Seasonal test for Fox Racing’s more casual off-road footwear, new for summer 2023 for the “gravity” sector. Lightweight and breathable, comfortable but protective where necessary, they have a medium stiff sole that allows you to walk easily on the paths, as well as being worn in your free time.
FOX Union Canvas shoes
• Sturdy canvas upper, molded toe, Ultratac rubber sole, internal anatomical EVA footbed, internal reinforcement plate to optimize power transfer to the pedals, lace closure
• Colori: Mocha, Red, Grey, Black, Olive Green
• Numbers: from 37 to 47, with half numbers from 41.5 to 45.5
• Weight measured by us (for a size 44 shoe): 390 grams
• List price: €119.99
• Link to the Union Canvas shoes product: California Sports site – Fox Racing site
The long summer queue must have convinced Fox Racing to think of a lighter and more casual shoe to complement the three existing “gravity” models presented in spring. If for clipless pedals the Fox “Union BOA” (with homologous closure) and Fox “Union” (closure with laces and velcro closure) are in the catalogue, for “flat” pedals we now find the Union Canvas, twins of the “Union Flat” ” with the only difference being that the upper is made of sturdy canvas rather than synthetic polymer material. Due to its characteristics, the Union Canvas not only satisfies trail bikers, enduro riders and downhillers, but also those who want a shoe that can be easily used even in free time, thanks to the flat sole with moderate stiffness that never penalizes walking, especially on paths as well as on other surfaces.
The Ultratac rubber sole of the Union Canvas grips very well to “flat” pedals and to all those small wet and slimy obstacles that characterize the roughest off-road practice. The compound is soft but sufficiently durable, although the sharpest stones inevitably partially damage it.
The internal part of the sole is equipped with a reinforcement plate which stiffens the structure, avoiding excessive dispersion of the force applied to the pedals. Rigid yes, but not too much, and it is stiff enough to allow walking on the paths or, even more easily, in typically “leisure” areas after the race or when going out with friends.
The closure of the Union Canvas is entrusted to the classic laces, which wrap the metatarsal very well thanks to the 5 fixing eyelets. The tongue is very soft, it wraps well around the instep, but occasionally tends to move sideways during walking. A loop to slide the laces through would have been ideal to prevent this phenomenon.
The canvas upper resists abrasion well but naturally does not protect against water and liquid mud, given the texture of the fabric. However, the protection from dust and other debris is good and can be easily washed. The breathability of the upper is excellent, the Union Canvas are ideal footwear in high temperatures because they always leave the back of the foot cool and dry. Sturdy and resistant, the molded and ergonomically shaped toe cap absorbs frontal impacts very well and adequately protects the foot.
The anatomical EVA insole is very simple, perforated near the toes but unfortunately it is not removable as it is glued to the midsole. However, it supports the arch of the foot well. When it gets dirty there is no other way to clean it other than together with the shoe, washable by hand or in the washing machine at +30°C (at higher temperatures there is the risk of structural deformations), or with the high pressure jet of the pressure washer, a necessary remedy to remove the mud accumulated during outings on heavy ground.
Article and photos by Roberto Chiappa