Fizik Vento Ferox reviews – MTB shoes – Shoes

The Fizik Vento Ferox shoes are designed for cross-country and gravel.

The shoes fit into the brand’s Vento running series, its premium line. Fizik says the Ferox is at home on “technical XC descents, fast cyclocross races or one-day gravel events.”

That’s a pretty wide range of riding disciplines and it would be awesome if Fizik made a comfortable yet stiff all-around bike.

The result? While these shoes are ideal for rides under three hours, they have unfortunately proven to be uncomfortable for longer durations.

Technical details of the Fizik Vento Ferox shoes

The shoes close via a Boa Li2 dial and Velcro strap.
Steve Sayers / Our media

The Ferox uses a laminated polyurethane upper supported by a rip-resistant woven mesh, which the brand claims is lightweight and breathable. There is a cat’s tongue material inside the shoe, which is effective in preventing any heel lift.

The shoe closes via a single Boa Li2 dial on the forefoot, with a large Velcro strap securing the upper part of the shoe (Fizik says it’s not a PowerStrap, which wraps around of the foot rather than just bringing the two sides of the shoe upper together, as he uses on some of his other shoes).

The Ferox uses Fizik’s X1 carbon outsole with a non-replaceable rubber tread that is rated a maximum of 10 in its arbitrary stiffness index, in line with the brand’s Infinito road shoes.

Despite the maximum stiffness index, the brand interestingly claims that the Ferox performs best when “high performance, foot stability and long-lasting comfort are needed most”.

The Vento Ferox sole does not lack rigidity.
Steve Sayers / Our media

Since the tread is not replaceable, I asked Fizik if they incorporated any features to ensure long-term durability.

Fizik responded that because the Ferox is designed as a running shoe, low weight and greater sole stiffness are higher priorities. However, the brand made a point of specifying that the tread was designed “to last a long time”.

The shoes tested are lilac and white. This version is quite loud and if, like me, you don’t have a suitable color kit or matching bike, a more discreet black-on-black option is also available. A post-launch “Mud/Grape” colorway was recently announced.

Fizik says the shoe weighs 297g in a size 42. I weighed my size 45 sample at 383g, including the Shimano SPD cleats.

Fizik Vento Ferox shoes test conditions

The shoes have been tested with a variety of bikes and conditions.
Markus Gerber/Canyon

I tested the Fizik Vento Ferox shoes in a variety of conditions on a variety of bikes.

The shoes were tested primarily on a Niner RLT 9 RDO gravel bike on a mix of shorter night rides, up to four-plus-hour jaunts and a seven-hour epic.

They were also tested at the launch of the Canyon Lux World Cup cross-country bike for two days in Germany.

I thought I would push the limits of these shoes and also try them on a mountain bike tour in the Surrey hills.

Conditions ranged from scorching 31 degrees in Germany to the aforementioned hike in Surrey, which was predictably rainy, and featured trails such as “Yoghurt Pots” and “Otter’s Pocket”, both of which more than lived up to their names. .

The shoes were tested with Shimano XT M8000 pedals.

Fizik Vento Shoes Ferox

Gone are the super narrow Fizik shoes of yesteryear.
Steve Sayers / Our media

My feet are reasonably wide and I tend to take a size 45 in most brands, dropping to 45.5/46 for Sidi.

This is my first time riding Fizik shoes and I was initially a little skeptical as the older models I tried were too narrow for me.

After consulting with Fizik, I opted for a size 45. The Ferox fits my feet much better than the old Fizik shoes because they are much wider. The toe box is particularly roomy with a narrower heel cup to lock your feet in place.

Fizik offers a specific wide fit in some shoes, but not the Ferox.

Unlike Stan Portus’ experience when reviewing the Terra Atlas, I didn’t experience any heel slippage with the cat’s tongue material and felt the sizing was just right.

As with all cycling shoes, sizing and fit will, to some extent, depend on your foot shape and personal preference. For this reason, trying on shoes for size before committing to a purchase can be very helpful.

Performance of the Fizik Vento Ferox shoes

The upper was nice and breathable.
Steve Sayers / Our media

The Vento Ferox was overall mixed in its performance.

I first tried to replicate the cleat position of my other off-road shoes as closely as possible and got the left side spot on, but had trouble with hot spots on my foot straight on the first two outings.

I slowly moved the cleats back on the right shoe and after a few rides got it to a sweet spot where the problem was alleviated. However, the consequence of this was toe overlap on the Niner, which I haven’t experienced with other shoes.

The shoes also took a good five or six rides to break in, but even after that I continued to find that they started to get uncomfortable on rides longer than three hours.

That said, with the exception of the toe overlap issue, the shoes were great on rides under three hours. They were surprisingly comfortable on trail mountain biking, where you would typically opt for a more flexible sole given the extra vibrations transmitted through the pedals when negotiating technical terrain.

On the positive side, the ventilation is excellent, even at temperatures above thirty degrees. The closure system is also well thought out and I like that the Velcro strap sits above the Boa dial as it distributes pressure across your foot more evenly.

The Vento Ferox is expensive, although in line with its £299 rivals. The Rapha Explore Powerweave shoe is £280, but the Specialized S-Works Recon retails for £370 and the Sidi Jarin for £360.

The finish on my sample shows some wear.
Steve Sayers / Our media

A final gripe is that the lilac/white colorway is very difficult to clean and shows dirt easily.

It doesn’t help that it’s a matte finish, so if you want them to continue to look fresh, it’s best to use these shoes exclusively in dry conditions. One wonders if this is practical for an all-terrain shoe.

Bottom line of Fizik Vento Ferox shoes

The Vento Ferox shoes were uncomfortable on long rides.
Steve Sayers / Our media

The Fizik Vento Ferox shoes offer a mostly comfortable fit and are excellent for rides under three hours.

However, I regularly ride long distances off-road and participate in bikepacking events. These shoes wouldn’t be my first choice for my riding style as they got uncomfortable on rides longer than three hours.

I’ve yet to find a high-stiffness shoe that doesn’t compromise on performance, but is also luxuriously comfortable in cross-country and gravel racing scenarios and all-day epics. In my opinion, it’s one or the other.

Would the Ferox be better marketed as a cross-country shoe? In my opinion, no, because it doesn’t feel as stiff as some high-end XC-specific shoes on the market, such as the Specialized S-Works Recon.

As a race-focused shoe, the Vento Ferox is a great option, but it falls short on the all-day riding aspect.

However, as always, it’s important to note that cycling shoes are an incredibly personal choice and what works for one person may not work for another.

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