The S-Works 6 shoes are Specalized's latest, lightest and stiffest shoes, and because of these attributes, plus the comfort, easy adjustability and a wide range of sizes, they are a staff favourite here at Bespoke.
Choosing the right shoes comes down to many and very personal requirements. The human foot is a complex piece of engineering with 28 bones and 27 muscles, and getting the right shoe is of critical importance during any successful bike fit.
Specialized understands this, it has been developing and honing its Body Geometry concept over many years now, and the S-Works range-topping shoes have evolved significantly since they were first introduced. These are the best yet.
Specialized has improved every aspect of the performance. If you're racing or simply riding very fast all the time, you don't want your shoes flexing at all. The carbon sole, made from Specialized's own FACT carbon fibre, is off the scale in terms of stiffness. You need thighs like Chris Hoy to get any discernible flex out of these shoes.
What you don't when you're dropping wattage bazookas is heel lift. Specialized has targeted heel lift with a completely redesigned heel cup that noticeably locks the heel of the foot firmly into place better than the previous shoes, and better than many other high-end shoes I've tested. There's also a grippy material on the inside that also helps to minimise heel lift. It doesn't compromise comfort and fit when you're not stomping on the pedals in anger.
Fit is key with any cycling shoe, and overall fit of the S-Works 6 shoes is very impressive. The fit can be finely tuned: two Boas S2 rotary dials allow precise adjustment to tighten or loosen the shoes, and changes can be made on the move easily, while toe box volume can be adjusted via a short set-and-forget Velcro strap at the front of the shoe. The shoes do provide a close fit but it's not at all restrictive.
Everyone's feet are unique, some people have high arches, some have a flat arch. Inside the shoe is a Body Geometry insole with varus wedge, metatarsal button and medial arch support. Specialized says the insoles are "ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to increase power, endurance, and comfort by optimising hip, knee, and foot alignment" and the good thing is you can swap them out for different arch support preferences, there are three choices of footbed available.
The soles are drilled for regular 3-hole cleats with a good range of fore-aft adjustment, and enough alignment markers to make setting up cleats straightforward. The carbon sole is also vented to provide a bit of extra cooling in the heat. Also helping with ventilation is a perforated upper that helps to keep your feet cool when riding in hot weather. A small rubber bumper at the heel of the foot aids walking when stopping at a coffee shop.
The S-Works 6 is a top-end shoe designed for the professional peloton and at £310 they are a pricey option, but the performance and comfort is up their with the best shoes in this price range. We love the great fit, the high level performance and the easy adjustability, and there's even a wide choice of colours so you can personalise your look.
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