- BOA S3 Fit System micro-adjustments to tighten or loosen
- Updated BOA cable routing improves lockdown and reduces pressure across the top of the foot
- Stiff carbon fiber sole for better power transfer to the pedals
- Lightweight at 258 grams (size 45 EU), you forget you have shoes on
- Asymmetric heal cup designed to secure foot and prevent slippage even when putting out high watts
- Added volume to the toe box for increased room and comfort
- Perforated uppers to increase ventilation
- Three-bolt cleat pattern fits all major road pedals
- Non-slip, replaceable heel tread
- Due to my flat feet, the shoes weren’t comfortable around the arch
Widths: Narrow, Regular, and Wide
Weight: 258 g, size 45
Sole material: Carbon fiber
Color: White, Black, Oak
Closure: BOA S3 Fit System
Availability: Online and retail
Obtained by: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Specialized gives the S-Works 7 an upgrade
In May 2022, Specialized released the S-Works Torch road shoe, which is actually the newest version of the S-Works 7. My first reaction when removing them from the box was that they were feather-light. At 258 grams (size 45), a light shoe should help with pedal turnover and reduce fatigue on long endurance rides.
The Torch has a very sleek, minimalistic look. This shoe screams fast from the understated branding to the low-profile uppers. They are so comfortable; it feels like you aren’t wearing anything.
Specialized changed the BOA lacing on the Torch to elevate pressure on top of the foot. Instead, the BOA S3 Fit System was shifted down and angled to pull the sides of the shoe around the foot, eliminating added pressure or pinching. The dual dial configuration provides micro-adjustments (tighten or loosen) for a precision fit and a more responsive ride. The premium anodized aluminum dial of the BOA S3 enhances the ability to grip. The dials are heat welded and are installed without sewing to increase comfort and pressure distribution. Combined with an asymmetric heel cup, the foot is secure, avoiding slippage even when sprinting out of the saddle.
Based on data gathered from Retul foot scans, Specialized made the base plate 4mm wider at the ball of the foot. The added volume around the toe box gives feet room to expand, providing improved comfort. This is especially helpful on longer rides when feet tend to swell. The Torch shoes also have a padded split tongue allowing unrestricted ankle movement.
Other features of the Torch shoe include soft perforated uppers and titanium alloy cleat nuts that can rotate to position pedal/cleats 5mm rearward and accepts three-bolt cleats. In addition, the non-slip heel tread is replaceable using internally recessed screws.
Specialized Body Geometry
The S-Works Torch was the first pair of Specialized shoes I’ve tested. So I was confused when the box’s inside lid and the shoe label mentioned Body Geometry. At $450, I assumed that Specialized would include the arch support system in the box. I even called customer service to ask, but they told me the insoles are purchased separately for $39.90. So when charging a premium price for shoes, it seems foolish to me not to include the insole or a voucher enabling the customer to get the correct insole for their foot type.
I chose not to spend the extra money on their insoles. Instead, I tested the Torch shoes in three different ways. First, with the insoles that come standard with the shoes. Second, with insoles purchased from another manufacturer that I wear with my regular cycling shoes. Unfortunately, in both instances, the bone on the side of my foot by the arch would hurt after 10 miles. I have flat feet, which makes buying comfortable bike shoes is challenging.
The new S-Works Torch road shoes are feather light with a stiff sole for excellent power transfer. The added volume in the toe box and new lacing design make for a very comfortable shoe. To dial in the fit; the new BOA S3 Fit System allows micro adjustments to loosen or tighten laces on the fly. But with a high price point, this shoe isn’t for every budget, but if you can afford them, you might unleash some added speed.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.