Specialized El Gato Sport Shoes

3.89/5 (61 Reviews)


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Product Description

1000 denier Cordura upper w/suede edging / Dual straps for snug fit / Aggressive Cat Paw tread for traction when off the bike. Great pair of shoes if you are looking for some old school!


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Reviews 1 - 15 (61 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MTS a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: December 21, 2013

Strengths:    Durability

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I have had these shoes 15+ years and they are still as good as new. Please don't tell me I have a pet bike, I do more than take it for walks.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $40.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2005

Strengths:    Better then using running shoes with platform pedals. Dual velcro, roomier then Euro makers, colour, price, hled up well to a little mud and a 10min rain soaking (as in no damage to suede) and great for cold winter rides with thicker socks on.

Weaknesses:    In hot summer months with thin socks on it feels a little wide on my feet, not 3 velcro straps (but it's enrty level),
no toe spikes (El Gato - "the cat" needs teeth, no?).


Bottom Line:   
For the first set of clipless shoes ever they are great. The price was a bit steep at $100/CAN in 1997. But as I wanted to upgrade my stock pedals on my 1996 GT Ricochet (platform with cage and straps) to clipless and the mtb magazine ads for Airwalks were in a green colour (and I really liked them but could not afford)I got these. The width is great for thicker socks on cold weather rides. A bit wide for hot summer rides. Plenty of toe space, no heel cup, pity. Wide velcro straps in excellent condition today.
Held up great in a little mud and after being caught out in a "freak" 10 min rain. Wish they came with "El Gato fangs/toe spikes". Luckily I walk over very little painted/coated cement or concrete surfaces in the buildings I live in, but I have had a few minor slips on stairs.
Bottom Line: A great "entry level" clipless shoe.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $77.00

Purchased At:   D'Ornellas (1997)

Similar Products Used:   None as these are my first clipless shoes, but I still have and use them today.

Bike Setup:   2001 Trek Fuel 90 Disk, 1996 GT Ricochet.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by adam from Jefferson City, MO

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2001

Strengths:    Cheap, Functional, Bombproof

Weaknesses:    I have no excuse to talk my wife into me getting a new pair.

Bottom Line:   
I've had these shoes a long time! Stress on that long time portion. I've never had any kind of footwear last this long. I've been through countless creeks, sank into mud, you name it, these shoes have done it. The funny thing is, they still work and feel great! I highly recommend these shoes to anyone. Why spend more if you don't have to?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Bike Setup:   Fisher Level Betty, Marzocchi Z1 CR, XTR, Race Face, blah, blah... what's this have to do with the shoes?

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John G a Cross Country Rider from Greensburg

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2000

Strengths:    Good price. Look good. Mine are a subdued Grey, Black w/Red S. They seem to be lasting. No bad wear.

Weaknesses:    Didn't fit quite out of the box. But, with a couple inserts, they are truly sweet. Bottom of my foot gets wet quite easily.

Bottom Line:   
I got my shoes from Nashbar with a set of Nashbar pedals for under $60 (to my door). If you are new to going clipless, look at this shoe from Nashbar & get their pedals too.

I have ridden about 500 miles offroad in these things. I have raced in them several times. No problems. Great bargain. (And you don't get arrested for wearing clown shoes.)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Forbes State Forest

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   n/a. First set of clipless.

Bike Setup:   98 Trek 920 (steel is real), 98 Manitou SX-R, Nashbar pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DaWobbler a Downhiller from Santa Rosa, CA

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2000

Strengths:    This is soooo simple..

Attaches feet to pedal
Forget about feet




Weaknesses:    Wife wont let me wear em while we're doing it.

Bottom Line:   
Simply put, these shoes are an exceptional VALUE, note the value word. No, they dont have a heel cup, yes, the cleat area is slick (Buy a set of Times and/or stop missing the clip), yes there are stiffer soles available for substantially more money No, you can not run on asphalt in them, they are not track shoes and Yes they have that funny little metal thingy that refuses to grip on concrete. Gosh they only lasted Two seasons?!?!? Please.... These shoes work, period, you put them on, you ride, and then you throw them in the back of the truck. They fit well, even wide feet or big sock people, they last forever, want em tight? Yank on the laces. Want em loose? Throw the laces away. And on top of all that, they're ridiculously cheap and they're not painted in neon.

Go now and sin no more!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months


Overall Rating:2
Submitted by GirlOfDoom a Cross-Country Rider from Calgary AB

Date Reviewed: December 28, 1999

Strengths:    
They work
Cheap


Weaknesses:    
Velcro straps wore out after less than a year
They're SLIIIIIIIPPEERRYYYY!!!


