Fizik Gravita Versor Clip SPD shoes - trail shoes that work for gravel and city cycling
Comfortable and versatile, these are a stiffer option for urban and causal gravel riding
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The Fizik Gravita Versor Clips are SPD-compatible shoes which are ostensibly aimed at downhill and enduro riders – but double up quite nicely for both causal gravel and urban riding. They aren’t as walkable as the Shimano AM5 SPD shoes and they are more expensive, but if riding is most important to you and you’re willing to pay that premium for the style, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
Versatile for hard gravel use and urban contexts
Roomy fit at toe box
Dry pretty quickly
Some heel slippage when walking
Expensive compared to urban specific SPD shoes
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Although we’re reviewing the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip SPD compatible shoes with a view to their performance as a commuter/urban set of kicks, we should make clear from the outset that the ‘Gravita’ in their name doesn’t refer to the gravitas you’ll exude wearing them – they look good, though perhaps not quite right for a board meeting.
No, instead it’s a reference to the gravity-assisted mountain biking which constitutes the actual design brief for these shoes.
But just as cross-country mountain bike shoes were – and still are being – co-opted into gravel, let’s not get too hung up on the category names and focus simply on how they stack up compared to the best commuter cycling shoes for urban and gravel use. A rose by any other name and all that.
Fizik Gravita Versor Clip: construction
To elaborate a little more on what makes downhill shoes such a good choice for urban and casual gravel use, the soles tend to be grippy on wet surfaces, a little more walkable thanks to a more forgiving sole and – quite importantly – the aesthetic is much closer to that of a skate shoe and fits in well with the rest of what you might be wearing on a trip around town.
Much better than anything with Boa dials at the very least…
Digging deeper into the particular construction of the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip, underneath we have the XS Trek Evo rubber compound from Vibram, a highly regarded sole specialist across a host of different sports.
The lugs are arranged in a “specific zonal pattern”, with a slightly deeper tread at the rear which is designed to provide better traction when walking on soft surfaces. This is more of a consideration for when gravel riding with these shoes, on the unyielding surfaces around town it’s the compound that does the work – same as for bike tires on wet rocks.
The off-set lacing hasn’t been done just as a fashion statement – it’s to provide a bit more protection from the cranks and the chain. Still, there is a ‘lace snap’ halfway down the tongue to secure your bow out of the way as a more bombproof solution.
The toe guards provide a bit of extra protection and durability. The wear and tear of city riding isn’t quite on the same level as downhill mountain biking on a ‘per use’ basis – but if you’re wearing kit daily, you’ll be needing something that is similarly robust.
Fizik Gravita Versor Clip: the ride
Putting the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip on for the first time, the fit was relatively wide at the toe box – wider than the Adidas Velosambas and Chrome’s Southside Low Pros. This is somewhat of a surprise for Fizik, as the brand’s higher end gravel shoes, and its road shoes as well, do tend to come up a little on the narrow side.
These weren’t the best shoes for walking, with the soles being really quite stiff and the heel not providing such a close cup around my ankle. The Shimano AM5 shoes, on the other hand, have that bit more give and don’t suffer from any heel lift – whilst still being perfectly efficient for riding in.
But although the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip aren’t the best for walking in, they are at least better in that respect than the Adidas Velosambas which I’ve also had on test.
For riding, though, the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip proved a great platform. It didn’t feel inefficient when tapping along at a tempo on my 20km ride into Cardiff – or when bombing along easy fireroads.
Heaving away from traffic lights in an overgeared effort and grinding up super steep gravel climbs was no problem either. Sure, if I was going to be actually sprinting in a race or vying for a QOM, I would want a shoe that feels a little more direct – but I’d also be after something a lot less bulky and heavy too.
Essentially, the Fizik Gravita Versor Clips are perfectly stiff enough for any of the riding you’re likely to be doing in them.
Fizik Gravita Versor Clip: value and conclusion
Priced at £134.99, this is fairly good value compared to gravel-specific SPD shoes - you don't have as much breathability nor stiffness, but the latter isn’t really a problem as it’s more useful to have a shoe that’s also comfortable to walk around in.
The Gravita Versor Clips are a MTB shoe, but they’re not the only dedicated trail shoe that we’ve tested as a commuter shoe, as well as on the trails. We also put on Shimano’s AM5 SPD shoes to head out and about the town - and this model is considerably cheaper with its price tag of £79.99 / $115.00, as well as being much better when walking around off the bike
Compared to dedicated urban shoes with SPD compatibility, the Fizik Gravita Versor Clips are more expensive than both Chrome’s Southside 3.0 Low Pros (£126.00 / $135.00) and the Adidas Velosambas (£100.00 / $120.00). But the Gravita Versor Clip also fairs well on the trails and as could be considered a 2 in 1 option, which makes it better value for money for those users.
Overall, the Fizik Gravita Versor Clip SPD shoes are a solid option. They feel great on the bike in both gravel and urban riding, as well as fitting in quite seamlessly when walking about town. They don’t match the walkability of the Shimano AM5 SPD shoes – which are also significantly cheaper – so it’s hard to recommend them outright.
But if you can get a good discount – or if you just much prefer the styling – and if walkability isn’t your highest priority, then these would be a good choice for you.
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I’ve been hooked on bikes ever since the age of 12 and my first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the bright yellow kit of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. For a time, my cycling life centred around racing road and track.
But that’s since broadened to include multiday two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain I happen to meet - with a two-week bikepacking trip from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia being just the latest.
I still enjoy lining up on a start line, though, racing the British Gravel Championships and finding myself on the podium at the enduro-style gravel event, Gritfest in 2022.
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