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Verdict: 
Beautifully made and extremely comfortable but the soles won't be stiff enough for powerful riders
Weight: 
602g

The FLR F-II Pro Road Race shoes use a lot of technology trickled down from the top of FLR's range and offer a comfortable fit and decent ventilation when the weather gets warm. If you have any performance aspirations, though, you might find the soles a little too flexible.

  • Pros: Comfortable upper and sole shape, impressive breathability
  • Cons: Nylon sole has quite a bit of flex

I recently tested FLR's top end F-XX Strawweight shoes and I liked them lot as a good, all-round race shoe, and the F-IIs are similar, especially when it comes to the fit.

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The microfibre upper is a single piece design and it feels soft against your foot when the closure system is tightened. The F-IIs use a cable system made by Atop for the upper two thirds of the tongue, with a dial pulling the cable through three metal loops. The beauty of this type of system is that it spreads the tension all across the top of your foot without any pressure points.

FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe in Black - tension system.jpg

It has tiny increments, too, so you can tweak how tight the shoes are on the fly.

The pliable upper and tongue mean that when tightened it doesn't bunch up or crease, so no pressure points there either.

FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe in Black - heels.jpg

A Velcro strap is used at the bottom but it doesn't really do a whole it in terms of retention.

Ventilation is good thanks to plenty of air holes covering the upper and tongue, plus there are larger mesh vents above the toes. There's one underneath the toes on the sole too.

FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe in Black - toe.jpg

Over Easter, temperatures were touching 25°C here and I was wearing the F-IIs while out for a three-hour ride and they were surprisingly cool, especially when I was descending or cruising along on the flat. Those vents above the toes are the most effective as you can feel the breeze blowing in.

FLR calls the sole used here the R250 and it's constructed from nylon, although there is no mention of it being carbon-reinforced, which is probably why there is so much flex in it. Pedalling hard uphill or when sprinting, I could feel the sole bend a bit and create pressure around the cleat area.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best performance road cycling shoes

I'd say these shoes are more suited to audax or those rides where you aren't trying or needing to deliver maximum power. If I just went out for an easy recovery day I didn't notice any issues with them at all.

The soles are compatible with all three-bolt systems like SPD-SL, Look and so on, and they have large rubber bumpers front and rear to aid walking.

FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe in Black - sole heel.jpg

Build quality is pretty exceptional with all of the stitching looking impeccable. Where the uppers have been attached to the outsole you won't see any excess glue either. The reflective detailing on the rear is a nice touch too.

Since testing the Scott Comp Lace shoes back in January last year they have become my go-to shoes for when I'm going out for a steady ride, especially in the winter as the laces make the fitting of overshoes easy. They cost £85.99, so just a little less than these F-IIs at £89.99.

The shoes are pretty similar, both having comfortable uppers and nylon soles, although the Scotts are stiffer, but on the flip side the FLRs are a much better overall quality and they have that cable lacing system.

FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe in Black - side detail.jpg

For an extra tenner over the FLRs, you could go for the Bont Riot Buckle, which use a fibreglass tub for the sole which is very stiff, plus they are heat-mouldable. That said, I often struggle with Bont shoes when it comes to shape.

Overall, the FLRs are a lovely pair of shoes, with their only real 'weakness' for me being the flex in that sole. If you're not a racer, though, and are more of a spinner than a masher, you might get on with them very well.

Verdict

Beautifully made and extremely comfortable but the soles won't be stiff enough for powerful riders

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road.cc test report

Make and model: FLR F-11 Pro Road Race Shoe

Size tested: 10.5

Tell us what the product is for

FLR says, "Elegant, aerodynamic and comfortable, the user-inspired F-11 shoes feature the perfect blend of performance, stiffness and support on the road."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

FLR lists these features:

Reel-knob dial and Velcro strap for a quick and secure closure

Breathable tongue with perforated holes

Mesh inserts for ventilation

R250 outsole

Performance footbed

Pro-tour last

Upper: premium breathable microfibre with strong ventilated nylon mesh

Cleat: compatible with C-20, C-30 cleat series and all 3-bolt systems

The F-11 uses a seamless upper design with FLR's new pro-last, comprised from a single piece of premium microfibre to conform to the shape of your foot like a glove. The lacing system uses a single dial & Velcro strap for a secure fit at each point of your foot. A combination of nylon mesh, perforated holes and a breathable tongue deliver excellent ventilation. The F-11 is equipped with the R250 outsole to boost performance and pedal power transfer without compromising on weight and comfort.

R250 Outsole

The R250 delivers uncompromising durability, performance and comfort, suitable for the enthusiastic cyclist. The newly designed nylon outsole offers a perfect combination of stiffness, weight and comfort. A front port improves ventilation. The outsole is equipped with two non-slip treads for safe walking.

The 12mm 3-hole drilling pattern is compatible with all pedal systems and includes 5mm cleat adjustability and a Look Memory Eyelet for easy cleat replacement.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Excellent throughout.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

They don't scuff easily and the large heel and toe bumpers will protect the sole.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

The sole shape and the upper gives a great fit all round.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

The sizing is spot on for a EUR 45. I had enough room for my feet to grow in the heat but not enough that my feet moved around inside them.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

FLR says, "Performance-driven with a pro-design, the F-11 will satisfy any rider looking for their next favourite pair of shoes."

I think the F-11s just miss that brief a little because of the sole.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable upper.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Flexible sole gave me hot spots when riding hard.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

For the tech and build they are priced in line with a lot of the competition.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for steady and relaxed rides.

Would you consider buying the product? No, I prefer a stiffer sole.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The F-11s are very nice shoes and tick a lot of boxes when it comes to comfort and quality, though the sole will restrict their usability for some riders.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.