Here I am today in a warm summer day in Squamish talking about an American brand who is finding his way in gravity cycling footwear market with two really cool models for all that people wanna find an alternative shoe than the super famous Five ten…Afton Keegan and Vectal. The Californian company from San Diego is pretty new in the market but since the beginning has focus the attention of many riders in a new footwear look in cycling panorama. Their main production is focused on Afton Keegan for flat pedals and Afton Vectal for clip pedals, but today we are gonna try and review the Afton Keegan in Black\Gum colour with an aggressive Enduro bike (Commencal meta AM 29) after 2 months riding in different conditions… Enduro race, riding in Whistler bike park, riding on the Squamish trails.
What’s the first impression after wearing it? The shoes are a little bit tight if you are using you regular shoes size (I got 10,5), in fact the Afton guys recommend to get one size more then your regular number. It’s not the end of the world in my case because the fit of the shoe is more stable, a bit tight but solid and comfortable at the same time all round my foot. Maybe next time I would take the extra number just being a bit more comfortable. By the way, for 2019 they improved the fit and the quality of INTACT rubber which is very grippy and more resilient. Honestly If you are used to ride with Stealth Rubber from Five-ten shoes you will not find the same sticky felling on your pedals (which sometimes is too much for me on flat pedals especially when you need to get micro adjustment during you riding on high speed) , but the Afton Keegan offers a really good grip unless riding with a good flat pedals filled with metal pins!
One of the important feature about Afton shoes is the mono-directional interior shank which supports your foot on the pedal during impacts, assists in energy transfer when pedalling, and reduces vibration yet flexes to allow normal walking. That’s means technically during the impacts your shoes will distribute the stress over the entire surface of the foot almost like an Helmet but at the same time when you are on fire in a Downhill run all your pressure is transferred directly on the pedals like a Race shoes. Really not bad!
The front toe box also has an external taping and a PU internal shield laminated to the toe will keep you covered for any impact on rocks and roots!!! (Already tested in whistler trails! And my toes are really thankful!) 🙂
Although the season is (finally) dry and dusty I tried the water resistance because for riders who living in British Columbia like me, that is a real important feature for Canadian wet riding (usually 6 months at year!) and consisted of spraying my shoes with water hose direct on the shoes for a few seconds during my bike wash and the result has been amazing. I would need a rainy winter to be a complete test, but time is running and I will give you an update later fall.
At the end the test score for the Afton Keegan is a real good 8.5\10 which is not bad at all for many good reasons and also the price is really competitive ($99 US) which will give a kick out to the other brands.