The Fizik Terra Atlas is an all-mountain bike shoe described by the brand as its most versatile shoe, suitable for everything from gravel to downcountry riding.
The shoe is based on the Fizik Terra X5 mountain bike shoe, but features a number of adaptations that make it suitable for a wider range of cycling disciplines, as well as “hiking with a fully loaded bike”. .
Fizik says the Terra Atlas has a roomier fit and more grippy sole compared to the Terra X5. It swaps a Boa and Velcro closure setup for a single Boa dial, and has a nylon footplate and rubber-covered outsole rather than a full carbon sole.
The Terra Atlas has some similarities to the Terra X5 shoe. There is a practical loop on the heel of the shoe and studs can be mounted on the sole.
The shoe I have is black, but there are other eye-catching colors including a pink and purple option, and a green and black version.
made to walk
The Terra Atlas is said to be suitable for walking, bringing bikepacking adventures within its scope.
It has a wide outsole with a wide heel platform and deep lugs to provide a secure and firm grip.
There’s a rubber coating all over the sole, which means you can be a little more carefree about where you place your foot on loose or slippery ground.
To make walking easier in these shoes, Fizik used a nylon toe plate, as opposed to the carbon sole used in the Terra X5 shoes.
On Fizik’s stiffness index, the Terra Atlas scores 5/10. While it’s hard to gauge exactly what that means, the shoe certainly has a good level of flex for walking without ever feeling too flexy when pressing the pedals.
This is a noticeable difference from the Terra X5, which we felt was too stiff to walk on compared to some of the best gravel bike shoes.
If the shoe fits
As well as providing good grip, the wide outsole means the Terra Atlas has a more generous fit than the Terra X5 and other race-ready mountain bike shoes.
I have the Fizik Terra Atlas in a size 43, which is the same size as my Fizik R1 road shoe.
My feet are pretty thin and I don’t mind squeezing them into narrow road bike shoes. But the wider fit and roomier toe box of the Terra Atlas meant they were comfortable from the first time I put them on. The downside was that the closure system had more work to do. I had to tighten the Boa dial a lot to get a snug fit around my feet.
I found the fit of the shoe caused the heel to slip when walking, regardless of the clips inside the heel.
I thought down sizing might fix this, as it’s something Jack Evans had to do when testing the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon. However, according to Fizik’s shoe size guide, I should go up half a size to 43.5.
I’m skeptical about this because my Fizik R1 road shoe fits me well. Sure, the R1 isn’t designed for trail riding on a bike, but I didn’t experience any heel slippage while pedaling or (doing my best impression of) sprinting while wearing them. The two Boa dials on the R1 mean I can get a better fit than when wearing the Terra Atlas.
Although the Boa lace extends further down the Terra Atlas than the Terra X5, this experience got me wondering if the Terra Atlas would benefit from a second dial or a Velcro strap over the toe box – at least for cyclists with slimmer feet, like me.
Performance of Fizik Terra Atlas
I wore the Fizik Terra shoe on gravel rides that had a good mix of loose gravel tracks, bridle paths, wooded trails, and tarmac.
While the sole is more flexible than many more racy shoes, the Terra Atlas evenly distributes the pressure on my foot even when riding on paved roads and pushing hard on the pedals.
Flexibility can compromise power transfer, but it means the shoe is easy to live with on and off the bike, especially when walking. Considering it’s designed for all kinds of riding, including adventures, that seems essential.
The lugs around the front of the shoe and the heel work well on loose, wet terrain and make walking easier than in some other cycling shoes. However, the heel slip was bothersome when pushing my bike on trails and paths.
Despite the large tabs on the front of the shoe, it was easy to clip and remove the pedals. The rubberized center section of the shoe came in handy when walking, and I was grateful for it when I missed the hookup in more difficult terrain.
It should be noted that the studs are part of the outsole of the shoe, so you cannot replace them.
The Fizik Terra Atlas holds up well to bumps and scrapes, thanks to its sturdy upper and TPU overlay on the toe cap.
At 389g per shoe (size 43), the Fizik Terra Atlas isn’t the lightest. But that’s not surprising given the shoe’s construction, which prioritizes toughness over performance.
Fizik Terra Atlas Net Result
The Fizik Terra Atlas is an elegant and robust all-terrain shoe.
The shoe might not be the lightest or stiffest, but its wide, grippy outsole combined with its generous fit make it easy to live with, straight from the box.
Despite the presence of heel grips designed to hold your foot in place, you might find that your foot lifts when you walk.
It’s probably worth a try before you buy to get the right fit, especially if you’re looking for a shoe to serve you on your next bike touring adventure.