One of the most overlooked pieces of gear that a cyclist owns is his or her shoes. Many riders are content with wearing the same footwear for years, all the while spending thousands of dollars to upgrade their components, frames, and wheelsets. But a new pair of cycling shoes from Specialized is making a good case for why we shouldn’t ignore what we put on our feet.
The S-Works 7 may be Specialized’s most technical bike shoe yet. Redesigned and rebuilt from the ground, up, the shoes were built to not only efficiently transfer power to the pedals, but also be as comfortable as possible. Typically, cyclists have to settle for one of those things or the other, but the team at Specialized claim they’ve found a formula that delivers both.
The designers at Specialized put a great deal of time and effort into getting the fit of the S-Works 7 just right. To that end, they’ve created a footbed that provides longitudinal support to the arch, preventing it from collapsing during the pedal stroke. This results in improved energy transfer, which means more speed and power.
The shoes also feature a higher level of biomechanical efficiency, thanks to their ability to keep the hip, knee, and foot in a proper alignment. Specialized says that the S-Works 7 includes a forefoot with 1.5 millimeters of angled support that results in more power, as well as added comfort. Add in a footbed designed to allow the bones in the foot to lift and separate more naturally, and you get a shoe with increased flexibility, eliminating blister-causing hotspots.
The S-Works 7’s new Powerline Sole looked to Formula One racing for it inspiration, incorporating carbon fiber to make it stiffer and lighter than ever. Combine that with an improved version of Specialized’s PadLock Heel, and you get a shoe that not only doesn’t slip on the pedals, but also adds additional comfort.
The list of technical improvements doesn’t end there. The shoes also feature a Boa lacing system that uses a custom set of S3 dials, which allows riders to find the exact fit they want, then lock it into place. The S-Works 7 is also the first cycling shoe to incorporate Dyneema fabrics. This incredibly durable material contours closely to the foot while still allowing it to breathe.
As you can imagine, a shoe that offers this level of comfort and performance doesn’t come cheap. The S-Works 7 carries a price tag of $400, which makes it a serious investment for any rider. But cyclists looking to up their game are likely to be intrigued by what Specialized has brought to the table.
Find out more on the company’s website.
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