The Specialized S-Works SW Vent is an all-new high-end road cycling shoe designed specifically for riding in hot conditions.
The SW Vent is best thought of as a mash-up between the S-Works 7 race shoe and the super-lightweight S-Works EXOS, but with riding in hot weather at the core of its design.
The shoe features two BOA S3 dials, which offer dual-directional adjustment and, more importantly, they look lovely with their resplendent silver alloy body. An additional Velcro strap on the toe box adds another level of security.
The upper is made from a Dynema mesh that was developed in-house by Specialized.
This is said to provide a balance between a secure ride feel with high levels of breathability, with Specialized claiming that, in an informal test, the shoes were shown to keep feet between 3 to 4ºF cooler than the S-Works 7.
Boosting breathability further, there are two vents on the front of the shoe’s toe rand to increase airflow. The shape and dimensions of these ‘ports’ are said to have been directly influenced by the design used on Specialized’s helmets.
The shoes use the same vented sole as seen on the S-Works EXOS, which has a lovely matt finish with the S-Works logo debossed into it.
This measures 13 on Specialized’s own proprietary stiffness index and, indeed, the shoes passed the ‘try-your-damnedest-to-bend-them’ test with flying colours – the sole is honestly immovable.
Despite its looks, the heel block on the is actually replaceable, which is always welcome to see on a high-end shoe.
On that note, each of our size 42.5 shoes weighs 260g on the nose. To put that into context, our test pair of size 45 S-Works EXOS shoes weighed 347g for the pair.
The insole is perforated with a honeycomb-like texture to improve airflow from the four large vents on the sole of the shoe. As well as being airy, we have no doubt the mere sight of the combination of these two perforated surfaces will be any trypophobia-sufferer’s worst nightmare.
The shoes are said to be perfect for hot rides in the summer months or “pushing the limits at home digitally through platforms like Zwift”
Using an S-Works level £360 / $425 / AU$550 shoe for indoor training sounds like a luxury few of us could afford, but given many of us are only making tentative steps towards easing out of lockdown, we’ll take that over nothing.
The shoe is available in black or white and sizes 36 to 49, with half sizes between 38.5 and 46.5, and is in stock with Specialized now.
Of course, we all know that the answer to truly cool feet on the bike is SPD sandals, but that’s a whole other subject.