Posted by Miles Arbour
Bontrager’s new GR2 Gravel Shoe is a gravel-specific, SPD-compatible cycling shoe designed for tackling a wide range of terrain and conditions with “efficiency and ease.” The GR2 shoe is built around a synthetic leather upper, a lace-up closure, and a slightly roomier, performance-minded fit. I was lucky enough to get a pair a few days before their release, and have pieced together my first impressions and details on Bontrager’s new shoe here.
For those already wearing Bontrager shoes, the GR2 Gravel Shoe shares some resemblance with the Foray, minus the velcro and BOA closure. Both shoes use Bontrager’s inForm Race last, a fairly aggressive tread, and a GnarGuard rubberized coating on both the heel and toe box. Bontrager’s nylon composite bronze-series sole is meant to be stiff, yet walkable (a stiffness index of 6 of 14). The rubber tread appears to be decently aggressive, appropriate for both gravel, mountain biking, and some inevitable walking, while the reinforced toe and heel caps help to protect against normal abrasion.
They are decently lightweight (418g for size 42) considering how aggressive the tread is, and the sole has a considerable amount of flex that should make hiking and walking comfortable. Secondly, the synthetic leather upper is thin, with minimal padding and plenty of vent holes, which means breathability should be very good. My initial reaction is that the GR2 Gravel Shoe is best suited for warm, dry weather riding. Little touches like the elastic lace keeper and the rear locker loops for quick drying are nice to see, and I’m quite fond of the Old Style Gold colour way. I’m eager to log some more rides in these shoes to see how they hold up, as durability is just as important to me as overall comfort.
The Bontrager GR2 Gravel Shoe is also available in black, retails for $139.99 USD, and comes in US mens sizes 3.5 to 14.5 (36-48 EU). These are just my first impressions, stay tuned for a more detailed review after some gravel riding and bikepacking this spring. Head over to TrekBikes.com or visit your local dealer to order yours today.