Specialized El Gato Comp Shoes

3.65/5 (37 Reviews)


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Product Description

Double mesh construction for breathability / Synthetic upper for lasting durability and weight savings / Dual straps, with a lace option for snug fit / Neoprene tongue for added warmth and breathability / Replaceable cleats


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Reviews 1 - 15 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by brock a Cross Country Rider from seattle

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2001

Strengths:    Over 7000 miles in all conditions, commuting to work, mt bike touring, weekend road rides.... these shoes have been everywhere.

Weaknesses:    The cleats are crap, replace them. Also take out the shoelaces, these shoes are much comfortable without the laces.

Bottom Line:   
Great shoe for a cheap price. I put over 7000 miles on mine and they are still working great. No real problems here, except for the cheap aluminum cleats, which you should replace.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $90.00

Similar Products Used:   Sidi, Cannondale,

Bike Setup:   Stumpjumper Mt Bike XTR
Biachi Veloce Road Bike (use the pedals for both.)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kevin a Cross Country Rider from NJ

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2000

Strengths:    stiff, anchor onto the foot well, extremely breathable (you can actually feel the wind on your feet)

Weaknesses:    traction on smooth/wet surfaces, but i guess that's inherent with a shoe that doesn't bend. stock toe studs

Bottom Line:   
I've had no major problems with these shoes so far. There were problems with the threading on the toe studs, and i lost one somewhere on a PA trail, but it's no biggie. These shoes do not offer great traction on surfaces other than dirt, but what can you expect? The shoe is built to be stiff, and with that come some disadvantages. The rubber compund on the outsole already is rather soft. Making it softer wouldn't accomplish much traction-wise, and would wear down faster. I don't think our friend Art, the aeronautical engineer, down there would want that happening. If you're just getting into clipless pedals or don't want to blow your savings on a pair of cycling shoes, these should do just fine.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   I've had no major problems with these shoes so far. There were problems with the threading on the toe studs, and i lost one somewhere on a PA trail, but it's no biggie. These shoes do not offer great traction on surfaces other than dirt, but what can you expect? The shoe is built to be stiff, and with that come some disadvantages. The rubber compund on the outsole already is rather soft. Making it softer wouldn't accomplish much traction-wise, and would wear down faster.


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Webb a Cross Country Rider from Stanford, CA

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2000

Strengths:    Good fit (narrow, with a wide toe). More durable than softer-soled competitors, such as Shimano. I've rarely seen a shimano shoe last over a year.

Weaknesses:    Crappy-ass toe studs.

Bottom Line:   
These shoes are great for the price, but throw away the aluminum toe studs and buy some steel ones, the best value being Performance Bicycle toe studs. Tighten the toe studs just until it starts to become harder to tighten, or else you will strip the socket and be forced to replace the entire shoe. This is what happened to my first pair of these. Also, make sure you screw the toe stud in straight. They fit well, though, and my feet don't pop out of them, and they cost me about 1/4 of a pair of Sidis, and neither pair had major durability problems except for the toes studs.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   El Gato Sport
Shimano's brown BMX shoe lookalike
A friends Sidis (better)


Bike Setup:   A Bontrager (= steel hardtail).

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by SGT ROCK a Cross-Country Rider from Drumheller, AB

Date Reviewed: June 17, 1999

Strengths:    
Price
Looks
Fit
Stiff sole


Weaknesses:    
Slippery sole
Lousy toe studs


Bottom Line:   
Got these shoes at the super low price of $49. I like them a lot - they fit well and are quite stiff. However, an attempt to install the toe studs resulted in three successes and one cross-threaded disaster - insert threads were f*%&ed up. Major piss off for shoes right out of the box. Guess quality control in China ain't job 1.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
El Gato Sport, Answer Accelerator('97), Diadora Jalapeno II



Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Billy a Weekend Warrior from Enforcee

Date Reviewed: June 17, 1999

Strengths:    
Good if they're put together right


Weaknesses:    
AHHGGG! The plate comes off!


Bottom Line:   
Well, I got these shoes and put em in the pedals with the plate that was put in at the factory. Problem is, the one that comes in it will only allow the screw to go in 2 threads. I went to pop the shoe out--it didn't! The plate broke free of the shoe, so it was still sttached, just not solid. I almost wrecked. The whole thing then just ripped off the shoe leaving the plate attached. I took the one out that came with it and put in the different set that was in the box. Now it works fine. I'll give it two flaming craps for trying to kill me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
The one that's a trail

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
None


Bike Setup:   
DBR X2 stock

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Walt Wehner a Cross-Country Rider from Los Alamos, NM

Date Reviewed: May 4, 1999

Strengths:    
Super cheap, fit pretty well. Good stiffness.


Weaknesses:    
Poor durability. No heel retention.


Bottom Line:   
These are great beginner shoes. However, I completely destroyed them in less than 6 months. Both sides have numerous holes in them, I had to replace the cleat retention plates, and the velcro gave up all of it's holding power. But for $80 or whatever they cost, it's not a bad deal.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Any

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
Sidi Dominator


Bike Setup:   
hardtail that cost too much.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Brad a Weekend Warrior from Brisbane, Australia

Date Reviewed: April 25, 1999

Strengths:    
Good fit for riders with narrow feet
Ventilation through mesh on upper sole keeps toes cool.


Weaknesses:    
None


Bottom Line:   
I bough these with a discount becuase they are last years model and I'm very happy with them.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
These are the first clipless shoes that I've ever used.


