Review: Specialized Rockhopper MTB shoes

Summary: 9/10 Superb shoes for the price, especially for tourists or commuters

Pros: look great, just like normal shoes off the bike, great value especially considering long lifetime

Cons: sole may not be stiff enough for some

Specialized Rockhopper MTB shoesWhen I got these shoes first, they looked something like what’s in that box to the left there. I used these shoes as my “everyday” shoes for about 2 years, but note that’s wearing them 4-6 days a week solid. I didn’t swap them out while at work (we have a relaxed dress code) and had no problems with the recessed cleat. I could tap it by choice on the ground, but normally I didn’t notice it when walking.

The pedals I used with this are double-sided cheap SPD clone WellGos, which worked just great. My plan was to wear out either the shoes or the pedals first, then upgrade both. It was a close call, but the shoes went first, just. The stitching/glue went between the leather upper and the bottom of the air vent section along the outside of the right shoe. I lived with a rip along there for 2-3 months, but eventually I started seeing a problem where the platform section of the shoe was coming apart from the sole rubber (yeah I really wore these to the limit).

I swapped the pedals out for Egg Beaters, and after chucking a $40 pair of Decathlon Rockrider cr@ppy shoes, I splashed out real money on some sh!t hot Specialized Comp Carbon MTB 06’s based on the performace of the Rockhoppers.

A couple of things I loved about the Rockhoppers… they were great touring, I only needed 1 pair of shoes because they were fine to walk in with a bit of flex in the sole. They were great for commuting because they look just like a set of standard runners (or sneakers or running-shoes or whatever they’re called in your locale).After 2.5 years of hard use...

If I was a more hard core rider I’d be concerned with the lack of stiffness, that’s about the only negative. For my purposes they just kicked ass. I haven’t had normal shoes that lasted this long, so value for money is excellent. I’ll give them a 9/10 rating.

Since I stole their picture (tut tut), here’s a link to a merchant on ebay with some of these shoes in stock for USD $60. (Nope, unfortunately I don’t get commision!)

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