significantly in recent years. I’d even go as far as stating that 5:10 are no longer the pinnacle in flat shoe design with many rivals matching and surpassing the Stealth grip equipped footwear.
In fact, it was earlier this year that I positively gushed over the new Crankbrothers flat pedal range. A shoe so comfortable and grippy that I honestly thought nothing could beat them!
Enter the Fi’zi:k Gravitas Versor Flat Shoe
But what I thought impossible may have happened, with the release of the Fi’zi:k Gravitas Versor flat shoe. Fi’zi:k markets the Gravitas Versor flat shoe at riders who enjoy gravity-assisted riding, but I’ve worn them for longer days in the saddle plus big mountain rides in the Lake District without a single thought for them. They’re so comfortable out of the box that I wore them for a 4-hour ride, then drove home in them (something I’m not usually comfortable doing in riding shoes) and in fact totally forgot I was wearing them until my wife asked how the new shoes were (forgot which shoes I was wearing, not that I forgot I was wearing shoes).
The Versor Flat uses a simple lace-up system that is angled way from the chainset and toward the outside of the bike. This has the added benefit of naturally keeping your laces further way from chains and chainrings, but is really intended to offer an ergonomic cradle for your foot to sit in.
Fi’zi:k has manufactured the outer of the Versor using a woven ripstop material that is resistant to tearing and ripping. The nature of the material also assists with breathability but does mean that it’s not a waterproof shoe and you’ll be better off wearing them with a waterproof sock for winter riding. That said they do dry quickly thanks to the material and lightweight design.
Around the lace hoes, around the toe and sides and on the heel there is a laminated PU covering for added durability and further reinforcement is found in the toe to protect against rock and stump strikes. The PU coating covers around 3/4 of the lower portion of the upper with full protection on the inside of the shoe where you might experience wear from the crank arms.
The material choice and construction of the Fi’zi:k Versor offers the shoe a modern, technical look and feel and creates a lightweight shoe that holds its shape much better than a bulky, overly padded 5:10 Freerider does.
A Vibram branded Megagrip rubber compound is used for the sole of the Versor providing plenty of traction and mechanical grip on pedal pins. The design of the sole uses a low-profile tread pattern across the midsole with a pattern made of equally spaced tread circles. The very sides of the tread is closed off creating a lip to help prevent your feet from slipping sideways off a pedal. As we’ve seen on other flat shoes, the Versor tread is adapted at the heel and toe for improved traction when hiking with the bike.
Internally there isn’t much to see other than a flat tongue with lace retention and a removable EVA midsole for shock absorption and comfort.
Fi’zi:k Gravita Versor Flat Shoe – Comfort and Grip
Comfort is truly excellent. Fi’zi:k’s design team has excelled themselves and produced a properly lightweight, comfortable and breathable shoe. Whereas some shoes can take a ride or two to bed in before feeling right, the Versor is immediately comfortable.
Fi’zi:k states that the Versor has an outsole stiffness index of 2. I’ve not tried other Fi’zi:k shoes so I don’t know how stiff they get, but compared to many other shoes these are quite flexible. A sole with a lot of flex can sometimes lead to an uncomfortable or inefficient pedal feel, but this is not the case here. As they are designed for downhill and enduro the shoe offers the flexibility required for a great pedal feel and achieving maximum grip, but not at the expense of pedalling comfort. No, they aren’t as efficient to pedal in as an SPD XC race shoe, nor should they be, but for their intended purpose and my style of riding, they are excellent in every aspect.
The level of traction and grip on offer has not once been a concern and like the Crankbrothers Stamp, these offer exceptional traction even when riding a hardtail through rock gardens.
In terms of sizing, I generally go off the mm or Asian sizing of a shoe and tend to be happy around a 275mm for a riding shoe. For casual shoes, I buy a 43. The Fi’zi:k size 43 fits me well, which is measured at 277mm, so I would say a true to size fit.
Fi’zi:k Gravita Versor Flat Shoe – Durability
My local trails are rocky and loose and so far the Versor has survived with just a few minor marks here and there. Even the outsole is wearing well as pedal pins tend to be sitting between the tread blocks rather than on them.
“But Andi we can clearly see some wear on the right shoe inner heel! How can you say they are durable?”. Well, this isn’t a fault of the shoe this is my odd stance while riding, and all of my shoes tend to wear quicker here than elsewhere. I’m right-handed but feel more comfortable with my left foot forward causing my right heel to run on the chainstay of any bike I ride. I have goofy feet, what can I say?
Fi’zi:k Gravita Versor Flat Show – Overall
It’s clear that I like this shoe, I like them so much that I haven’t worn my Crankbrothers shoes much since the first time I put these on, and that’s pretty huge because I love the Crankbrothers shoe too.
I think it’s mostly the fact the Fi’zi:k is such a lightweight shoe that I like them so much, I really can’t place my finger on one aspect because as a package they are excellent.
“So why aren’t you giving them a Singletrack Editors Choice?” (Jeez you guys ask a lot of questions…) There are 2 reasons why I haven’t. 1) I still really like the Crankbrothers Stamp shoe and I can’t quite rate one over the other. 2) It’s only June and I’ve tested 2 truly amazing shoes, how can I not be sure more great shoes aren’t on the horizon? Like I said; “what a great time it is for mountain bike shoes!”.
|Tested:||by Andi Sykes for 8 weeks|
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Heel rub is a normal occurrence since boost spacing. Shoes should be able to deal with that.
Do they come up wide or narrow?