Back in March, Fizik came out with a pair of new gravity MTB shoe models that offer differing levels of protection, and both are available with a clipless or flat sole. We had a solid taste of the lighter Gravita Versor model, and now it’s time to share what’s unique about the brand’s heftier Gravita Tensor kicks. For a more in-depth look at the shoe’s fit and feel, check out our Versor review.
Both models fit identically well, and the sole offers the same firm pedaling performance. They are both fantastic shoes for different riding styles, and if you frequently sustain ankle and toe injuries while riding you’ll want to continue reading.
There are three striking differences between the Gravita Versor and Tensor models, each adding a little weight and security to the Tensor. The heavier option has a high ankle cuff that helps to keep the loam outside your shoe, and more importantly, adds a layer of protection to the inner ankle. I’m not sure why all gravity shoes don’t include this piece of protection, as it saves countless scars and cranky ankles. The neoprene-like piece of fabric is thin enough that it’s not noticeable while pedaling, yet just thick enough to prevent blood loss. If this was the only distinction between the two models, I would reach for the Tensor every time.
The cuff encircles your ankle, impressively reducing the number of times you need to dump the soil out of your shoes throughout the day. This dust-cuff might be particularly intriguing if you have any friendly traditions where you get to drink a beer from your shoe. If you don’t have those traditions, maybe consider creating them? “Anyone who puts a foot down on the climb has to drink from their shoes!”
The second bit of sturdy protection on the Gravita Tensor is the larger reinforced toe-cap. The hard plastic wraps up over your longest toes, covering all of them in case of impacts. I can hardly feel the pressure in my toes when squeezing the cap with my fingers, and most stone strikes are deflected without notice. I have hit a few things hard enough to feel them through the armor, and I’d likely have a broken toenail or toe if that hunk of plastic wasn’t there to block and redirect the energy. Like the ankle cuff, I would upgrade to the Tensor for this element alone. I might actually make it to the end of 2021 with all of my toenails thanks to these tough kicks, which isn’t always the case.
The third difference between these shoes is the additional velcro strap on the Tensor. However simple, this strap makes it possible to adjust the shoes on the fly, which is a welcome benefit. Fizik uses a super-sticky velcro that stays tight and closed, and it can be cinched up as taut as you like. The strap also holds the laces in place so there’s no need to find a lace retainer on the tongue to thread them through. I swapped the laces in these shoes for a little flare, but they come with clean black strings from the factory.
At 15-20g heavier than the Versor, these protection bits are easily worth their weight. The new Tensor shoes retail for €/$129 (available at Amazon) with flat soles and €/$139 clipless (also at Amazon). Click over to Fizik for further details.