No question, proper-fitting and performing shoes are one of the most important aspects of any ride. Many gravel riders just use their MTB shoes and the brave ones ride road shoes and pedals. Those who know, rock a gravel-focused pair of shoes like the new Scott Gravel Tuned and enjoy efficiency and comfort on road, gravel and singletrack.
Scott Gravel Tuned Shoes Features:
- Dual BOA L6 fit system
- Nylon carbon composite sole
- Adjustable ErgoLogic insole system
- Sticki Rubber compound outsole
- Stiffness index of 8
- Performance fit
- 2-hole cleat compatibility
- Weight: 379g each (44.5 actual)
- MSRP: $179.99
Gravel-focused and ready to roll
Historically, I’ve had a great experience with Scott road and MTB shoes. They may not have the fanfare of shoes from other brands, but they quietly deliver fit and performance at the highest level. Now, with gravel firmly becoming the most popular drop-bar category of riding, it makes sense that Scott would introduce the Gravel Pro and Gravel Tuned shoes this year. Built with all the features you’d expect, the Scott Gravel Tuned shoes have been outstanding riding partners for the past several months.
Arriving in the middle of winter, I’ve been able to put these shoes right into cold-weather duty. As the gravel routes have cleared out, I’ve been venturing more and more into gravel and singletrack territory. Riding in temperatures down to the upper-30’s, I’ve been able to comfortably wear them with a pair of Merino wool socks and no shoe covers. As the weather has warmed, I’ve gone with my typical socks. What I haven’t yet tested is breathability in summer heat. As of now, I’ve ridden them into the 70’s and they seem to breathe just fine. There are loads of perforations on either side, but none in the toebox, which is what makes them great for cold weather. I will post mid-summer updates later.
Let’s talk about first impressions. The Gravel Tuned Shoes are pretty straightforward in design — delivering excellent fit via dual BOA L6 dials, walkability with Sticki Rubber outsoles and a comfortable last that doesn’t make you cram your feet into them. Putting them on, you’ll immediately notice the supportive arches and metatarsal pads that coddle your feet. The L6 dials do a great job, but only allow micro-adjustments one direction. To loosen, you have to pop the dial out completely. For the top-of-the-line gravel shoe, I would expect a pair of Li2’s here that would allow micro-adjustments in either direction.
Something else that’s immediately noticed is the walkability of the Gravel Tuned Shoes. For a stiffness index of 8, I’m surprised by just how much the forefoot flexes when walking. It’s awesome, but I was initially dubious of how they would perform when pushed hard. Ultimately, I took that off-the-shelf comfort onto all my mixed-terrain routes to put them to the test.
Now, for saddle time. As mentioned, the ErgoLogic insoles offer foot-cradling support off the bike. Hopping on the bike and pedaling down the road, they feel initially… ummm… uncomfortable. I know, it’s strange that off-bike comfort would result in initial discomfort, but that’s the way they felt. However, bear with me, once you get past those first 10 minutes, they settle in and become amazing. The metatarsal pads aid in blood flow and the additional width throughout the last gives ample room for your feet to spread out and pedal hard. So, if you get initial discomfort, trust the process and you’ll be rewarded.
Those concerns about a walkable sole feeling flexy under load were also assuaged when pushed to the limits. Hard pedaling, climbing and sprinting feel excellent and I’m able to lay down the power just as I would with stiffer shoes. That extra width is so nice here too since there are never any pinch spots at the sixth toe or elsewhere. No matter the terrain, I can comfortably walk around in these shoes in a way that few shoes can while still remaining stiff and efficient in the saddle.
Throughout the test period, I’ve matched these shoes up with a set of Look X-Track Race Carbon Ti SPD pedals. The cleats seat nicely and don’t scratch our precious hardwood floors. And, most importantly, the cleats engage with ease and allow plenty of knee-friendly, uninhibited float. It’s easy to tighten the cleats and they have stayed put without any issues.
Due to the one-way BOA L6 dials, I tended to leave the shoes one click looser than I otherwise would. This allowed me to accommodate any foot swelling during a ride and kept things ultra-comfortable. I did ratchet them down that extra click for sprinting. Thinking about things a little more, I would have preferred a single Li2 dial with a Velcro strap instead of dual L6’s. In the end, once you find that sweet spot, it’s all good, but you don’t get to enjoy all the possible goodness of dual-ratcheting BOA dials.
Sizing: I typically wear either a 44.5 or 45, depending on the manufacturer. I’m a 44.5 in Bontrager and 45 with Scott and Shimano.
- Perfect combination of stiffness and walkability
- Grippy outsoles for walking on all terrain
- Clears cleats for smooth entry/exit and float
- Excellent width throughout for added comfort
- BOA dials are always nice to have
- Great for cold weather
- BOA L6 dials only tighten one direction
- Black color is kinda boring
The Bottom Line: Scott Gravel Tuned Shoes
With supreme walkability and stellar comfort that you can adjust to your foot shape, the Scott Gravel Tuned Shoes have a lot to offer. I have found them to be supremely comfortable throughout hundreds of test miles. The grippy outsoles make quick work of loose terrain in a pinch. I do wish for bi-directional BOA dials at this price, but it’s a forgivable miss.
Buy Now: Find a local Scott retailer
The Scott Gravel Tuned Shoes offer a ton of comfort for mixed terrain and gravel riding. I love how well you can walk in these shoes and the performance last offers just the right amount of width so your feet never feel constricted.