Bontrager has released a gravel-specific bike shoe called the GR2 that features a synthetic leather upper, laces, and a chunky outsole.
The GR2 uses the brand's existing inForm Race last that "offers a slightly roomier, high-performance fit". The nylon composite sole has a stiffness level of 6 out of 14 on Bontrager's scale (we couldn't tell you why the scale tops out at 14), indicating that walking isn't going to be a problem and, as you'd expect, it takes a 2-bolt cleat so is compatible with Shimano's SPD system, for example. The outsole is made from Tachyon rubber.
"The GR2 can easily scramble through rough terrain thanks to the outsole’s unmatched grip and traction allowing you to stay stable on a variety of surfaces," says Bontrager.
The upper has a rubberised coating on the toe and heel – Bontrager calls it GnarGuard and it's already found in its Foray mountain shoe, designed to protect against abrasions and debris and add durability.
Bontrager says that the GR2 is "purpose-built for gravel but perfect for a multitude of off-road surfaces", and we can imagine these being useful for touring and even urban use.
The Bontrager GR2 gravel shoes are available in black and gold options, and in EU sizes 37-48. They're priced £129.99.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.