Bike Setup:   
Scott Sawtooth with new specialized pedals

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Art from LA

Date Reviewed: January 28, 1999

Bottom Line:   


Seth, your analysis was good with one exception -- Specialized could have softened up the BOTTOM of the sole without sacrificing sole stiffness. If you look at the sole, it's composed of two parts: a hard, stiff black part and a softer, red part which was intended to promote traction. Softening up the red part WOULD NOT have decreased the stiffness, nor would it have compromised the cleat anchoring. Take it from a clown with an MS in aeronautical engineering (structures).

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Seth a cross-country rider from RSM, CA

Date Reviewed: January 13, 1999

Bottom Line:   


Specialized El Gato Comps - Great shoes, especially for the money. I've had mine for just over a year now and they have worked out great. The leather has held up well, the sole has not come unglued, and I haven't torn anything apart. Considering the amount of air time I have logged and some of the horrendous crashes that I have been through, they have held up really well. Especially scraping the shoes and pedals through some of the rock gardens here in Southern California.Positives
(1) can't beat the price - $90
(2) good fit(two straps plus lacing and a neoprene tongue). Sure they run narrow; so what? Keep trying on shoes until you find the size that fits you and buy 'em; who gives a rat's ass what the number on the outside of the shoebox says?
(3) excellent ventilation
(4) stiff sole: good power transfer
(5) good traction, even on rocks in streams (don't listen to those clowns below; use your brain and watch where you walk; any sole that is soft enough to be really grippy won't have the power transfer you need and the lugs will rip off.)
Negatives
(1) heel cup isn't molded
(2) not too much in the way of color choicesI would buy 'em again.
For just twice as much, you can get something Italiano with a molded heel cup and fancy shmancy buckles. For the money, they are great shoes.Now turn off your computer, geek boy, and go for a ride.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Bontrager Man (Keith IS a god) a cross-country rider from Central Mass

Date Reviewed: December 17, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I picked up my comps at LBS. I work for a comfortable shoe company, and am pretty particular about the fit/comfort of my shoes. I've only been riding a year or so, so when I tried on the comps tI figured the fact that the fit a bit tight was...normal... I ended up two sizes higher than my normal to find a width that was OK. After many miles and much cleat tweaking...I've found them to be just to damn narrow for my feet, a comon probalem looking at some of the other postings. If you have wide feet I would NOT recomend these shoes (though I've heard the '99 models is a bit more grasious).
On the up side they wear (durability) and dry real well...

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Art a weekend warrior from Louisiana

Date Reviewed: December 4, 1998

Bottom Line:   


Good shoes. I've been using them for a year and they've held up pretty well. The fit is just about perfect for me. The material used for the uppers and sole is incredible because there's hardly any damage anywhere. However, I think the bottom of the sole needs to be softened up a bit because as many other reviewers noted, the shoe is not good for slippery conditons on hard surfaces. It's no the lightest shoe either (770g/pair, size 43), but it's comparble in weight to other shoes on the market costing twice as much. The sole is starting to separate from the uppers, so once my shoes are trashed, I think I'll try the new Specialized Comps; I only hope they've transferred the good qualities of the old design to the new one.

Overall Rating:3
Submitted by Alan Funk a cross-country rider from Clearfield, PA

Date Reviewed: October 4, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I've been using these shoes for a little over 4 months now. At first I found that they didn't really have a good fit but after wearing them for a few weeks they got broken in and had a good feel. I have had trouble with the soccer cleats that go on in the front. I lost some of them on a ride so I just ended up removing them and not usuing them at all. When I was installing the cleats one of the bolts stripped out on me way too easily. Fortunately I had some extra bolts laying around and fixed it with out a problem. I also found that these shoes aren't very easy to walk on trails. Especially on rocks in through streams. Very poor traction. On the positive side the soles are nice and stiff which helps transfer more power to the pedals. If you don't plan on letting your feet touch the ground these could be pretty great shoes. Other wise they are only so so.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by TrailRipper a cross-country rider from Wisconsin

Date Reviewed: September 20, 1998

Bottom Line:   


These shoes are great. I have had only three problems (one of which is my own fault) and they were minor. The most problematic of them all was the neoprene tongue didn't hold up to the demands. The stitching came out, and I had to put it on carefully each time. It never disconnected completely, which was all right. The second problem was the plastic cleats didn't match the metal teeth that screw it in. The plastic gave and I wasn't able to take the cleats out anymore. And the third problem was that I simply grew out of them. I'm very happy with Specialized, and I have the '97 Ultimates in the mail (on sale at Nashbar for $120). Wow.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Rafael A. Torrens III a weekend warrior from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Date Reviewed: September 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I like the this shoe very much. It is well built and the materials are good, in fact, I think that it compares with shoes costing twice as much. However, I think it is for people with narrow feet only. Sizing is extremely tight. In fact, too tight. I think these shoes were one of the reasons I aquired Morton's Neuroma. I was used to Vittorias, which I thought were extremely good.

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Eugene Hsieh a weekend warrior from Toronto

Date Reviewed: September 7, 1998

Bottom Line:   


Tried on these shoes ('97 and '98) and they were very narrow up front. For the '97 I could only fit into a 41 despite the fact that I wear 39 Shimano M150's. ie. The Specialized are very narrow, and to get something wide enough I had to go two sizes bigger, meaning it was too big and I got heel lift.

They look quite lame too - like kid's Wal-Mart runners of yesteryear.For my wide feet the (more expensive) Shimano's fit much better, but we'll have to see if they last. I've read many horror stories of their less than stellar durability.

Reviews 1 - 15 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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