Posted on May 10, 2022 by Berne Broudy
Protection, efficiency, comfort, and good looks–I try to balance all three when shopping for new bike shoes. Ride Concept’s Tallac Clip checks all the boxes. And since I first put them on a month ago, I haven’t ridden in anything else.
Made by Reno-based, rider-owned, rider-designed footwear company, Ride Concepts, the Tallac Clip has the fit and comfort of a flat pedal shoe, but it’s clipless compatible. Made to “outlast the biggest epics,” according to Ride Concepts, the lace-plus-Velcro strap Tallac proved stable, rugged, and efficient. And it’s not as heavy as a lot of other enduro-focused clipless compatible shoes. It’s also on the wider side of medium, which was perfect for my foot, and it felt great straight out of the box, with no break-in required.
Clipping in and out of a shoe with a beefy sole can sometimes be sticky. Ride Concepts developed a special rubber for its clipless compatible shoes, CLIP GRIP, that prevents the shoe from getting hung up when I was trying to unclip. It worked exceptionally well, while also having excellent grip walking.
There are a lot of shoes that feel great with your feet on the pedals. These also felt great when my bike tires and my feet were both on the ground. I don’t do a ton of hike-a-bike on the trails I normally ride–from Vermont to Moab and all points in between.
But on a recent bike trip to Nepal’s Upper Mustang, I pushed and carried a lot, including one four-hour trek to 15,000 feet, followed by another four hours of enduro and cross country riding down the other side of the range. The shoes were confident walkers on sandy, rocky trail, as well as through chicken and baby head boulder fields, deep gravelly sand, and along “you fall, you die” ridges. They flexed appropriately to make hike-a-bike comfortable. The heel counter and 360° rand provided stability–way more than I expected for a relatively low-cut shoe, and the D30 insole and EVA midsole gave these shoes sneaker-like comfort even walking for hours.
While the Tallac Clip isn’t as stiff as the Shimano ME7 shoes I’m used to wearing, they were stiff enough to be efficient pedaling. They were narrower than the ME7s, but loosening the lacing gave my medium-wide foot plenty of space. Tallac Clip uses traditional lacing with a hook and loop strap for added retention. Walking steep slopes, I had little or no heel slip. That’s also due to Ride Concepts’ signature shoe build that ties the stretchy tongue gusset into the shoe under the insole, which gave the shoe a connected feel and which reduced slipping.
The lightweight Cordura upper is fully welded and stitch-free. It was breathable and lightweight, but it protected my feet from rolling rocks and alsowhen I slammed my feet into rocks. There were a lot of rocks. The long cleat track let me set my clips back where I like them, and a heel tab gave me an assist in pulling the shoe on.
In short: The Tallac Clip is a great everyday shoe for all-mountain and enduro riders. While it doesn’t have extra ankle height and padding, it’s a very protective shoe that’s also relatively light, and efficient pedaling. Plus, it’s comfortable whatever the trails throw your way.
After three weeks of biking and hike-a-biking, the shoes are dusty as heck but they’re in remarkably good shape. Hexagonal toe lugs that had a raised reverse hex traction pattern for toe grip are showing wear where I used them to scramble up steep slopes, but the wear is reasonable for what I put these shoes through.
While Ride Concepts offers the Flume Clip for women, I opted for the men’s shoe which has a wider last since I have a wide-ish foot. The Tallac Clip sells for $180.
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