With an incredibly light and strong Dyneema upper these are essentially the superb S-Works Road shoes (with the same exceptional comfort) further toughened for XC, cyclocross and gravel riding.
Unsurprisingly S3 BOA dials make a welcome appearance, for easy and precise on-the-fly adjustment, and they're a unique design to Specialized featuring a CNC'd alloy outer for maximum durability.
The sole unit is lugged for grip off-road, with the option to add a pair of front studs for muddy conditions, and the cleat mounting plate is titanium - yes, these really are super light! (at around 270g per shoe in a size 42).
A tough toe bumper provides protection against flying stones, the toe box is a little roomier to prevent pinching when moving around, and the PadLock heel unit is designed to prevent lift. Overall there's every bit of attention to detail that you'd expect from a flagship S-Works product.
And of course Specialized being Specialized, they have used their Body Geometry expertise to ensure that the Recon's fit is as good as its looks.