Specialized has today unveiled its new Torch shoes, an update on the mid-range models with features trickled down from its range-topping S-Works 6 shoes. The new Torch 1, 2 and 3 replace its complete shoe range up to the S-Works 6 and Sub 6
Torch 3.0 - £200
“From the outset of the Torch 3.0 Road shoe design process, our goal was to create a performance offering as feature-packed as any top-end shoe. The challenge, however, was pulling this off at a palatable price,” explains Specialized.
The new Torch 3.0 uses a similar twin Boa S2-SV Snap dial arrangement to the S-Works 6 shoes. The upper is made from a synthetic material with mesh panels in key zones, and it’s all thermo-bonded to keep the weight and profile to a minimum. They do look very similar to the S-Works 6 shoes, but there are key differences in the materials and construction used.
- Review: Specialized S-Works 6
The Torch shoes have a FACT carbon composite sole that isn’t quite as stiff as the S-Works. Specialized’s own “stiffness index” gives the Torch shoes a rating of 8.5 compared to the 13 of the more expensive shoes. What that difference amounts to in the real-world remains to be seen.
There’s the usual 3-hole drilling with plenty of markers for lining up cleats but there’s no fore-aft adjustment like you get with the S-Works shoes so you’ll have to hope the cleat fore-aft adjustment range is adequate for your needs. There’s a vent at the front for cooling and a rubber heel for easier walking, and a rubber trim around the toe box to prevent the shoes getting scuffed up.
There are the iconic Body Geometry footbeds of course, and sizes are available from 39 up to 49. Weight for one size 42 shoe is a claimed 248g, versus 224g for the S-Works, so not a massive difference in weight at all.
I've been super impressed with the fit and performance of the S-Works shoes so to be able to get some of this at a slightly more appetising price point is clearly a good thing, though they’re not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. We’ll be getting some in for review hopefully so we can put them through our extensive review process.
Torch 2.0 - £150
The new Torch 2.0 shoes switch to a single Boa IP1 dial closure with a short velcro strap at the front of the shoe. The upper has mesh panels for cooling, and a carbon sole with a 7.0 stiffness index rating, and a three-bolt cleat drilling for compatibility with most cleat systems.
Specialized has used its Body Geometry technology and a 100% mesh and TPU construction gives extra room in the toe box to ensure the fit isn’t quite as constrictive as top-end race shoes can tend to be. Weight is 235g for a size 42.
Torch 1.0 - £80
The cheapest Torch shoe trades the Boa dials in for three velcro straps and an injection-moulded nylon composite sole with a 6.0 stiffness index. The upper is made from a synthetic material with mesh venting in key places, and the sole has both two-bolt and-three bolt drillings for using with road and mountain bike pedals. Weight is a claimed 290g.
There are women versions of all these shoes with a size range of 36 to 42, and different colour options.
More at www.specialized.com
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