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fi'zi:k Tensor Flat Pedal Shoe

Vital Rating: (Very Good)
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Fizik Gravita Tensor (Red/Black)
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Fizik’s New Gravita Series Provides Fresh Take on MTB Shoes

Modern materials and distinct design for Fizik's first entry to the gravity MTB market.

Rating: Vital Review
Fizik’s New Gravita Series Provides Fresh Take on MTB Shoes

The brand that spells its name phonetically, fi’zi:k, is a staple of the road cycling market, but with the introduction of the all-new “Gravita” series of shoes, they are making a serious commitment to the MTB space. Developed from the ground up to “check all the boxes for competition-leading downhill and enduro MTB riders”, the Gravita series is comprised of the Tensor and Versor models, both available in either flat or clipless versions. Curious to see what Fizik might bring to the table in our little corner of the world, we’ve had the new shoes out for a few rides to form a first opinion.

Fizik Gravita Tensor Flat Highlights

Fizik Gravita Tensor Clipless Highlights

  • Ripstop fabric + TPU reinforcements upper
  • Laces + instep velcro closure
  • X6 outsole – EVA midsole, Vibram Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 2
  • Weight: 310 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • INTENDED USE: downhill, enduro
  • MSRP: $169.99USD / £164.99 GBP / €169 EUR
  • Ripstop fabric + TPU reinforcements upper
  • Laces + instep velcro closure
  • X6 outsole – nylon shank, EVA midsole, Vibram Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 5
  • Weight: 410 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • INTENDED USE: downhill, enduro
  • MSRP: $179.99 USD / £174.99 GBP / €179 EUR

Fizik Gravita Versor Flat Highlights

Fizik Gravita Versor Clipless Highlights

  • Ripstop fabric upper
  • Laces closure
  • X6 outsole – EVA midsole, Vibram Megagrip tread,
  • Outsole stiffness index 2
  • Weight: 270 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • INTENDED USE: downhill, enduro upper
  • MSRP: $139.99 USD / £124.99 GBP / €129 EUR
  • Ripstop fabric upper
  • Laces closure
  • X6 outsole – nylon shank, EVA midsole, Vibram Megagrip tread
  • Outsole stiffness index 5
  • Weight: 355 g
  • Sizes: 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
  • INTENDED USE: downhill, enduro
  • MSRP: $149.99 USD / £129.99 GBP / €139 EUR

Initial Impressions

When we first took delivery of the Tensor and Versor shoes, our first reaction was “OK, so Fizik have sent us their new XC shoes to test.” Both shoes feature a very slimmed-down profile and are constructed with modern materials – they certainly look nothing like a classic, skate-inspired MTB shoe. Yet the paperwork said these were made for enduro and DH riding, so what gives?

Tensor Flat
Versor Flat
Versor Clip

Starting out with the Tensor, the slim look hides some relatively serious protection features. The main material of the uppers is a thin yet strong ripstop fabric, reinforced with an injection molded TPU toe box and an anti-abrasion layer that reaches all the way around the lower part of the shoe. There’s a raised ankle cuff on the inside and a Velcro strap that serves both to stabilize the foot and keep the laces in check. The inner sleeve is all one piece, made from what looks like come kind of perforated neoprene material enclosed in light mesh. The lacing sits off to the side, which Fizik claims is a more ergonomically correct placement.

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The sole is made from Vibram’s MegaGrip rubber, which we’ve had good results with in previous testing of other brands’ shoes. On the flat pedal version it features a classic pattern of raised dots, which are slightly bigger and deeper in the toe and heel area to provide extra grip while hiking in loose terrain. The clipless version gets a shank for extra support and power transfer, while the flat pedal version makes do with just an EVA midsole. The cleat channel of the clipless shoe is long and allows for cleats to be placed further back than you would typically find on an XC shoe.

Tensor Flat
Versor Clip
Versor Clip
Versor Clip

Moving on to the Versor, things are slimmed down even further. This shoe was made to be a bit lighter and even less bulky than the Tensor, and as such it features lower levels of protection as well. The toebox is thinner, and the anti-abrasion patches do not reach all the way around the outside of the shoe.

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Instead of the full inner sleeve of the Tensor, the Versor makes do with a classic tongue under the laces, and while the inside cuff is slightly raised it does not reach all the way above the ankle like on the Tensor. There is no Velcro strap on the Versor, but a small rubber band that can be used to secure the laces has been added instead. The insole of both shoes is fairly flat, with a raised inner section for arch support.

