Ride Concepts Tallac Shoes are Ready for Trail, Bike Park, and Anything Between [Review]

Ride Concepts Tallac shoe
Photos: Matt Miller

For the past four-and-a-half years, Ride Concepts has grown, stealing eyes and feet away from mountain biking’s leading shoe brand, and it’s been enjoyable to see how the new(ish) brand has evolved. This year, Ride Concepts introduced their first shoe with Boa, and the shoes — the Tallac and Flume — are lookers.

I’ve been wearing the Tallac for a few months now and have been completely satisfied with the shoe. The Tallac, like most of Ride Concepts shoes, is intended for trail and gravity riders. One shortcoming of the brand so far may be that they have yet to introduce a lightweight, more pedal-friendly option. But neither has Five Ten so there may be something to making shoes for the biggest portion of the bell curve.

Ride Concepts Tallac features

The Tallacs (and Flumes) have a Cordura, stitch-free welded upper for durability and comfort and the shoe’s sole wraps up and around the toes and provides protection high up around the rest of the foot. There are some directional knobs under the toe and heel for added traction on the ground, and a “runway” through the cleat zone, which is said to make it easier to hook up with the pedal.

Ride Concepts offers a few versions of the Tallac: There is a Boa-equipped clipless and flat shoe option, and a lace-up clipless and flat shoe option. They vary in price from $160-210. I’ve been testing the Tallac Clip lace-ups priced at $180. My size 41, which I found fits true to size, weighs 470g without a cleat, about 45g more per shoe than the Specialized 2FOs I reviewed before the Tallacs.

I’m usually a big proponent of Boa ratcheting lace systems. I like the ease of securing a shoe with Boa and I like that I can adjust them while I’m pedaling. If Boa existed when I was a kid, I would have tossed my Velcro shoes in the trash and might not have ever learned to tie my shoes.

On the flipside, I find that I usually have to adjust my Boas more regularly than lace-ups, and if I were to sum up the feeling of the Ride Concepts Tallacs in one word, it would be security. The laces under the velcro enclosure result in a snug fit that doesn’t budge. Sure, it might take 60 seconds more to put your shoes on, 45 if you’re really fast, but the Tallacs stay exactly where they need to be. A little elastic strip hugs the laces and keeps them from straying away from the shoe.

The Tallac foot box is medium-ish, I’d say, and wider than the narrower Specialized 2FO I reviewed recently. The padding on the inside of the achilles cups the heel and prevents the back of the shoe from sliding up and down. A reinforced toe cap keeps toes out of harm’s way.

There is a bit of flex through the sole, felt during hard pedals, but it’s a moderately stiff pedaling platform with some flex for hike-a-bike situations. The toes don’t flex as much as the Specialized 2FOs, but there is enough flex to make a dreaded push to the summit tolerable if you’re on foot. Breathability is decent for the Tallacs. I’ve mostly ridden the shoes in spring temperatures, from the 40s/50s well into the 70s and they have fit this range well. They aren’t the lightest or most vented or breathable shoe on the market though, so I can see where these might get balmy on hot summer days.

I’ve received quite a few compliments on the Ride Concepts Tallacs since I’ve had them, and I’ll echo those. The Tallacs look great. The branding seems more refined than the big, bold ‘RC’ stamp the shoes normally have and this particular colorway is a home run.

Closing thoughts

The new Ride Concepts Tallac has proven to be a great shoe for trail and gravity riding. With a robust sole and reinforcements around the heel and toes, the shoes feel ready for anything. The Tallacs are not the lightest or most airy shoe out there, but if you want to err on the side of protection, durability, and comfort, the shoes are a knockout.

Party laps

  • Great aesthetics
  • Secure feeling on foot
  • Comfortable and confidence inspiring

Pros and cons of the Ride Concepts Tallac

Dirt naps

  • A bit heavy

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