Specialized has today unveiled the S-Works EXOS 99 which at 99g per foot for a size 42 claims to be the lightest production road shoe ever made.
Original story published January 10 2019 continues below.
A new and as yet unreleased climbing shoe with a lightweight upper from Specialized has been spotted at the Tour Down Under.
The unreleased shoe shares a similar profile to the S-Works 7, which was launched during last year’s edition of the race, but features almost no upper structure and a single Boa dial on the tongue.
- Specialized revamps S-Works shoes and aero helmet
- All-new Campagnolo 12-speed EPS electronic groupset spotted
- A close look at SRAM’s new 12-speed eTap groupset
The two Specialized-sponsored teams in the WorldTour — Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step — look to be wearing a new pink-to-orange fade edition of the S-Works 7 shoe along with matching socks at the race.
So far, we’ve only spotted a single Bora-Hansgrohe rider wearing a new pair of lightweight shoes, which are finished in a similar design. The rider in question was also seen fitting a set of Body Geometry SL footbeds to the shoes.
The toebox and structure of the upper on the new shoe looks to be completely replaced by a much thinner material, perhaps constructed entirely using the Dyneema Mesh material used in some components of the existing S-Works 7 shoe.
However, some of this stiffness may have been lost because the shoes appear to have a cut-out section in the sole, presumably to shift more weight off the shoe.
The Boa dial is fitted to the tongue of the shoe as opposed to earlier shoes from Specialized, where it is fitted to the outside area of the shoe. This will likely provide a more equal distribution of tension with the single dial and possibly also improve the aerodynamics of the shoe.
The new thin material combined with halving the amount of Boa dials will certainly reduce weight and while this is purely speculation, the new shoe will likely be marketed as a climbing shoe, or potentially one of the lightest shoes on the market, if put into production.
Specialized has not yet announced any details of the shoe, but we have contacted the brand for comment and will update the article with further details as soon as we can.
If stiffness levels and power transfer performance can be maintained from the S-Works 7 shoe in the new shoes, could this new minimal design be the future of cycling race shoes? Leave your thoughts in the comments.