Bottom Line:   
These shoes are sooooo slippery to walk in!!! They've dumped me on my butt more than once. Also after less than a year of use, the velcro straps are losing their power! I know I ride everything I own really hard, but jeez!!! I'll give them two stars tho, because they work and they're cheap.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Powderface

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
None (these are my first clipless shoes)


Bike Setup:   
98 Fuji Thrill, alum. frame, Indy S shocks (I'm selling it by the way, it's a piece of junk)

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Giordana a Racer from Texas

Date Reviewed: December 27, 1999

Strengths:    
looks, stiffness, velcro straps


Weaknesses:    
none yet


Bottom Line:   
I use this shoe on my road bike in training and I like it. I got it at my LBS for 28 bucks--I believe they are the 96 version on a closeout. They fit very well and work good on my Wellgos. On the rare times I have to walk my bike, they walk just fine. I would recommend them.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Hill Country Natural Area

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Bike Setup:   
Bianchi Eros road bike, Wellgo clipless

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Steven Chaprnka a Cross-Country Rider from E. Lansing MI

Date Reviewed: December 26, 1999

Strengths:    
:Low cost
:Not to flashy


Bottom Line:   
I bought these as my intro pair of shoes. So, far, after two years, they still kick ass. Simple two strap design, nice stiff sole, cool looking. Great for beginers. I am moving to something with a little tighter fit. But i would recomend these beauties to everyone.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years


Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Ed a Cross-Country Rider from Redford, NI

Date Reviewed: October 8, 1999

Strengths:    
Price ($50)


Weaknesses:    
Color is OK


Bottom Line:   
First pair of clipless shoes and I would have to say they are great no problems at all they have improved my riding tremendously. much better acceleration and climbing ability. Of course they are not walking shoes but the give good traction off the bike for walking in thr trails if need be, kinda ackward on real hard surfaces though.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
none


Bike Setup:   
Trek 930
Rock Shox Jett T2
Secialized Clipless
Bontrager, Seat Tires, and wheels/Hubs

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Cross-Country Rider from NB, CANADA

Date Reviewed: July 16, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I basically agree with everything most people are saying. Unless you get your foot properly aligned on the pedal, you will slip right off of it. Other than that, the shoes fit very well (I have wide feet and they adjusted nicely after a few rides), they are comfortable and have stood up to whatever I have thrown at them. I would recommend these shoes to anyone. They aren't hard on the $$ either!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Rockwood Park Single Tracks

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year


Overall Rating:4
Submitted by SGT ROCK a Cross-Country Rider from Drumheller, AB

Date Reviewed: June 17, 1999

Strengths:    
Price
Looks
Fit
Durability
Lightweight


Weaknesses:    
Slippery sole
Suede leather
Color (green - ugh!)


Bottom Line:   
Good shoes, but suede is not a good off-road shoe material - doesn't like water or mud. I have these shoes rigged for road use 'cause I can't stand pansy road shoes. Aren't many shoes out there that can match this shoe for the price. If they fit, buy 'em.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
Answer Accelerator, Diadora Jalapeno II



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Yummy a Cross-Country Rider from VA

Date Reviewed: June 9, 1999

Strengths:    
Price, they work just fine.


Weaknesses:    
Slippery, tough to walk in.


Bottom Line:   
For someone who doesn't care too much for clipless pedals in the first place, these shoes do the job. But Paul from CO made a good point...they ARE slippery just around the cleat area. That is their only significant shortcoming. Thus, if you try to press down on the pedal and the front of your cleat isn't guided in properly, your foot will slide off the pedal as if it were oiled on the bottom. When wearing these shoes, you gotta make sure your cleat is properly placed/guided into the pedal before exerting force to click in. Then again, the velcro works just fine, the soul is stiff enough, and the shoe itself is comfortable; all for $60. Unless you're a racer, what more can you ask for in a shoe? 5 chilis.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Any

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
None. Never tried riding clipless on campus before!


Bike Setup:   
GT Avalanche, Time ATAC Alium pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by DRay a Cross-Country Rider from Ellensburg, WA

Date Reviewed: May 15, 1999

Strengths:    
Cheap! Comfortable! Easy in/Easy out! Great traction!


Weaknesses:    
Compared to riding in hiking boots or BMX shoes, none.


Bottom Line:   
As my first pair of clipless biking shoes, these were not only the cheapest, but the most comfortable I tried in the sub-$90 range. Velcro and laces? Not sure why, but they seem to work great together. Maybe I'll take out the laces and see how it works. Stays on the pedals, makes climbing a breeze, and even grips great off the bike. If you're thinking about making the switch to clipless, this is the shoe to do it with.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Taneum

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Bike Setup:   
Trek 7000, Manitou FS, Wellgo 96a pedals

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Ferday a Weekend Warrior from Calgary,Alberta

Date Reviewed: April 25, 1999

Strengths:    
Velcro
(laces suck)


Bottom Line:   
Good shoes, stiff sole, hard to walk in. But I guess you're not walking in bike shoes.
comfortable and grippy off the bike.Would be nice to be able to use cleats though.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
3 months


Overall Rating:5
Submitted by john walsh a Cross-Country Rider from maryland

Date Reviewed: April 6, 1999

Strengths:    
good price comfortable, especially in the toe bx


Weaknesses:    
no laces


Bottom Line:   
very good shoe for the dollar, that have taken loads of abuse and work well with a variety of pedals

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
wakefirnd trails

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
el gato comp


Bike Setup:   
stumpy hardtail, time pedals, marzocchi fork

Reviews 1 - 15 (61 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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