Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Shoes Review
Fizik added two new GORE-TEX-equipped shoes to their Terra all-terrain lineup this fall, both featuring grippy Vibram soles, lace-up closures, and a versatile flat or clipless outsole. We’ve been testing out a special collaborative version from PEdALED that launches today to see how they hold up to wet-weather riding in the Pacific Northwest. Find Miles’ Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Shoes review here…
I practically lived in the Terra Clima X2 Shoes in 2019 and rode 2,000 kilometers around Australia in the Terra Ergolace X2 Flat Shoes earlier this year, so I’m quite familiar with Fizik’s Terra range. Although they’re designed for different conditions, both shoes are light, comfortable, and great for off-bike exploration. I also appreciate the Fizik Terra lineup’s overall aesthetic, which usually leans heavily into earth tones. It’s a substantial collection, with everything from stiff, clipless gravel shoes to insulated winter shoes, but an all-terrain waterproof option for those who appreciate a slightly more relaxed fit has been missing. That’s where the Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX shoes come in.
Fizik announced their new Terra Ergolace GTX shoes earlier this fall, which fit somewhere between their new insulated/waterproof Terra Nanuq GTX and the lightweight Terra Ergolace X2 I already reviewed. All three models are offered in clipless and flat versions, which isn’t common, and most come in a few color options. The Terra Ergolace GTX takes the low-profile, all-terrain design of the Ergolace X2 and adds the benefits of a waterproof-breathable GORE-TEX membrane for all-weather pedaling.
Aside from the addition of a GORE-TEX membrane and its clipless design, the Ergolace GTX is nearly identical to the Ergolace X2 I’ve been using. The upper is made from the same ripstop material, there are slotted perforations on the sides for air ventilation, and PU-laminated reinforcements help protect the toe box and sides. They have an EVA midsole, a Vibram sole with bi-directional lugs, a simple lace-up closure, and a low-profile design that looks more like a light hiking shoe or sneaker than a bulky riding shoe.
PEdALED has been collaborating with Fizik on special versions of their shoes for years now, and this special edition of the Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Shoes is the latest in a long line of cooperative releases. They share all the same specs as Fizik’s standard version but come in a different colorway that you’ll likely either love or steer clear of.
Fit and Feel
As expected, the GTX version of the Terra Ergolace fits exactly like the flat version I tested. Mostly notable is their narrow toe box and slim fit, which forced me to size up to a 45.5 even though I normally wear a 44-45. A friend of mine recently picked up the clipless Ergolace shoes and is regretting not sizing up. Consider yourself warned. With the right size, however, I find them to be quite comfortable and light on the feet. The curved lace-up closure does a good job at hugging the entire foot, holding it tight, and providing some ability to tweak the fit depending on your foot shape and preferences.
A single shoe with cleat installed weighs in at 451 grams, which is 60 grams heavier than the non-clipless/non-waterproof version but still on the lighter side for a waterproof clipless riding shoe. The weight, or lack thereof, translates over to a natural feeling shoe that’s neither bulky nor cumbersome. When sized correctly, I was able to fit in a thick wool sock with the laces loosened slightly or my usual thin wool riding socks with laces cinched down, making them a great shoulder-season shoe. I was curious to see how their low-profile shape would handle some serious rain, which we’ve had a lot of over the last few weeks here in coastal British Columbia.
In The Rain
Part of what makes the Terra Ergolace lineup so attractive is its low-profile shapes, but I wasn’t sure the low-cut ankle and GORE-TEX liner would pair nicely together. For the most part, I was right. As you might expect, it doesn’t take much for water to enter the opening of the shoe. Heavy rain or a mistimed pedal stroke through a deep puddle meant a wet foot every time, and I experienced this over and over again during soggy rides. To be fair, I don’t think waterproof low-cut shoes ever make much sense in serious rain. Unless they have an integrated gaiter, as found on some offerings from 45NRTH or Five Ten, you’ll almost certainly need to pair them with a waterproof gaiter of some sort.
Ingress was minimal with careful pedal strokes and proper rain pants in light to moderately heavy rain, but it was still on my mind. On the non GORE-TEX version, I loved having a low ankle and a partially detached tongue for ventilation and to air things out at camp, but, unfortunately, I don’t think these are great qualities for a waterproof shoe if you’re expecting to wear them in serious rain. When they got soaked through from the inside, I noticed they were slow to dry out, even when propped up in front of a forced-air heating vent at home.
I think where the Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Shoes really shine is in light rain and cooler shoulder season conditions when you want a little protection against the elements and, more importantly, a slightly warmer shoe. Riding in temperatures around 10°C (50°F) felt great. The GORE-TEX liner offered a slight boost in insulation, protected my feet from mucky trails and light rain, and still reminded me of my comfortable Ergolace X2 flats, albeit with a stiffer, more stable sole.
According to Fizik’s stiffness scale, they are one level stiffer than the Ergolace X2, and it’s a pretty significant difference. Where the non-clipless Ergolace X2 flats fell short for more rowdy riding, the clipless Ergolace GTX version (and presumably the clipless Ergolace X2 shoe as well) offer much more control and stability on the pedals without feeling too stiff to ride in all day. They hit a nice middle ground for on-bike stability and off-the-bike walkability, but they are still a clipless shoe, so they won’t beat out non-clipless options if you’re looking for something that’s expressly comfortable for getting around on foot.
- GORE-TEX liner protects foot from rain, cooler conditions, and mud/dust
- Lace-up closure is adaptable, and the detached tongue opens wide open to air out at camp
- Lightweight and low-profile
- Vibram sole and fairly chunky tread grip well
- Available as a flat, non-clipless, version
- Low ankle and shallow opening allow easy access for the elements
- Interior is slow to dry out if they get soaked
- Big GORE-TEX branding and color combo won’t be for everyone (check out Fizik’s standard color options for more subdued look)
- Material: Vibram tread, Ripstop Upper
- Weight: 451 grams per shoe w/ cleat installed (size 45.5)
- Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
- Price: $210-$220 USD
- Manufacturer’s Details: Pedaled.com or Fizik.com
The Fizik Terra Ergolace collection has a lot to offer to bikepackers. From their grippy Vibram sole for off-bike adventures to their adaptable lace-up closure and lightweight overall design, they check many essential boxes. The original flat shoes proved their worth for Emily and me on a 2,000-kilometer bikepacking trip in Australia earlier this year and continue to hold up.
The new Fizik Terra Ergolace GTX Shoes deserve similar praise. The stiffer, clipless sole has been better suited to mountain biking than the flat model, they’re still lightweight and comfortable on long rides, and the lace-up closure makes me never want to deal with a BOA dial again. In theory, the GORE-TEX liner is a nice addition and an obvious next step for the Terra Ergolace lineup, but in practice, it’s not the foul-weather shoe I’d reach for when seriously wet weather is in the forecast. Unless you’re pairing the shoe with a proper waterproof gaiter, I think they are best suited for cooler shoulder season days or mucky weather where some extra protection from the elements is needed. As long as you’re aware of their limitations, I see them as a solid option for bikepacking.
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