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FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe



Very good all-round race shoes with loads of stiffness in the sole

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race shoes are pretty good across the board, with a decent weight, great fit and super-stiff soles making them ideal for the type of rider who puts power transfer and efficiency above all else. For some, though, those soles might be a little too harsh.

  • Pros: Atop lacing system is very comfortable, stiff soles
  • Cons: Erm... stiff soles

Starting at the bottom, the F-XXs use FLR's elite-level R500 sole which is very stiff indeed. They're certainly one of the stiffest pairs of shoes I've currently got in the house, including the Shimano RC9s and the Giant Surge Pro Road shoes.

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You can feel that nothing is being wasted power-wise; they are ruthlessly efficient. FLR says that the sculpted footbed and supportive heel are designed to aid blood flow to reduce hot spots, which mostly works very well, although I did have a few instances of pain after prolonged hard efforts.

This mostly happened when I was riding on rough, broken road surfaces, those type of lanes where the top layer of tarmac is pitted and cracked. The stiff soles send the vibrations through the soles of your feet, and it's something worth bearing in mind if comfort is more important to you than performance.

FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black - sole heel.jpg

The full-carbon sole is marked for cleat alignment and will accept all three-bolt cleat systems.

FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black - sole toe.jpg

The upper is still made from a lightweight microfibre but FLR has tweaked the design a bit over earlier models to create a sleeker profile (well, that's what it says in the description). The material is soft but still pretty scuff-resistant and easy to wipe clean with a cloth, and comes in either this matt black finish or white.


For fastening, the F-XXs use Atop dials, with one tightening the top section and the lower tensioning the middle and bottom lace guides together.

FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black - tensions system.jpg

They draw the tension evenly across the top of the foot with no pressure points, and with the upper being so pliable the shoes wrap comfortably around your feet, so you don't need to overtighten them to stop your foot moving.


Ventilation is taken care of by vents above the toes, up the tongue and either side of the foot, plus one extra on the sole directing cool air below your foot.

FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black - toe.jpg

Bearing in mind how cold my feet were in these during the February frosts, I can vouch for how much air they let in, so they should be fine when it comes to the summer months.

FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black - side.jpg


The price of the latest models hasn't changed, and although £179.99 isn't exactly cheap, it's not extreme for a pair of carbon-soled race shoes, especially with this level of fit and quality. Everything looks very well put together, with no stray threads or excess glue around the sole.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best performance road cycling shoes

They are stiffer than the £200 Bontrager Ballistas and are only about 5g heavier.

The FLRs are a fair bit lighter than the Rapha Classics for the same money, and look to compete on stiffness and comfort, too.

Overall, if you can cope with the stiff sole and want a pair of no-nonsense performance shoes then the F-XXs are a great choice.


Very good all-round race shoes with loads of stiffness in the sole

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Make and model: FLR F-XX Strawweight Road Race Full Carbon Sole Shoe in Black

Size tested: 10.5

Tell us what the product is for

FLR says, "The Pro Tour rider of AG2R La Mondiale chooses to ride with FLR's top of the range F-XX shoes in the world class peloton. Julien has already made 5 Giro d'Italia, one Vuelta a Espana and many of the other major world tour races.

"The FLR F-XX shoe was designed in close cooperation with Julien. His expertise has influenced the development of the shoe, to create the world's greatest cycling shoe."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From FLR:

Footbed: Performance Insole.

Last: Pro tour last.

Upper: Premium microfiber with Strong nylon mesh inserts for ventilation.

Cleat: compatible with all 3-bolt systems.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Rate the product for sizing:

The sizing was spot on with the EUR45 fitting exactly how I'd expect.

Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
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How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The upper is easy to wipe clean with a cloth.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very stiff soles make these great shoes for those who don't want any power loss.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Impressive closure system.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Soles could be too stiff for some.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

With a very stiff carbon sole, Boa style fastening system and the comfort on offer, these shoes stand up well against the competition when it comes to price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The FLRs are well made and with a very nice fit, but the soles are very stiff, which can become uncomfortable on rough roads. They're an 8 if it's power transfer and efficiency you want; maybe consider them a 7 if you want a little more comfort.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!

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