Specialized has added a lace-up road cycling shoe to its S-Works Torch range featuring Body Geometry. Unlike most lace-up shoes, these ones forgo more classic styling and are all about speed, offering "an unprecedented level of efficiency, lightweight, and comfort" and even time trial PBs, claims Specialized. They will also set you back £300.
Specialized has a top tier of products that it calls S-Works, applying this to helmets, shoes, bikes and pretty much everything else that it makes. Generally S-Works products are the lightest, stiffest and fastest items in the range, and most likely to drain your bank account too...
The Torch range starts at £99.99 and goes up to £385 for Specialized S-Works Torch Road Shoes with BOA dials.
Like all of Specialized's shoes, the S-Works Lace feature Body Geometry which is said to improve comfort, performance and reduce the chance of injury.
With this comes some big claims, and Specialized says that Body Geometry shoes increase average time trial power by seven watts, and could reduce a 10km TT time by a huge 28 seconds, compared to riding the same TT in traditional cycling shoes. We're unsure what Specialized considers a traditional cycling shoe, but it goes without saying that we can't verify these claims at the time of writing...
Moving on to the sole of the shoes, and they're pretty much the same design as the standard Specialized S-Works Torch Road Shoes with BOA dials. The carbon base plates are 4mm wider at the ball of the foot than the S-Works 7 shoes.
The carbon outsole has an internal I-beam for extra stiffness and a Varus Wedge, which is has 1.5mm outward tilt to the outsole. Specialized claims the Varus Wedge stabilises the forefoot during the pedal stroke and helps align the ankle, knee, and hip.
There is also an assymetrical heel cup, which is said to accomodate the achillies in order to increase comfort. Looking at the fit data, it's a roomier design than the S-Works 7 shoes, so it may suit riders who found the heel cup to be too tight on the S-Works 7.
If you’re familiar with Specialized shoes and have heard of the Varus Wedge before, then you'll also have heard of the Metatarsal Button and Longitudinal Arch.
The Metatarsal Button is a small lump that sits under your foot, and its job is to spread your metatarsal bones in the forefoot. Specialized says this prevents them impininging nerves and compressing arteries.
The shoes also get the Longitudinal Arch, which is essentially arch support that is built into the outsole.
The upper of the S-Works Torch Lace features a remapped zonal layering specific to lace retention. This is said to adapt to different foot shapes, but Specialized claims it won't stretch and will offer a consistent fit over long rides.
And finally, Specialized claims the S-Works Torch Lace weigh 400g in a size 42, which is around 100g less than the Specialized S-Works Torch Road Shoes with BOA dials at 502g, and the Specialized S-Works 7 Lace Road Shoes coming in at 508g.
The shoes are available in four colours: black, dark navy, dune white and white. The recommended retail price is £300.
You can find out more on the Specialized website.
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…