They aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last, but Specialized has a new gravel shoe, the S-Works Recon Lace.
They’re an addition to the Recon line, which already includes Velcro, single-Boa and double-Boa closure variants, and are aimed at gravel riders who want a ‘timeless’ look and believe that the lace closure provides the greatest flexibility and fit on offer.
The shoes have a carbon sole and include all of Specialized’s Body Geometry features, which aim to properly align feet, knee and hip joints for a more efficient, comfortable ride.
Specialized S-Works Recon Lace details
Starting from the bottom, Specialized’s S-Works Recon Lace gets the same carbon outsole as the Boa-closure S-Works Recon, which has a stiffness rating of 13.0 on the brand’s scale.
What this means, without a given industry-wide scale of stiffness, is that the shoes are really, really stiff – basically top-end road race stiffness. This, in theory, means excellent power transfer to the pedals with no flex from the sole robbing energy.
Both the toe and heel areas get some additional protection from rock and log strikes, though the rest of the upper is lightweight and well ventilated.
It’s constructed from welded mesh/TPU and Dyneema (which we saw most recently on the Specialized S-Works Exos shoes). Specialized says that these materials mean the upper is soft and flexible, adding comfort, but won’t stretch.
So, why laces? Specialized says that this gives riders the ability to perfectly hone the fit of the shoe across the foot for greater flexibility with the position of lace tension over the foot.
Each side of the lace closure has six threading holes, with the top four – those most likely to frequently see the lace moving through them as the shoe is tightened or loosened – receiving reinforcing eyelets.
As mentioned, the S-Works Recon Lace receives the Body Geometry treatment. This consists of three main features.
The ‘Longitudinal Arch’ is built into the outsole to prevent arch collapse. This can be paired with customiseable footbeds to provide additional, custom-shaped support for your foot.
There’s a 1.5mm Varus Wedge, which raises the inside edge of the foot. This gives better knee and hip alignment, which Specialized claims can improve power output and can add an average of 10 seconds to your time to exhaustion during maximal efforts
Finally, there’s the Metatarsal Button. This lifts and separates the bones of the forefoot, which is said to reduce hot spots and numbness by improving blood flow and reduce the compression of nerves.
Specialized S-Works Recon Lace availability, pricing and weight
Oak Green, Black and ‘Aloha’ colours should be available now, with White arriving in late September.
Shoes will be priced at £300 / €330 / $325.
Our size 44 shoes come in at 608g for the pair, not including cleats.