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review

Quoc Escape Road shoes

8
£150.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Affordable, comfortable and quality shoes that can double up for use across disciplines
Well priced
Good ventilation
Very comfortable
White is difficult to keep clean
Retention system can loosen after hard efforts
Weight: 
516g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Quoc's Escape Road shoes are not pigeonholed as discipline-specific and can double up for use across mild gravel and road – think of them as an all-road shoe. They're good looking, with a premium feel, and hold up well in terms of performance, comfort and day-long use.

If you're interested in the Escape Roads, or you're just looking for some light, stiff kicks to help you go faster on the bike, be sure to check out our guide to the best road cycling shoes.

> Buy now: Quoc Escape Road shoes for £150 from Quoc

As a brand, Quoc has quickly carved a reputation for its quality and affordability, with several options that cover both the road and off-road spheres. The Escape Road shoes form part of its Lalashan Collection, drawing much of its inspiration from the natural mushroom life of northern Taiwan's Lalashan Mountain Range.

Keep it white, right?

It's hard to beat the visual impact of white cycling shoes, but keeping them clean can be a painstaking and tricky exercise. If it worries you, the Escapes are available in two other colours: black and amber.

As far as design goes, the shoes are pretty minimalist in execution, with a simple wordmark logo on each shoe and calligraphic 'Q' on the toe box. It does look very smart, and the little details and touches on the carbon composite outsole give it a similar level of refinement – the details matter.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - heels.jpg

The zig-zag dial lace guide that bookends the tongue is reflective – a nice touch that adds a sense of contrast and dynamism to the otherwise simple design.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - top.jpg

My only gripe is the khaki-coloured heel and toe pads, which don't really add much to the visual package – perhaps they relay the mushroom theme to some extent – but black would not look out of place here. The heel pads are replaceable.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - sole heel.jpg

Technical details

The shoes are manufactured to a very high quality and possess a collection of racy touches, such as the Quoc-developed dial system, a single dial that is responsible for ensconcing the foot and promoting a fairly even-feeling fit.

The upper comprises a leather-like polyurethane material which is both stretchy and hardy. The company claims the faux leather is easy to clean but – as above – you'll need to keep on top of things if you opt for the white, regardless of the weather. Any neglect will cause these to discolour very quickly. A simple wipe with a cloth soaked in warm water will ensure dirt and dust won't build up in layers, but if you have neglected things you may need to use some soap or a mild degreaser; better not to let them get to that point – keep on top of things and the Escapes will go the distance.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - front.jpg

The upper is attached to a carbon composite outsole which prioritises comfort over outright stiffness and performance, although, despite the push towards compliance, they still manage to deal effectively with power transfer through the pedals.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - sole toe.jpg

Cleat adjustibility on the whole is good, with ample fore/aft and side-to-side room for precise positioning. They play nicely with all three-bolt cleats; while I used Look type, Speedplay and Shimano cleats are compatible, too.

Our size EU42 test shoes weighed 512g for the pair, 256g per shoe, on my scale.

Performance

The current cycling shoe rhetoric preaches about tightness, stiffness and light weight being the holy grail, but – unless you're Mark Cavendish or Jasper Philipsen – comfort trumps stiffness every time, especially for the average cyclist. This is where the Quoc Escapes make a case for themselves as the fit is supportive yet relaxing, which helps reduce hot spots around the side of the foot and the sole.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - in step.jpg

They also have a roomy toe box, which is less suffocating than some of the racier shoes on the market.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - toe detail.jpg

I used the Escapes primarily during the summer months when temperatures averaged around 24°C. The shoes delivered impressive ventilation thanks to the liberal inclusion of cooling holes.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - sole vent.jpg

My testing involved both road and gravel rides and the shoes dismissed both impressively well. I wouldn't recommend using these shoes on hardcore gravel terrain where the need for dismounting might arise, but if you're merely using a bridleway to access another bit of road, the Escapes are more than up for the task. In fact, you'll be able to get away with more than just a bridleway, which places the Quoc Escapes more in the all-road category than bona fide road shoe space.

2023 Quoc Escape Road in action.jpg

The Quoc-developed retention dial is intuitive to operate. The right shoe requires a clockwise rotation to tighten, with a solitary anti-clockwise click to release the tension (the reverse applies to the left shoe). Simply pull each side of the upper apart to release your foot from the shoe.

2023 Quoc Escape Road shoes - lace dial.jpg

While the retention system works well, the fit can't be tailored to the same accuracy as a twin-dial arrangement, and you will need to retighten the dial on the fly from time to time as it has a propensity for loosening during hard efforts. This is a small bugbear, though, and something no shoe is exempt from doing.

Value

At £150, it's hard to argue with the value afforded by the Escape Road shoes.

