The FLR F-70 Knit is a world-class offering with excellent performance and value that makes you question whether it’s worth paying any more.
Having spent over 30 years riding every variation of the SPD, my checklist for a modern mountain bike shoe is extensive; they need to be stiff, light and stylish while providing the same support and comfort as my favorite pair of sneakers.
| WORDS: Gary Barnard | IMAGES: Gary Perkin | LOCATION: Missing Link Trail, Cape Town |
The F70 Knit features the brand’s Pro last and fit with a triple layer nylon yarn upper designed to hold the foot securely without creating any pinch points. The seamless construct nylon knit is designed to aid ventilation and assist with cooling.
|| Sizes: 38 to 47|
|| Pro fit|
|| Knit ventilated fabric upper|
|| Reinforced heel and toe|
|| Removable toe spikes|
|| Atop dial closure system|
|| Full length arch support|
|| Injected fiberglass outsole|
|| Reflective elements on the heel|
|| 380g each|
|| R1900 (price varies according to stockist)|
|| Available: Cyclelab, CWC, Bike Addict and others|
A single Atop dial system – which is similar to the BOA dial – fastens the F-70’s. The tongue is padded, perforated and broad enough to wrap across the top of the foot. There is no shortage of ventilation across the top of the shoe.
The heel, toe and sides of the sole feature large rubber bumpers to aid traction when walking or dabbing on the trail. The heel and toe area is reinforced for protection and the overall construction is top-notch. The shoes have a very premium look and feel. Removable toe lugs (or spikes) are supplied and when fitted provide extra traction when walking in muddy or slick conditions. The arch area also features traction boosting details. Heel coverage is quite high up the back of the foot and FLR have placed a few reflective elements on the rear of the shoe which is a nice safety feature.
I have been on a quest for the ultimate mountain bike shoe for many years. I’d like the shoe to handle a water crossing in a stage race by draining well and drying quickly. I’d like the shoe to be really quick to put on as I’m generally in a hurry and hustling to get out and ride. I’d like to have a flexible upper that gives good support without any needling or pressure points. Naturally, hot spots are a non-starter, and I’d like the shoe to maintain comfort levels even after several hours on the trails.
For this review, I spent over a month riding the shoes. I hit up some big backcountry loops in Banhoek outside of Stellenbosch, rode my local singletrack loops, did some commuting and even used them in the SRAM Superflow Enduro.
The FLR knit’s have been an absolute pleasure to ride in. The shoe design is practical, the look is stylish and the closure system is effective. The comfort levels are of the highest I have ever used and interestingly despite all the ventilation, my toes were not noticeably colder on chilly morning rides than with other shoes. I didn’t ride the sani2c race this year but the drainage properties of these FLR’s would have been a big benefit to me in last year’s rain-soaked event. I did get caught in the Cape rain on a few rides and can confirm the shoes drain and dry quickly.
VERDICT: | The FLR’s have not disappointed one bit. They check every one of the items in my ‘ultimate shoe’ list. They are a great pair of shoes that I would happily use on my cross-country, marathon or gravel riding excursions. The only shocking thing about them was the price! – They honestly outperformed shoes I have used that easily cost three times as much.