Specialized’s BOA-equipped S-Works shoes are the lightest here by a long way, and fortunately that’s not at the expense of comfort. Stiffness is never going to be a problem in a shoe with a full carbon midsole, and so it proves here, with the FACT carbon sole providing a super-efficient pedalling interface. The minimalist uppers cut weight, and with the BOA evenly distributing the load, they mould themselves well to your feet. Another plus of minimalist uppers is that they retain very little water. With Body Geometry footbeds as standard, the S-Works are designed to keep your knees tracking neutrally, which also aids comfort.
As far as race shoes go, it’s hard to fault Specialized’s take on the BOA — lighter than the competition, while still being as stiff and comfortable. Where the BOA system falls down is its usability in the gloop. We’ve found the S-Works very hard to release after particularly muddy rides, and the outsole isn’t the grippiest in the wet.
Save the S-Works for the summer and you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, their strengths are also partly their weakness — they’re so light, comfy and efficient you’ll want to wear them all the time, accelerating wear and tear.
Weight: 352g (per shoe)
Mbr rating: 9