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Quoc Mono II cycling shoe review: A performance shoe that does everything well without a fuss

The Quoc Mono II are premium road shoes. Stylish and lightweight with a stiff carbon sole, they really stand out in white and have several clever design features.

A pair of white Quoc Mono 2 shoes sit on brick steps
(Image: © Tom Wieckowski)

Our Verdict

The Quoc Mono II cycling shoes are beautiful, stiff cycling shoes from an independent British brand. Comfortable, adjustable and easy to clean. Very good cycling shoes, just be careful not to scrape the uppers.

For

  • Lightweight – 255g for a size EU43
  • Stylish slipper-like design looks great
  • Stiff unidirectional carbon fibre sole
  • Uppers are easily wiped down and cleaned
  • Supplied with interchangeable insole arch supports to fine tune fit

Against

  • The microfibre upper will scuff or tear if you catch it
  • The front sole toe pad isn't replaceable

Quoc is an independent British brand which was founded in 2009 by fashion graduate Quoc Fam. The Mono II is Quoc's only road shoe and sits alongside the brand's Gran Tourer II and Grand Tourer Lace gravel shoes, cycling trainers and an SPD-compatible chelsea boot. These five models make up Quoc's small but considered range. 

The Mono II was launched in late 2021 and succeeded the original Mono as Quoc's sole road offering. Lots of the key design features have remained but the standout change made by Quoc has been to fit the Mono II with Quoc's own dual dial closure system instead of the triple strap closure system the original Monos used. 

The Mono II are billed by Quoc as a premium race grade shoe and the rrp of £270 means they certainly sit in the premium road shoe bracket alongside offerings from more established brands like Sidi, Lake and Specialized. But how does this plucky British brand stand up to those competitors? To find out, I've been putting them to the test to see if they're worthy of inclusion in our guide to the best cycling shoes.

Quoc mono 2 shoes

The Mono II shoes pictured with the included interchangeable arch supports.  (Image credit: Tom Wieckowski )

Design and aesthetics

The Mono II shoes are available in three different colour options: white, black and the more recently released sand option. The white ones are very white and really pop. In fact, for those whose shoes must be reminiscent of an advert for Daz washing powder and whiter than white, then there aren't many I've seen that better meet this brief. 

The uppers are simple and unfussy and employ a stitched two-piece microfibre synthetic construction, the ankle is low and the tongue is flapped, which all contributes to the shoe feeling lightweight and slipper-like on the foot, which I really like. There are some subtle small logos and a series of perforations to aid ventilation.

The left shoe's inner rear also features some neat detailing and key information regarding the shoes, as well as some oh-so-21st-century branding, including Quoc's #quocshoes hashtag, just in case you need help remembering to tag them on Instagram and elsewhere. 

The synthetic uppers are easy to keep clean, a quick wipe down with a microfibre cloth and my normal bike wash and water 50/50 mix has done the trick for me and kept the shoes looking good. Fighting to keep expensive cycling shoes white will never be easy, but it's made less of a chore with the Quoc Mono II. 

However, I did catch the right shoe's toe box on a pedal and ended up with a scuff in the microfibre upper. Longer term, especially in this colour, the shoes could easily pick up a few scuffs and tears so being careful with them walking around off the bike may become a bit of a preoccupation, as has been the case for me.

Quoc mono 2 shoes

The dual closure dials on the Mono II shoes (Image credit: Tom Wieckowski )

Comfort

I got on well with the Quoc Mono II shoes immediately and experienced zero rubbing, hot spots or issues with them needing to soften up out of the box. They were comfortable from the off, which has not always been the case in the past for me. There can be quite hard, almost rigid sections of padding on some new shoes, particularly around the ankle that can take several rides to break in, but with the Mono II, I pretty much fitted my cleats, put them on and didn't have to think about anything other than riding the bike and admiring the shoes. Padding initially seems minimal but it's clearly well thought out and executed, there seems to be just enough and exactly where you need it. I really like this. Combined with the generally low cut around the ankle, it really contributes to their racy feel and makes them feel like slippers when you're wearing them. 

I don't tend to struggle with hot feet in any cycling shoes, it isn't something I feel bothered by ever really, but it's nonetheless worth reporting that this summer, I rode in these shoes on the hottest ever recorded here in the UK. Even with temperatures nudging 40 degrees Celsius, I didn't feel like overheating was an issue. There is a small forward vent in the sole and plenty of perforations on the uppers which I think do a decent job of keeping your feet cool. 

Foot retention as you tighten the Quoc dials is even and helps ensure your foot is held securely in each shoe and when I needed to, I could really achieve a tight fit whilst the shoes remained comfortable. The dials are Quoc's own, not Boas and are directional: clockwise to tighten, pop open to release. I've found them easy to use and can get the shoes off in seconds. Sometimes you can find yourself in a bit of a battle to get dial closure shoes off, which isn't really what you want when you've just collapsed off the bike at the end of a long ride. 

