Perforations for ventilation; EVA midsole; lace-up design
sticky and stylish
not enough protective padding in the upper or underfoot; could be grippier
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When you don’t want to be locked to your pedals, the grippy rubber-sole on the Liv Shuttle Flat mountain bike shoe helps keep you connected to your bike without being clipped in. The synthetic leather upper is perforated for venting, with a mesh pocket on the tongue to keep your laces tucked away and out of your spokes.
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Shuttle Flat Upper
The gum-colored soles and faux-leather upper with turquoise lacing were sharp. Made from TPU that looks like leather, with a mesh tongue and mesh around the heel, the Shuttle is heavily reinforced at the toe to prevent scuffing or slicing. Zonal lacing let me control how tight I made the toe versus the midfoot.
The reflective laces slid easily through the bottom three grommets, but not the top, so I could tune tightness throughout. The shoe was perforated in the toe, tongue, and midfoot. Those vent holes, combined with wicking mesh around the ankle and on the tongue, did a good job wicking moisture from the shoe and away from my foot.
Liv gives riders a big swath of sticky rubber in this shoe’s dual-density sole, with harder, more durable rubber in the toe and heel. That gives flat pedal riders some real estate to play with for experimenting where the shoe and pedal engage. The less sticky toe and heel should make the Shuttle wear longer than a fully sticky sole, but I haven’t had them long enough to confirm. The Shuttle’s rubber is sticky, but not as grippy as some shoes I tested, including the Ride Concepts Vice. I lost a foot off my pedal a few times while I was figuring this out.
An extra fat EVA insole gave this shoe some cushioning, but not enough for me to want to keep it on post-ride. Additional cushioning in the midsole would also have been welcome. The Liv Shuttle Flat includes a footbed specific to the shoe, which make it challenging to use our own. At over a half-inch thick at the heel, the footbed is a structural element, and not the usual disposable insole you find in most footwear.
Shuttle Flat Fit
Liv did a good job keeping the toe box spacious but not sloppy, with midfoot-to-ankle lacing that locks your foot to the shoe. There was a bit of a learning curve for me with dialing-in the lace tightness. A couple of times I had to stop mid-ride to adjust because my toes were numb. A mesh lace garage tucked away the reflective lacing once my shoes were tied, and kept from getting caught in my chainrings.
This understated and classic workhorse shoe got the job done. It didn’t overheat my feet, and without the clipless interface, I was able to bail when I got in over my head. However, that’s also usually when some armoring would be helpful, which this shoe didn’t have. The design and integration of the footbed made it hard to use aftermarket or custom insoles.