Adidas The Gravel Cycling Shoe review: Adidas has recently launched the Gravel Cycling Shoe, which is inspired by the design of their Road Shoe. The shoe features a two-bolt cleat box, a sole that is comfortable to walk in, and an ankle cuff to prevent stones from entering. The design of the shoe takes into consideration both the functional and fashion needs of modern gravel riders. Choosing the best gravel bike shoes is important, and Adidas has addressed this by providing a shoe that is both practical and stylish.
ADIDAS THE GRAVEL CYCLING SHOE: CONSTRUCTION
The upper of the Gravel Cycling Shoe is constructed from lightweight ripstop fabric that consists of a single piece. Adidas has taken a step towards sustainability by using 50% recycled materials in the shoe’s upper. The ankle-cuff is made of a thicker and more flexible knitted fabric, which Adidas refers to as an “inner sock.” It is only present around the top of the shoe rather than being a complete internal lining.
The Gravel Cycling Shoe features a synthetic sole with a two-bolt cleat mounting system that is flexible enough to walk in. The sole also includes TPU “pods” on the heel and forefoot to provide extra grip when walking, which are similar to those found on 1990s astro-turf football boots.
The Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe features a lace closure and slightly elasticated cuff-top. The shoe is available in a range of colors including the stereotypical gravel khaki, full football boot black, fluro pink, and white. However, at the time of the review, the coral and lilac colorway of the shoe was not available.
ADIDAS THE GRAVEL CYCLING SHOE: THE RIDE
The sizing and fit of the Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe was as expected for a UK 7 / EU 42 foot. Adidas provides a sizing chart on its website that takes foot length into account, which is helpful in determining the right size. The shoes weighed 23.5oz / 670g, according to our scales.
The shoes have a good range of eyelets, providing plenty of adjustment options for different foot sizes and shapes. However, the laces are quite long, causing them to flap around even when using the tongue loops. The moderate stiffness of the sole and fabric upper allows for ample toe wiggling, making the shoes comfortable for longer rides.
The Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe’s ankle cuff is designed to fit loosely around skinny ankles, with no noticeable gaps around the top. However, putting the shoes on can be a bit tricky due to the pull-tabs being anchored to the shoe itself rather than the top of the cuff, which makes it difficult to pull the cuff taut. In addition, the cuff can affect your choice of socks, as both length and color need to be considered. The reviewer admits that this has been a challenge, as they do not have a strong record in this area.
During the review period, the ‘ripstop’ upper material of the Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe proved to be more rugged than expected, but it may not hold up well over time. Although the toe has some reinforcement, it is not substantial enough to withstand rock kicks during hike-a-bike sections. Additionally, the material is not water-resistant, so riders may end up with soggy toes on wet rides.
The extrusions around the heel, forefoot, and toes of the Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe provide good traction when walking on hard packed ground. However, the design is not great at shedding mud and can quickly become clogged if you step in anything remotely damp. This can be problematic if you encounter mud or worse, like dog poo, on your ride.
Despite the humor, the issue of mud retention limits the usability of the Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe to premium gravel or dry conditions. If riders need to cross a muddy path or field occasionally, these shoes may not be suitable as the extrusions around the heel, forefoot, and toes hold a lot of mud and it packs in around the recessed cleat. This makes it difficult to clip in and clear the mud while riding, requiring extra time and effort to clean the soles.
ADIDAS THE GRAVEL CYCLING SHOE: VALUE AND CONCLUSION
The Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe is priced at $170 / £160, which is in the middle of the price range for gravel shoes. Other similarly priced gravel shoes have different features, such as the BOA fastenings on the Fizik Terra Atlas ($160 / £155) or the laces on the Giro Privateer ($170 / £140).
The Adidas Gravel Cycling Shoe is a fashionable shoe that is perfect for long, hot, dusty days and is best suited for use in dry and warm conditions. However, it is not suitable for muddy and less glamorous rides as the grip on the shoe retains mud, making it difficult to clip in and clear the soles. With a price tag of $170 / £160, it falls somewhere in the middle of gravel shoe pricing and offers features such as a lace closure and ankle cuff. Other similarly priced gravel shoes offer different features such as BOA fastenings or laces.
REASONS TO BUY
- +Comfort for all day rides and walking
- +High proportion of recycled materials
- +Gravel fashion points
REASONS TO AVOID
- -Not water-resistant
- -Sole retains mud
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