Quoc Escape Off-Road cycling shoes review - undercutting Giro and Fizik's mid-range models

These shoes aren't perfect, but they do deliver a solid performance for less than the big-name brands

Quoc Escape off-road cycling shoes
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

If you want a good value pair of gravel shoes these are comfortable and easy to live with. Yes, the pressure across the foot from the laces isn't as evenly distributed as you can get from a shoe with two BOA dials. But then again, the Quoc Escape Off-Road Shoes are cheaper than those more premium shoes which have that feature. Overall, these shoes are a great option for the price point.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Premium feel

  • +

    Great value

  • +

    Easy to walk in

  • +

    Great cleat adjustment potential

  • +

    Stay quite cool even in warmer temperatures

  • +

    Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Single dial doesn’t distribute pressure as well as dual dial

  • -

    Very little arch support

  • -

    Some flex during very hard efforts

  • -

    Slight pinch on the inside of the ankle

  • -

    No half sizes

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Quoc was founded in 2009 as an independent British brand balancing performance comfort with its shoes. The brand is environmentally focussed and uses eco-friendly materials. It also works with Tree Nation to plant a tree for each shoe made. 

The Escape Off-Road Shoes are the brand's gravel-oriented model, and are pitted to go toe-to-toe against the best gravel shoes at the mid-range price point. I have a few criticisms, but overall they stack up well - let's jump into the details.

Quoc Escape Off-Road: construction

The Quoc Escape Off-Road shoes have a premium feel straight away. The PU upper feels like synthetic leather and is very easy to clean. SPD cleats can be attached using the 2-bolt system with fore and aft adjustment for those who prefer more of a midfoot cleat placement. 

The toe guard is reinforced against any scuffs you may encounter, and the TPU tread is rugged and grippy making the shoes easy to walk in. The outsole is a glass-fiber reinforced nylon which offers decent power transfer.

Quoc Escape Off-Road: the ride

The shoes fitted me very nicely out of the box. They are fairly wide fit, quite similar to Bont or Specialized's S-Works 7. However, there was still a small pressure point on the outside of my left foot. The single dial worked pretty well to get a comfortable tension which was secure but not too tight. But it's worth noting that the dial specced on these shoes doesn't allow for micro loosing in addition to tightening - they either tighten incrementally or they release the cable completely. 

One issue I did have initially was that the arch support in the shoes was very minimal and didn’t offer enough for my feet - it was incredibly flat. I found that at lower intensities this was fine, but when out of the saddle or doing harder efforts, my foot collapsed inwards. This was easily remedied though by switching the insole in the Quoc with the Specialized BG high arch insole I normally use. This also alleviated the inner ankle rub I got on my right foot when my foot did collapse inwards. 

The upper has a lovely feel to it and the small ventilation holes across the shoe actually worked very well to keep my feet cool in warmer conditions. The upper was also very easy to clean when I inevitably did get them muddy. The mix of Sand and Black was also a very easy color to clean. The fabric for the lace/cable guide holes, though, did require more brushing rather than just a wipe over with a cloth. 

The TPU sole was very effective in minimizing scuffs and damage to the base of the shoes, even walking over some fairly rocky and sharp terrain. The shoes also supply a good level of grip as I found myself having to walk up a steep slippery muddy hill when my chain went at the bottom of it. The small plastic studs at the front of the sole can also be switched out for some more heavy duty spikes.

The power transfer comes through the glass-fiber reinforced Nylon outsole which most of the time is more than adequate. The only time I could feel the lack of stiffness in the sole was when I started to push my efforts anywhere north of 400 watts - something I don’t do as often as I used to! 

The shoes just didn’t feel as connected at this point, and during sprints or high torque efforts, they did feel far less stiff than the carbon-soled competition that I’m used to using. However, I have a feeling that the flex in the outsole might actually be of benefit when walking around in these shoes, as it feels a bit more natural than with carbon soled shoes .

Quoc Escape Off-Road: value and conclusion

In terms of value, the Quoc Escape shoes come in cheaper than most of the comparable competition at £150. The Giro Sector’s are $239.95 / £229.99 and are 40 grams heavier, although they do have dual dials. The Specialized Recon 2.0 are $170.00 / £175.00 however are 357 grams and still a single dial for adjustment. 

The Fizik Vento Overcurve X3 are slightly lighter and with a carbon composite sole but are $249.99 / £230.00. The closest comparison appears to be the Shimano RX600 with a single dial and a slightly lower claimed weight of 280 grams, but these are still slightly more expensive at $179.95 / £159.00. 

In all, the Quoc Escape Off-Road Shoes are a great value pair of shoes for gravel riding. They offer reasonable power transfer at all but the highest intensities, and are comfortable to walk in with solid grip on slippery surfaces. The PU upper has a premium feel and is easy to clean. Those with high arches will need to switch the insole, as this shoe is better suited for those with flat feet. 

A slight amount of ankle rub around the tongue of the shoe also lets them down a little. An additional dial would be nice for better distribution of pressure when tightening the retention system, as well as dials that can do loosening micro adjustments. However these are all minor niggles that would bump the price of the shoes up or can be solved with an off-the-shelf insole. 

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