The BG Spirita is Specialized's top end women's specific road shoe, with a fair few BG (Body Geometry) bells and whistles but the first thing that's surprising is how much further up in performance and price the men's options go. At this price, the BG Spirita's are competing with the majority of female specific shoes on the market however, with only a few manufacturers, such as Giro, Lake and Sidi committing to genuinely higher end female specific shoes.
These feature Specialized's Body Geometry fit, to help achieve optimum comfort and performance. A neutral BG footbed comes with the shoes as box standard, but can be upgraded to a footbed tuned to personal biomechanical requirements. For those with joint problems, it's worth considering getting a foot analysis done by a trained Specialized dealer, as these footbeds can make a difference in any cycling shoe.
The Spirita's are a fairly simple design, using 3 velcro straps to secure the fully synthetic shoe. It's a light shoe, with a decent rigid injection molded outsole and mesh panels in the uppers for ventilation, as well as vents in the outsole. It's available in love it or hate it white, with grey mesh panels and silver reflective accents. The outsoles are compatible with most types of road and MTB style cleats.
Fit is fairly average as far as width and volume goes, and they're also pretty true to size. My medium width feet found them to fit well, with no heel lift or looseness. On the bike, they allowed for responsive pedaling, with little feeling of loss of power, and yet remained comfortable, without the underfoot soreness I encountered with the BG Spirita Touring shoe. As road shoes, they're really not meant for walking in, and they really are very slippery and uncomfortable off the bike, but on it, they hold your foot nicely and give a firm platform to work from. More competitive riders, or those who like to adjust shoe tightness some time into the ride, may not like the lack of on-the-fly adjustment with the fastenings. It's trickier to tighten the Velcro straps while moving, than a ratchet for instance.
Price wise these are on a par with the majority of female specific road shoes available at the moment, and they're a safe bet for performance as well. Ultimately, I'd say it's down to personal choice as to whether you like the style and fit of these as to whether you choose them over one of the competition. Personally the BG fit tipped the balance in their favour for me.
A lightweight and comfortable, stiff soled women's road shoe with a simple design.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized BG Spirita Women's Road Shoe
Size tested: 39
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at female road riders looking for a shoe to be comfortable and enhance performance.
Allows for good power transfer and very light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Women's lasted upper
Injection-molded glass-reinforced sole with venting ports
BG outsole and footbed
3 strap velcro closure
Suitable for 2 bolt and 3 bolt pedal cleat designs
Available in white
Well finished and good materials
Comfortable and responsive. Good stiff sole.
Some concerns with stretching of the velcro straps and wear of the grips at front and rear of outsole
Very light. Especially for the price.
Gripped heel well and was comfortable underfoot, even with stiff sole.
Much the same price as most women's specific road shoes, but balance tipped slightly by BG fit.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, weight, looks, BG insole
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A safe buy as a fairly light, stiff, female specific road shoe.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.