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On The Trail

Slipping into the Tensor Flat for the first time, we found it comfortable and true to size. It has a fairly narrow profile, which does not leave a lot of room to the side of the foot, especially in the toe box area. Cinching down the laces and the Velcro strap creates a snug feeling around the whole foot, and although the cut of the outside cuff and the heel cup is very low, we never felt like the heel wanted to lift or anything like that.

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On the pedals, there are two sides to the story. The grip generated by the Vibram MegaGrip sole is very good, not quite as tenaciously sticky as the class leaders (Five Ten Stealth and Specialized SlipNot ST), but certainly a legit option and more than grippy enough for all kinds of riding. There is no shank on the flat pedal version, and the sole itself is fairly flexible, so you end up feeling quite a lot of what the pedal is doing underfoot. On the one hand, this does help promote better grip, and some people will undoubtedly like it like that, but on the other hand it creates more foot fatigue during longer runs. Overall, adding a small shank to this shoe feels like it would have been a congruent choice, given the performance-oriented nature of the rest of the construction.

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In terms of protection, the two-sided story continues. On the one hand the shoe feels very light on the foot, and without the bulkiness of a “traditional” MTB shoe, your foot feels a bit more naked. However, the protection is there in all the right places, so it’s mainly a question of padding in general. Ultimately, we feel like it would do the job, although for a shoe that is built for enduro and DH, a little extra might have been the right choice. If you feel like MTB shoes in general are overbuilt and too bulky, this is one to consider.

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Moving onto the Versor, the shoe feels even lighter and less restrictive on the foot. While it is actually a bit heavier than a Freerider Pro and only a few grams lighter than a Ride Concepts Hellion Elite for example, the lack of bulk makes it feel much more streamlined. Even without the Velcro strap, we still found that the Versor hugs your foot and creates a secure hold, with no lifting of the heel or any other fit-related issues. As with the Tensor, the profile is relatively narrow inside.

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On the pedals, the grip is very good, just like with the Tensor. Both of these shoes suffer from a bit of lack of arch support, which can be traced to the shape of the insole as well as the construction of the shoe in that area. It seems like the thin walls are great at creating tension around the foot, but less good at supporting a specific area when it is compressed. Looking from above, you can see the shoe flex a bit towards the inside as you put your weight on it.

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Just like with the Tensor Flat, we’d have loved to see a shank added to the Versor Flat. These shoes feel like the kind of shoes you grab when you know you’re going to be out for a long time and do lots of pedaling on the way up to some epic trails. A shank would have given them more support for long days out, and a sturdier feel under the foot when things get rowdy.

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We have mainly been testing the flat versions of these new shoes so far, with only one short ride in the clipless version. Our clipless tester reports some of the same issues with arch support, but needs more time testing to deliver a more in-depth verdict.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

We’re seeing significant growth in the MTB shoe market right now, and the bar has been set pretty high when it comes to performance. Fizik has thrown its hat in the right with 2 new shoes that hold a lot of promise. The flat pedal versions deliver good grip on the pedals, which is a great place to start from. The rest of the shoe presents some very interesting features and a design that is a departure from the skate shoe norm. Our initial impression is that the flat pedal versions may lack a little support in the soles, which drops the score a bit, but the Tensor and Versor remain legit options and for those who like a less bulky shoe that feels light on the foot, they are certainly worthy of further consideration.

More information at: www.fizik.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product fi'zi:k Tensor Flat Pedal Shoe
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Rider Unisex
Construction
  • Ripstop fabric upper
  • Injection moulded TPU armored toe-box
  • EVA midsole
  • Ergonomic laced closure with instep velcro Powerstrap
  • Rubber Type Vibram MegaGrip
    Sizes 36-48 (37 to 47 also in half sizes)
    Colors Black/Black, Grey/Aquamarine, Red/Black
    Weight 0 lb 14.5 oz (410 g)
    Miscellaneous
  • 2021 product year release
  • Part of the Gravita series, designed for gravity-oriented riding
  • Outsole stiffness index 2
  • Stickiest Vibram Megagrip rubber compound with a specific zonal lug pattern
  • A low-profile, tapered mid-foot tread pattern for an optimal interface and connection with pedal pins
  • A deeper, sharper tread under the heel and toes provide better ground traction when hiking
  • An ergonomic lace-up pattern cradles the foot and spreads tension evenly
  • The Powerstrap secures the fit, stabilizes the plantar arch, and locks the heel in place while also keeping laces in check
  • Raised inner-ankle profile and robust laminated scuff-guard protect high-wear areas
  • Weight: 410 grams, size L, verified
  • Price $169.99
    More Info

    fizik.com

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