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The Quoc Escape Off-Road shoes work very well for gravel riding, mixed-terrain touring and cross-country mountain biking. They are light, comfortable, offer decent tread for walking in the mud, and are easy to keep clean. The only real drawback is that the sole isn't stiff enough for those who really like to smash the pedals.
If you prefer to stick to the tarmac, check out our guide to the best road cycling shoes; for more off-road options, have a look at the best mountain bike shoes buyer's guide on our sister site, off.road.cc. And if you don't want to clip in, check out our guide to the best flat pedal shoes.
The Quocs are available in three colours, Amber, Black or this Sand, all of which look quite understated and, dare I say it, classy.
The PU upper is tough and hardwearing, as well as being easy to wipe clean, to keep them looking smart. A protective toe guard also helps.
There are small holes all over the toe-box and up the sides, which bring a small amount of ventilation, and should suffice on all but the hottest of summer days.
For fit there is a single dial system that wraps both sides of the shoe over the PU tongue. It does a good job of spreading pressure over the upper of the foot rather than creating any hot-spots. You get plenty of adjustability to tighten them in small increments, although to loosen them it's an all or nothing approach. Turning the dial releases all pressure, so if you do want to slacken them off a touch mid-ride you'll need to start from scratch. It's not multi-directional, like some Boa dials.
Other than that, the shape and fit of the shoes are very good. I found they give a close, secure fit and the PU has a small amount of give to it, which helps it mould to the exact shape of your foot. Sizing seems to be spot on, too, with this EUR 45 fitting me perfectly.
The sole is a blend of glass-fibre and nylon which is fine for the majority of riding, although if you like to get a shift on and put the power down through the pedals on the flat or when climbing, you will notice some sole flex, especially under the arch of your foot.
I found it a bit annoying, and it's the main reason I tend to use carbon soles. In comparison, I found the carbon-reinforced nylon soles of the Udog Distanzas more resistant to flex.
Thankfully, on the Escapes I didn't find any stiffness issues around the cleat area, so any pressure points there are kept to a minimum. The sole is designed to accept two-bolt cleats like Shimano's SPDs, with a decent amount of fore and aft adjustment.
The tread is deep enough for grip when walking on soft surfaces, and the inclusion of inserts to accept toe studs is a nice bonus for gravel riding. Gravel-specific shoes tend not to have them, but UK gravel conditions in the winter can be very wet and muddy, so extra grip when pushing a loaded bike up a grass climb is a godsend.
The Quocs are priced at £150, which is pretty similar to those Udogs mentioned, which are £160. I found the Udogs slightly more comfortable, and they have that stiffer sole.
Neil was impressed with the DMT GK1 gravel shoes when he tested them last year. He found that they were efficient when it came to power transfer and very comfortable. They are more expensive, though, at £194.99.
Overall, the Quocs are a good pair of shoes. I rate the fit and the comfort, plus they look as though they'll stand up to plenty of abuse out on the trail. The sole lacks a bit in stiffness for my taste, though, and the dial system isn't as good for adjustment as some out there.
Solid all-round performers, just lacking a bit of stiffness and adjustment
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Quoc Escape Off-Road shoes
Size tested: EU 45
Tell us what the product is for
Quoc says, "Designed to bring a new look to the 'Mountain Bike Shoe', Escape Off-Road merges die-hard, trail-riding durability with a streamlined, elegant aesthetic. With a glass-fibre reinforced Nylon outsole that delivers stiffness and power on the downward stroke, the shoe prioritises speed and comfort.
Whether gravel grinding, cross-country mountain biking or hitting the local trails, the shoe is perfectly weighted for strength and performance. The reinforced toe guard and resilient, easy-to-clean upper are protective against impact and abrasion, while an innovative TPU tread and integrated spike provides excellent grip on and off the bike.
Eliminating distractions from a full day in the saddle, the shoe provides supportive padding and contoured shaping for impact-resistance and comfort. QUOC's proprietary single dial closure system delivers micro-adjustable precision and stability across the arches of the foot, organic, while well-distributed air ventilation holes aid temperature regulation and breathability."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Quoc lists these features:
QUOC Technology Single Dial closure system for fitted precision
Stable structure across the arches of the foot
Nylon composite outsole and TPU tread
Spike sockets for optional attachments
Resilient, easy-to-clean PU upper
Reinforced toe cap guard
Organic, well-distributed air ventilation holes for breathability
Reflective lace guide for added visibility
Fully recessed MTB/SPD cleat compatibility
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to wipe over and keep clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A good shoe for general off-road riding, from cross-country to gravel and touring.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A good fit in general.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some sole flex under hard efforts.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're around a tenner less than the UDOGs, and a good deal cheaper than the DMT offerings.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, on the whole.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if stiffness wasn't a priority.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're good shoes, well made and comfortable, although powerful riders will want more sole stiffness.
About the tester
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!