Specialized has launched a laced version of its S-Works 7 shoe – called the Specialized S-Works 7 Lace, appropriately enough – that’s lightweight and boasts the stiffest sole in the brand’s range.
“It takes the World Tour performance of the S-Works 7 and combines it with laces to create one of our most supple and adaptable uppers for next-level fit,” says Specialized.
Oh, and let’s be honest, one of the biggest reasons for buying laced cycling shoes is for the looks – and these certainly have that cool factor.
The S-Works 7 Lace also incorporates Specialized’s long-standing Body Geometry technology – Longitudinal Arch, Varus Wedge, and Metatarsal Button – designed “for optimum foot, knee, and ankle alignment”. The idea is to avoid pain and maximise power.
“By utilising laces, the shoe offers 12 separate points of tension adjustment to dial in the perfect hold across the entire foot, while the removal of plastic hardware allows the engineered mesh upper to seamlessly adapt to more foot shapes for a sublime, supple fit,” says Specialized.
Those 12 points of tension adjustment referred to are the six lace eyelets on each side of the shoe, of course. As with other laced shoes, the downside is that you can’t alter the tension on the fly. You tuck the loose ends behind an elasticated band that runs across the tongue to stop them from getting caught in anything.
Specialized says that doing away with the plastic hardware lowers the weight, the S-Works 7 Lace coming in at a claimed 236g (one shoe, size 44).
For comparison, the existing Specialized S-Works 7 – with two Boa dials and a Velcro strap – has a claimed weight of 224g, but that’s for a size 42 so we’re not comparing apples with apples here.
A pair of size 46 Specialized S-Works 7 Lace shoes have just arrived for review here at road.cc and our in-house scales say that you’re looking at 254g per shoe. The Specialized S-Works 7 (with Boas) in a size 45 is 268g, so you’re certainly saving a few grams if you opt for laces.
Other than the closure system, the technology is carried over from the existing S-Works 7.
“Our Powerline carbon outsole—our lightest and stiffest outsole ever—creates the ideal platform for power delivery,” says Specialized. “Our PadLock heel comfortably holds the rear of your foot, while the engineered mesh upper ensures every watt is sacred.”
Specialized says that this PadLock heel construction “is proven to improve acceleration”.
Who is the Specialized S-Works 7 Lace shoe aimed at?
“Whether [you] want a relaxed coffee ride shoe, a lightweight climber, or a supple and adaptive fit… the S-Works 7 Lace marries classic style to race-winning heritage and performance,” says Specialized.
The Specialized S-Works 7 Lace is £300 – considerably cheaper than the existing S-Works 7 Road Shoe (with Boa closure) which is £370.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.