You can't fine-tune them click by click if you want to loosen the shoes on the bike. You need to 'open them' so they slacken off then re-tighten them down again, I found this easy to do but it is perhaps a feature some riders and racers will want, especially if you find yourself adjusting your shoes several times a ride. 

After several months, as the tongue material softened, I also found myself smoothing down and supporting the shoe's tongue to prevent a slight crease from forming when I tightened the dials down hard. This didn't affect comfort, and certainly isn't a defect, but it was necessary to keep them looking perfect whilst out on the bike.

Quoc's sizing comes up slightly larger than most other major brands and the shoes feature a 'medium fit' rounded toe box. It certainly doesn't look or feel too wide and I like the shape. Quoc recommends measuring your feet from heel to the longest toe, adding 0.5mm to this figure and then referring to its sizing chart. It also has a useful comparison table so you can see how your usual size in other brands compares to Quoc's. This is really handy, especially with it being a newer brand. 

I find that the sizing is very similar to Shimano regular fit in most sizes. The shoes drew a few appreciative murmurs from my bike fitter who even tried a shoe on himself at a recent bike fit. With many cyclists purchasing their shoes online, it feels like Quoc has recognised this and made a good stab at helping you get the right size first time. 

Quoc mono 2 shoes

The low heel cut of the Quoc makes them feel racy, but is also super comfy. (Image credit: Future)

These are lightweight shoes, they're light in your hands and on your feet with no unnecessary bulk. They're claimed at 249 grams for a size 43. My own pair happens to be the same size at an EU43 / UK9, and weigh in at an acceptably close 255g on my scales. They aren't so light that durability is compromised but rest assured the Quocs will be plenty light enough for all but the most weight-conscious rider. 

Quoc mono 2

The Mono II's minimalist uppers and branding (Image credit: Tom Wieckowski )

The Mono II shoes have a stiff unidirectional carbon fibre sole in a subtle matte finish which features a simple textured Quoc logo and cleat alignment markings. Quoc declines to say what brand or grade of carbon fibre is used for the sole to protect its manufacturing process, but assures it is of the same quality as other more prominent brands. The sole is thin at around 4mm and is drilled for three-bolt cleats, there is also a small vent at the front as well a replaceable rear heel tab and a non-replaceable front toe tab. I think it would be a long time before this non-replaceable tab ever wore out and caused a problem, which is probably why Quoc didn't worry too much about this detail. Replaceable dials and heel tabs are easily ordered from Quoc's website if and when needed. 

I've found the Mono IIs to be plenty stiff enough for my needs, from the occasional race, easy club run and everything in between. For me there's a great balance between stiffness and comfort, I haven't felt the Quocs are a hyper stiff, unforgiving, race-only shoe like the S-Works Ares, for instance. They are comfortable spinning along but when you are stamping up a climb or are riding hard in or out of the saddle, they deliver. If you want stiff cycling shoes and it's a big factor in your buying decision, the Quoc Mono II won't let you down. 

The mono 2's unidirectional carbon fibre sole

The carbon fibre sole is simple in its looks, only straying from black for the Quoc logo (Image credit: Future)

Value

The Quoc Mono II shoes come in at £270.00 ($375.00 / €375.00 / AU$500.00), if you order from Quoc's own website you also get a free Quoc water bottle when you order your first pair and subscribe to their newsletter. There's no denying this is a lot of money, but it is still around £100 less than some other brands' offerings, while the performance doesn't come up any shorter.  

The Mono II offers good value for the performance promises they deliver on for me. They have performed flawlessly over several months of regular and hard use with absolutely zero defects or issues. I suspect these are shoes that will stay looking really sharp for several seasons or summers of use.

They even come with interchangeable arch supports to help you fine-tune your fit - my feet are relatively flat so I stuck with the stock inserts the insoles came fitted with, and spare parts are also available should you need them. 

I'd say for the looks, performance and durability they offer, it's money well spent. 

Quoc road shoes

The Mono II shoes and insole arch supports.  (Image credit: Tom Wieckowski )

Verdict 

The Mono 2's are fantastic shoes. Quoc has come up with a great-looking, stylish, performance cycling shoe that does everything well without a fuss. I've not had to worry about them or consider them once in a negative way whilst riding my bike, which is all I want from most of my cycling kit, especially my shoes. 

Testing scorecard and notes
AttributesNotesRating
Design and aesthetics Great looking shoes, in a choice of three colour options10/10
Comfort Really comfy, with great foot retention and dial system9/10
Weight Lightweight carbon-soled shoes, 255g for an EU 43.8/10
Stiffness Stiff enough for nearly all cyclists whether you're racing or just want a performance shoe.9/10
Value Good value for the looks and performance.8/10
Overall rating88%

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Tech writer

Tom joined the Cyclingnews team in late 2022 as tech writer. Tom has over 10 years experience as a qualified mechanic with 5 or so of those being spent running an independent workshop. Tom has ridden and raced bikes from an early age up to a national level on the road and track and has ridden and competed in most disciplines, even the odd bit of bike polo. Tom is as happy tinkering away in the garage as he is out on the road bike exploring the Worcestershire lanes.