Spotted on the feet of several professional racing cyclists this summer, and now available in the shops, are the latest S-Works 6 road shoes from Specialized. We’ve just been sent a pair for review but before we get them dirty, here’s a first look fresh out of the box.
Specialized’s top-rung S-Works shoe have been very popular with racing and performance cyclists over the years, and they’ve evolved a lot in that time too. With these new shoes Specialized has sought to improve the fit to provide better energy transfer, and also put them on a diet. The company has employed a number of new features to achieve this goal.
There’s a new one-piece upper, utilising a fabric called Dyneema Cubic Light. It’s apparently the same stuff NASA used for the space shuttle parachutes. Who doesn’t like a bit of space age tech in their cycling shoes? Specialized uses this fabric because its lack of stretch is reckoned to improve power transfer compared to the previous S-Works shoes.
That wonder material is mixed with a synthetic microfibre material, with a good smattering of perforations to aid ventilation. The closure system is carried over from the previous shoes, a pair of Boa S2-Snap dials and a forefoot Velcro strap to keep the shoes in place.
Underneath is a brand new FACT Powerline one-piece carbon fibre sole. The sole and footbed has been entirely redesigned, with a tapered heel and roomy toe box. A moulded heel cup helps secure the foot into place and prevent heel lift. A non-slip heel pad is replaceable with internally recessed bolts.
There are drillings for 3-bolt cleats, with a healthy number of markings to benefit cleat alignment. Titanium alloy cleat nuts not only save weight but can be flipped to provide a wide range of fore-aft adjustment.
The shoes are light, that much is evident when taking them out of the box and removing the packaging. On the scales the size 45 pair we have here weigh just 476g, which easily makes them amongst the lightest shoes ever featured on road.cc. The lack of weight doesn’t come cheap though ,they cost £280. That’s about the going price for a top-end race shoe though. You can certainly spend more.
They’re available in three colours and a range of sizes (39-49) http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/ftr/shoes/road-shoes/sworks-6#features
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.