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FLR F11 XD Knit road shoes review

The little sibling of FLR’s pro-level road and triathlon shoes

Our review
Well-made and good-looking shoes that major on breathability and comfort rather than all-out performance

Pros: Good comfort; fairly low weight; excellent breathability; knitted look

Cons: Not the most supportive insole; could get dirty

The FLR F11 XD Knit is a lightweight and elegant-looking road and triathlon shoe that majors on breathability, which is down to the seamless knitted upper and breathable insole.

Comfort levels are excellent, the Atop dial closure system works well and these are lovely shoes to wear on hot days.

However, the sole isn’t the stiffest you’ll find.

FLR F11 XD Knit details

FLR F11 XD Knit road shoe
The single Atop dial closure system is simple and effective. – Simon Withers / Our Media

FLR likes to cite its pro riders, such as the Australian national champion Jay Vine, although they’re racing in much more exotic kicks than these quite modestly priced F11 XD Knits.

However, these are very neatly made and are among very few road cycling shoes around this price that offer the fore-and-aft movement of the cleat positions, albeit by only a few millimetres.

The closure is a single Atop dial, which works a little differently from a Boa dial.

Rather than pulling the dial up to loosen it, you simply undo it, when you’ll feel a distinct click, at which point the lace is completely loose.

To tighten, it’s a clockwise turn on the right shoe and anti-clockwise on the left. You can make adjustments on the fly, with larger increments than a Boa.

FLR F11 XD Knit performance

FLR F11 XD Knit road shoe
The three-hole fitting offers both fore and aft movement of the cleat, although this is only by a few millimetres. – Simon Withers / Our Media

The first thing you notice when wearing these shoes is the nylon-composite soles aren’t that stiff, which is fine by me and suggests they’ll be better suited to the non-competitive rider who favours comfort over all-out stiffness.

The sizing of my review sample was spot-on, with the size EU42 shoes fitting my size EU42 feet.

The FLRs proved very pleasing during both difficult efforts and more leisurely rides, with very few notable flaws.

After a bike-fit session a few years ago, I usually wear an insole that gives me more arch support, though, in line with most shoes around this price, the F11 XD Knit insoles weren’t that substantial.

At 562g a pair, these are reasonably light for shoes around this price. Of the shoes I’ve tested recently, only the Bontrager Solstice notably undercut their weight.

However, I was entirely unable to detect any difference in weight.

If you’re a dedicated weight-weenie obsessive, you might be able to, but I’d always value comfort over low weight.

The shoes proved comfortable as the kilometres clicked up, to the degree that I never really noticed them. I couldn’t feel the cleats, there were no hot spots and my feet stayed cool during warmer autumn rides.

FLR F11 XD Knit road shoe
The F11 XD Knit has excellent breathability. – Simon Withers / Our Media

This suggests that FLR’s claims about breathability are pretty accurate.

The uppers got spectacularly filthy on a canal towpath ride, but much to my surprise, they cleaned up better than I expected. However, I’d worry that dirt and mud might infiltrate the knitted material in time.

To read more of Simon Withers’s review, please check:

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