Friday, May 2, 2008 4.15pm
By Gary Boulanger, US editor
The US$280 Specialized Body Geometry (BG) S-Works road shoes are the best fitting high performance shoes I've worn in 15 years, worth every penny. Riders with custom shoe tendencies may save money by trying these shoes first.
My size 46 test samples weighed 578g (289g each), which is impressive considering one's feet need to be considered with regard to rotating weight. Churning round and round like a Dutch windmill, our legs benefit from having less weight on our feet. Like most roadies, I like shoes that are easy to slip into and out of. The Boa rotary closure mechanism is simple, quick and secure. As I mentioned above, there's nothing like a pair of slippers to wear when spending hours in the saddle.
Specialized has expanded its Body Geomtery engineering to its footbed and outsole. The metatarsal button and longitudinal arch support gets rid of hotspots and swelling, and as I experienced at a Specialized fitting session last April, many cyclists (like myself) benefit from Specialized's formed footbed, if not with the stock pair, then with other shapes available at a Specialized dealer.
The rainy Northern California winter tried its best, but the S-Works' water-resistant Micromatrix upper kept me dry enough. The Specialized FACT carbon sole with a 3-bolt cleat pattern fits Shimano SPD-SL, Look, Time and Speedplay pedals.
How does one put a value on road shoes these days? For most, comfort and durability are key, which is hard with carbon soles. It doesn't take much to scruff up the bottoms. Weight is becoming an issue in everything, shoes included, so for those seeking lightweight without going the full custom route (i.e. Rocket7s), then the S-Works are a bargain.
What's the score with BikeRadar reviews? You can
find a full
explanation of our ratings here.