O’Neal Stinger II 2017 Mountain Bike Review

O’Neal Stinger II 2017

Reviews / Shoes

O’Neal 122,895

At A Glance

The Stinger II is a flat pedal shoe from O’Neal and fits within a range which includes their Torque SPD shoe and high top Trigger flat shoe.

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The style follows a classic skater style shoe, with bold contrasting colours and stitched leather panels. The sole unit is a honeycomb textured rubber which O’Neal call Honey Rubber. This is made up of multiple hexagons, ideally shaped to find a home for pedal pins, giving the shoe both mechanical and friction grip on the pedal.

O’Neal claims that this sole provides the best balance of grip and foot repositioning, neither being glued in place or bouncing all over the place. The Stinger is available in three colourways including black/orange and black/blue, so there should be something to match your eyes.

On The Trail

Slide a foot in, and you are instantly rewarded with skate-shoe comfort. Plenty of padding and a relaxed wide shape to the shoe make for a casual look and fit. They certainly don't look like you're heading out racing, but fit the bill to wear them from trail to pub and back again with no issues.

Crucially with all shoes is pedal grip, and O’Neal is pretty much on the money when they suggest a balance of grip and the ability to reposition your foot with the Honey Rubber. I felt that when the going was good, and the pins seated inside the honeycomb there was a significant level of grip and control with very little movement side to side as the shoe felt locked in. The only issues with grip levels were through the rough stuff when a little bounce would sometimes cause the shoes to release their grip as the pins escaped from the sole. This will in part be down to the relatively hard compound rubber, which gives excellent durability but lacks the tackiness of other sticky rubbers available.

The midsole of the shoe is quite soft, giving a fair bit of flex, which is good for getting more feel through the shoe but doesn’t have the stiffness for hard pedalling. Off the bike, they are very comfy due to the slightly more flexible sole, and the grip is pretty good; watch out for mud and wet grass, as the flat sole doesn't offer much traction in these conditions.

Weather-proofing is decent, and even though the side panels are perforated, general wet trail conditions didn't result in wet feet. Construction is fantastic, with all panels and the sole being stitched together, nothing relying solely (excuse the pun – sorry!) on glue to keep it together, meaning the lifespan is promising.

Overall

A classic set of mountain bike shoes, which offer comfort, style and excellent durability at a great price. They look just as good off the trail as on it too, which is always a bonus!

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

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