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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They also have a roomy toe box, which is less suffocating than some of the racier shoes on the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At £150, it's hard to argue with the value afforded by the Escape Road shoes.
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.
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.
Affordable, comfortable and quality shoes that can double up for use across disciplines
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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)
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.
Very comfortable. Fit is tweaked by way of a single dial closure system and wired lacing.
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.
At 512g (256g per shoe), the Escape Roads occupy the middle ground and are neither heavy nor light. Instead, they represent a happy medium.
The shoes are very comfortable.
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.
About the tester
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.