The American brand Trek, through its component brand Bontrager, presents the new GR2 Gravel shoes. As its name suggests, it is a specific shoe for adventure cycling. The question that assails me is whether to really design specific shoes for this specialty. There are users, and many, detractors of the delimited products for gravel. But beyond the opinions of each one, which must be respected, this new cycling modality offers us more and more certainly interesting products.
Should there be exclusive shoes for gravel?
In my opinion and after thinking about them, I would say yes. But not for this, we must go crazy and throw away our usual MTB shoes. In my experience, any shoe that allows you to install SPD cleats, that has a sole not as stiff as asphalt ones and that are comfortable to walk, can help you.
This is the case of the new Bontrager GR2, which bring together these essential characteristics for adventure cycling.
Specifications of the new GR2 Gravel
One of the characteristics that we must point out about this new footwear is its versatile nature. In other words, it is a model that will adapt well to any type of terrain. The Bontrager GR2 can not only be used for our gravel outings, but also for other disciplines such as mountain or urban cycling.
“The Bontrager GR2 can not only be used for our gravel outings, but also for other disciplines such as mountain or urban cycling”
What strikes me is that thanks, and you can see this in the images I provide, its numerous holes are very suitable for dry conditions or hot days. In fact, both on the sides and practically on the toe they have micro-perforations that make them a very ventilated model.
“Thanks to their numerous holes they are very suitable for dry conditions or hot days”
I also add another aspect that I like about this model. Both the toe and heel are well reinforced. And there are models that do not always comply with this. In gravel, like mountain biking, we usually encounter obstacles that cause us to damage the shoe. In fact, it is a rubber coating called GnarGuard that protects from abrasions, and that we can see in other models of the brand.
“These shoes have reinforcements both on the toe and on the heel”
Another thing that I should highlight is that according to the manufacturer, these shoes have a looser fit. Therefore, and I have not yet tried them, they are supposedly very comfortable. I find this aspect important since gravel is a discipline that sometimes we can spend several hours practicing. Comfortability must prevail.
As for the sole, it is quite aggressive and tall. With what we make sure we can walk comfortably, especially in areas with some difficulty since, in theory, they have a good grip. Also, the sole is not as stiff as asphalt shoes (a stiffness index of 6 out of 14 on the Bontrager scale) and they have some flexibility.
“As for the sole, it is quite aggressive and tall. So, we make sure we can walk comfortably”
If we stick to the fit of the shoe it is through laces. I do not know the reason for this preference in gravel. I don’t know if it is a “vintage” fashion or something that really has its functional value. But if you look at some brands that have specific models, for example Bontrager, Bont or Specialized, it seems that it goes beyond a trend. Along with the laces, there is a closure strap that firmly supports the foot.
“If we stick to the fit of the shoe it is through laces. Along with the laces, there is a closure strap that firmly holds the foot”
As for the weight of the shoe it is light. We are talking about 418 grams for size 42. Not bad at all compared to other similar models. This is explained because synthetic leather is quite thin (with minimal padding).
Finally, the shoe has a 2-bolt cleat, making it compatible with the Shimano SPD system.
Price and colors:
You have two colors: Black and Old-Style Gold. Its price has an approximate sale price of €139.99.