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The FLR F-11 Knits are very crisp-looking shoes, super-comfy, with a smart white knitted upper and a good retention system. Though they come from a brand that has riders in the pro peloton rocking its kicks, these F-11 Knits aren't necessarily a shoe for the racer, with a nylon composite sole and rather a flexy insole – but they're not the price of top-end race shoes either.
Check out our guide to the best road cycling shoes, for more options.
FLR has pretty good credentials, with pro riders Jay Vine, Thibault Guernalec and Alexandre Balmer among others using its shoes, proving they don't hinder performance. These F-11 Knits are its second-tier offering, behind the carbon-soled F-XX used by the pros.
The upper is the same as that used for the F-XX Knits, FLR's top-end knitted shoe. This 'triple layer of extra strong nylon yarn' offers a snug feeling for your foot, without being too tight or loose and without creating any pressure points.
It also provides good cooling so your feet shouldn't overheat during hot weather. It kept my feet comfortably regulated, despite there being only one vent on the sole.
I found the retention good, too; I didn't feel like my foot was going to move at any point, even when sprinting.
The F-11s use a single retention dial that tightens in increments, but a turn in the other direction will loosen it totally, not incrementally; I didn't find that to be too frustrating, though some might.
The dials are from Atop rather than Boa, so if you run into issues with breaking a wire or damaging the dial, you won't be able to enjoy the lifetime warranty Boa offers.
I've been spoiled with using carbon-soled shoes, and in comparison the R250 nylon sole with injected fibreglass used in these has some noticeable flex while riding (and it's super-easy to notice when walking, when it really stands out). It's not hugely surprising, but it's why I'd say these are more aimed at casual riders rather than racers looking for all the performance gains.
At 620g for the pair (size 45s), they aren't the lightest shoes either, though it isn't really noticeable when riding (you can feel it when carrying them around). The top-end S-Works Vents, for example, come in at 450g for a pair – though they're also four times the price.
The insole is a bit of a letdown for me too. All the cycling shoes I've tried lack proper arch support, resulting in instability and potential issues through the rest of the body. FLR's insole is unfortunately no different, feeling more like flappy paper than a supportive insole. In order to feel comfortable in these shoes I changed this immediately.
One big plus of the FLRs is the cleat positioning. With some shoes I've tried it's set too far forward, so you can't get your cleats as far back as you might like; here it's set further back, which suits me well.
I tested the size 45s and they fitted as expected – not too big or too small – so I would recommend going with your usual size. They're also quite wide. My feet are on the wider side and these fitted comfortably, so if your wider feet are a worry, you shouldn't have any issues with these.
When it comes to cleaning the knitted upper, the little spattering of dirt they've accumulated wiped off easily enough with a damp cloth. I haven't yet had the chance to ride these in properly grim conditions, but I'm guessing these aren't the kind of shoes you'd be wanting to ride through a UK winter if you want them to remain crispy and white. I would definitely keep them as a summer shoe. There's also a black option should you feel so inclined, but the white is my favourite.
Looking at other shoes around this price, I'd say the F-11 Knits are pretty good value at £99.99, the same price as the Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes which also feature a single dial (Boa) and nylon-composite sole.
Bont's Motion Shoes are a little cheaper (£79.95) and have a very stiff sole, but use Velcro instead of a dial.
If you want carbon in your sole then you generally have to pay more: the Crono CR2s come with a carbon composite sole but have an rrp of £175, plus they're 56g heavier and Ben still found the sole a bit flexy at times (though you do get two Boa dials per shoe). And Fizik's Tempo Overcurve R5s come with a carbon-reinforced nylon sole but are £159.99.
That said, they're not as good value as Boardman's Carbon shoes, which come in at a staggering £85, with a full-carbon sole and at virtually the same weight. Stu reviewed them in 2021 and thought they were excellent.
The FLRs do use the same upper as their top-tier brethren, though, and if your riding doesn't demand the stiffest soles, these are a good option, especially for summer and you like looking stylish at the café.
Overall, I really like these shoes for more casual wear when performance isn't the main aim, as the added weight and the lack of stiffness aren't ideal for racing. At the café they look great and in the summer sun nothing can beat a crisp white pair of shoes. These tick those boxes while being comfy and functional.
Great looking shoes that are comfy and fit well, though not the stiffest soles
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road.cc test report
Make and model: FLR F-11 Knit shoes
Size tested: EU 45
Tell us what the product is for
FLR says: "If you're looking for a breathable, sleek road cycling shoe that has the perfect blend of performance, stiffness and support – look no further than the F-11 XD-Knit .
"The F-11 XD-Knit Knit uses the same seamless upper design as the F-XX Knit to keep your foot in place, while also letting it breathe. The triple layer of extra strong nylon yarn is comfortable, breathable but also won't make you lose any power on your ride.
"This shoe is equipped with one dial to secure your foot snugly in the shoe and has our R250 nylon outsole to boost performance and pedal power transfer without compromising on weight or comfort.
"With performance and comfort in mind, the F-11 will satisfy any rider looking for their next pair of road shoes."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pro Tour last and fit
R250 Road Outsole features new injected fiberglass
3 Layers of nylon yarn XD-Knit
Dial lacing System
Molded EVA, breathable and removable insole.
I'd definitely prefer a bit more in the stiffness department, but these have been great to ride in otherwise.
No issues as yet, with nothing seeming to wear quickly.
Great cleat placement and substantial width means these fit well and setting up accurate cleat positioning will be easy for anyone.
These fit as I'd expect; going with my usual size has worked well.
I found them really comfy, and had no hot spots on my feet.
These are pretty good value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The knit upper will hold on to dirt more than a leather-type upper. The small amount of dirt I've got on them has cleaned okay, but deeper, engrained dirt will likely be trickier to remove.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For general riding they're great, but I'd prefer a stiffer sole.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the white upper and the cleat placement.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sole isn't stiff enough for my liking.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're well priced, and use the same upper as FLR's most expensive shoe.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yep
Would you consider buying the product? I need stiffer soles for racing, generally.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for someone who doesn't race.
Use this box to explain your overall score
A comfortable, nice looking shoe at a good price, but don't expect the stiffness and light weight of a top-end pair.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Aeroad My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,