Rivals such as the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon Wides that Matt tested are stiffer and perhaps a little racier, but they're also pricer propositions at £274.99.

The Giro Cadet Road Cycling shoes make a convincing case at £160 (just £10 more than the Quoc Escape). But while they possess similar levels of comfort and stiffness, Steve did think the price was a little high for the spec, and cleat adjustability is limited.

Conclusion

While the Quoc Escape Road shoes will suit the beginner looking to upgrade from a ratchet/Velcro closure system, they'll also appeal to accomplished riders looking for a shoe that is neither racy nor expensive.

They'll suit anyone who enjoys long days in the saddle and mixing up terrain surfaces.

The fit is comfortable, the sole offers support and comfort, and their pricing positions them well within their pool of competitors. The retention system could do with an extra dial on each shoe, and I'd prefer a darker shade as I found it hard work keeping them clean, but overall, the Quoc Escape Road shoes are well worth a look if adventuring is your cup on tea.

Verdict

Affordable, comfortable and quality shoes that can double up for use across disciplines

road.cc test report

Make and model: Quoc Escape Road shoes

Size tested: EU42

Tell us what the product is for

According to Quoc, the Escape Road is designed for the "thrill-seeking rider whose adventures aren't always along a perfectly paved path".

Quoc continues: "With its carbon composite outsole that optimally balances stiffness and comfort, this ultra-distance road shoe is not sensitive to the odd section of unpredictable terrain."

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

Quoc lists these features:

QUOC Technology single dial closure system for micro-adjustable support

Carbon composite outsole balancing stiffness and comfort

Durable, easy-to-clean PU upper

Malleable heel padding and supportive, foot-hugging fit

Reinforced guard protecting the toe cap

Organically structured ventilation air holes for breathability

Nature-inspired reflective strip

Reflective zig-zag detailing lace-guide

Replaceable Heel Pad

3-bolt road cleat compatible (Look/Speedplay)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10

I only tested the white shoes, so not too sure how the other colours will hold up (Amber and Black) but the white was difficult to keep clean and required daily wipe-downs to ensure no staining and the like.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

Very comfortable. Fit is tweaked by way of a single dial closure system and wired lacing.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

At 42.5, I'm an awkward size, and it can vary depending on the company. The Quoc Escapes were spot on, with ample breathing room around the toe box.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

At 512g (256g per shoe), the Escape Roads occupy the middle ground and are neither heavy nor light. Instead, they represent a happy medium.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

The shoes are very comfortable.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The white colour is difficult to keep clean, but regular maintenance after every ride will ensure they stay stain-free and in good condition.

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

Impressive performance and comfort. If anything, the closure system does open a little after an hour of riding but the dial can be tightened quickly on the fly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The contrasting design and play between white and black colours. I enjoyed the balance between comfort and stiffness, too.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Like all white shoes, the colour is hard to maintain. The loosening of the dial system also got a bit annoying, particularly up climbs where it's hard to tighten when momentum is required.

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

Rivals such as the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon Wides are stiffer and perhaps a little racier, but they're also pricer propositions at £274.99.

The Giro Cadet Road Cycling shoes make a convincing case at £160 (just £10 more than the Quocs, but while they possess similar levels of comfort and stiffness, we did think the price was a little high for the spec, and cleat adjustability is limited.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No – for me, it's personal as I'm used to double dial retention.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. Ideal for the beginner or rider looking for a great mix of comfort and performance at a good price.

Use this box to explain your overall score

A great shoe by Quoc that balances performance with comfort. The pricing is good, and the weight of the shoes is on a par with the budget side of the best cycling shoes, not to mention the aesthetics which are close to what you'd expect from something at the premium end of the spectrum.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 0  Height: 175cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, mtb, Gravel and Elite Cycling eSports

Aaron is the editor of off-road.cc. He completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former tech editor of Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect, digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's travelled the world writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 17 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, raced nearly every mountain bike stage race in South Africa and completed the Haute Route Alps. He's also a national-level time triallist and eSports racer, too - having captained South Africa at both the 2022 and 2023 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships. 

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3 comments

Avatar
Steve K | 9 months ago
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I've got a (different) pair of Quoc shoes with the same dial closure. I've not had any problem with them loosening.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
1 like

Intruiged by the gravel claims.

I wouldnt touch gravel in SPD-SL shoes - SPD's for the win.  

Surely not just me?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Secret_squirrel | 9 months ago
0 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Intruiged by the gravel claims.

I wouldnt touch gravel in SPD-SL shoes - SPD's for the win.  

Surely not just me?

Agreed. Also, I'm not terribly precious about my gear but I do like it to stay looking nice; my white road shoes have just been put away for their habitual autumn/winter hibernation, the idea of taking white shoes out on a gravel ride really does not appeal.

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