One of the most exciting new products to launch in MTB thus far in 2023 is without a doubt Fox Racing’s awesome new footwear range! The line-up is called ‘Union’ and it consists of 3 models; clips and a flat.
Fox Racing sure as hell didn’t cut any corners in the development of their first ever line-up of riding shoes – they even collaborated with the SantaCruz Syndicate racing team to test various prototypes to ensure the final version of each shoe are world class!
All three models of the Fox Union mountain bike shoes share a one-piece welded upper construction, with a reinforced toe box to protect against rock strikes and some perforations aft thereof to allow the wearer’s toes to breathe. A glass-filled nylon shank stiffens the mid-sole to what Jackson Goldstone reckons offers “the perfect stiffness and support”.
The outsole is made up of Fox’s proprietary Ultratac rubber compound, arranged into hexagonal lugs with chamfered edges. These are said to grip the pins of flat pedals to deliver control, while the broader hexagonal lugs positioned toward the heel are said to be better suited for hike-a-bike sections when you really need to be able to dig into the terrain under foot. The exact formulation of the rubber differs between the flat pedal and clipless options, but Fox have been tight lipped with specific details about that.
The 2 clipless models in the line-up, The Union and Union BOA, both share the same cleat box, with a visual power-control guide to help riders find the best cleat position, and to replicate that position between each shoe in the pair; it offers scope for 33mm of adjustment. Also, both clipless models will include two pairs of arch height inserts to customise fit for the different clipless pedals on the market.
The top model in the Fox Racing Union shoe range is the Union BOA shoe which features the Dual BOA Li2 system. The ability to customize fit to perfection comes with the custom-tuneable midsole ratchets, to adjust your pedal grip and feel, and are aimed to give riders more comfort. The sole has been designed using the Ultratac rubber compound, with the engineered tread pattern and again aimed to provide best-in-class grip and durability.
Of course, all of those fancy performance and comfort features do come with a rather large price tag, the Union BOA retails for $349.95 here in Oz.
The Union Clipless shoe and like the other two shoes features a one-piece, welded upper construction for a consistent, precise fit and protection against the elements. The Union Clipless features all the same features as its BOA sibling but uses a low-profile Velcro strap and lace system to optimize fit and comfort instead of the BOA fastening system, which offers riders the choice of system and probably down to each rider and their preference on which they use.
The Union Clip is set to retail for $249.95 at Fox Racing dealers throughout Australia.
The flat-pedal version of the Union mountain bike shoes utilize the Ultratac rubber sole compound and stick confidently to your platform pedals and Fox says should you come into a corner with ‘too much pepper’ they’ll let you easily stick a foot out and steady the ship. The Union Flat will retail in Oz for $199.95
Fox Racing Australia have kindly sent the mag a set of each of each model to trail test so be sure to check back in next issue for our in-depth reviews.