After trying and being very impressed with the Fizik Gravita flat shoe, Extra UK sent over the more gravity friendly Fizik Gravita Tensor for me to review.
Editors’ Choice 2021
This product features in our Singletrackworld Editors’ Choice 2021 round-up.
Andi: “I mentioned there were two shoes that impressed me this year, and the Fizik Gravita Tensor shoe is the second pair to really keep me from the default Five Ten setting. While the Crankbrothers Stamp has a more casual and I would say comfier design, Fizik offers a stiff pedalling platform and a more ‘racy’ feel. If I’m going for a fun ride session with berms and jumps in the woods, I’ll wear the Crankbrothers, but if I’m heading up the hill to hit long descents with equally long climbs then the Fiziks come out to play.
“The race-focused Fizik Gravita Tensor, and its standard Gravita sibling, boast a stiff and durable Vibram sole that offers predictable and consistent grip and traction on flat pedals. I can hit a rock section at full gas with the Fizik shoes and not worry about being bounced off the pedal, yet I never feel stuck to the pins and can easily pop a foot out for a dab if required.
“Fizik uses a thin ripstop material for the upper of its shoes. It doesn’t really offer any water resistance, but it is very comfortable, breathable and fast drying. The asymmetric lace design angles your loops away from your chainset, and a Velcro strap adds more support and a place to keep your laces tidy. Serious gravity riders will also appreciate the ample toe box and ankle protection.”
Fizik Gravita Tensor Flat Shoe – Design
Fizik lists the Gravita Tensor shoe in its downhill range of footwear, and while it might share a few design and technology highlights from the standard and more affordable Gravita, the Gravita Tensor is beefed up with ample armour and padding to keep your tootsies safe.
The big change to the Gravita Tensor is the large and heavily reinforced toe box. Whereas the toe box on the Gravita is also reinforced it’s really more to prevent the shoe from being damaged, the protection on the Gravita Tensor though is there to actually protect your toes too. The chunky protection wraps around the entire front of the shoe with extra material wrapping over where your large toes live. Fizik has bonded the protection in place, and the rubber has a chamfered edge where it meets the thin breathable upper so that it won’t easily snag and tear away.
Where the toe box ends, more reinforced material joins and wraps around the rest of the shoe. This material is more forgiving and really aimed at protecting the shoe material from damage, but the doubling up of the armour and shoe upper does add to the overall impressive protection.
You’ll also see a neoprene ‘sock’ sewn into the shoe. This pulls towards your ankle to stop dirt and debris from entering and is extended on the inside of the heel, closest to the chainset/crankarm. There is further padding enclosed in the ankle cover to prevent bruised bones.
The final enhancement is the velcro strap which combined with the lacing system keeps the Gravita Tensor shoe firmly in place. The velcro also gives you a place to stow lace loops out of the way, while the actual lace system is angled way to the outside of the shoe as we have seen on other Fizik models.
Much of the rest of the show is identical to the Gravita I already tested. The same thin, comfortable and fast-drying, ripstop material is used on the upper and provides ample breathability where the armour doesn’t cover it. The sole is also the same Vibram material with a chunky block tread pattern which happily locks pedal pins in place. Deeper tread at the toe and heel is there for hike-a-bike situations, great in the dry but it doesn’t offer much more traction when the trails get damp.
Fizik Gravita Tensor Flat Shoe – Fit
I tend to wear a 275mm shoe, and I tend to use Asian style sizing as it gives me a more accurate sizing. In EU sizing this is usually a 43, but in Fizik’s sizing a 43 is 277mm. Yeah, not much in it at all, but actually wearing them they do feel ever so slightly big. I wasn’t able to try a 42.5 but if you’re in a shop do try half a size smaller to make sure you get the perfect length.
Obviously, size is more than just the length of your foot, but also the width. I have slightly wider feet, and in the standard Gravita I felt the shoe was instantly comfortable, however, the extra padding on protection on the Gravia Tensor did mean it took a little longer to gel with the fit.
I feel they have stretched a little now, but now and then I will feel a pinch across the ball of the foot right where all that protection is. Adjusting the laces doesn’t make a difference to it either. It’s not a deal-breaker, but do try before you buy.
Fizik Gravita Tensor Flat Shoe – On the trail
I thought the standard Gravita was a great shoe, but this is even better! The extra protection around the upper might make for a slightly tighter fit, at least for me, but the additional support and confidence it offers is well worth having, especially on technical rocky trails.
I’m not sure that the stiffness of the sole has changed on the Tensor model but with the extra padding, and the addition of the velcro strap, I do feel that this is a better pedalling shoe, and is much more efficient on long climbs.
In terms of on pedal grip and traction, I can just repeat what I said about the Gravita. These are one of the best flat pedal shoes I’ve ever ridden. Pedal pins easily lock in place between the large tread knobs, and I never feel I’m being bounced off the flats as I hit fast chunky terrain.
What I would like to see
- As mentioned, I found the shoe slightly long but also a little narrow. Everyone has different feet, but just be aware of this.
What I loved
- Tons of on pedal traction, very secure in rough terrain.
- Great all-around protection.
- Fast-drying and breathable.
Another outstanding pair of shoes from Fizik. If you’re a racer, or you ride in rocky and challenging terrain do your feet a favour and pick up a pair of Gravitas Tensors.
|Tested:||by Andi Sykes for 4 months|
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