Specialized is crowning a new king at the top of their road shoe line with the release of the S-Works Torch Cycling Shoes. The all-new SW Torch is replacing the current S-Works 7 shoe but it’s not simply a name change.
Specialized has combined years of experience, extensive research in their Body Geometry technology and over 100,000 foot scans from their RETÜL fit system to bring you a shoe that’s engineered to disappear; fitting your foot so well you’ll forget it’s there, except for all the extra watts you’ll be putting down.
The base plate of the Torch is one of the biggest areas of improvement on this new shoe. It’s been completely redesigned to be lighter, stiffer, and more efficient at power transfer. The changes in shape, especially near the edge, add stiffness while simultaneously shaving off 20 grams compared to the SW 7.
Also, not only is the plate wider than the SW 7, but Specialized has also invested in additional tooling so they can produce a specific version of the base plate for wide sizes.
Did we mention it comes in wide? The base plate on the regular Torch sizes is 4mm wider than the SW 7 and the wide varieties will be 7mm wider. If you’ve sized up before because you have wide feet, Specialized recommends sizing back down since they’ve made these improvements.
Using rider feedback and the previously mentioned foot scans, Specialized realized that some people needed more room around their Achilles Tendon to increase comfort. They went ahead and made an asymmetric heel cup to give more room around the Achilles while still maintaining proper foot, knee, and hip alignment and an optimal connection to the bike.
Specialized has redesigned the upper for even better comfort and performance. Adjusted lace angles ensure the ball of your foot doesn’t lift. This also allows them to remove the Velcro strap that’s on the SW 7.
This new upper also eliminates bunching of the tongue, which some riders had experienced and caused discomfort on the top of the foot. Overall, adaptive materials allow for natural movement while using specific reinforcements zones to maximize power transfer.
If you’re unfamiliar, Body Geometry is a collection of equipment technologies that Specialized has developed to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury while on your bike. Their shoes, generally, contain these three pieces of tech:
The Varus Wedge slightly lifts your foot outwards to improve the alignment of your foot, knee, and hip which increases power output and reduces fatigue in these areas.
Body Geometry shoes included a patented, molded arch support in the outsole to prevent arch collapse while riding, increasing power and efficiency.
The metatarsal button lifts and separates the bones in your foot to prevent compressing nerves and arteries so you can have a snug fit for efficient power transfer without any numbness or “hot foot.”
As you can tell, Specialized hasn’t just come out with a new shoe, they’ve created the pinnacle of road shoes. They’ve taken their years of experience, customer feedback, and hundreds of thousands of data points from real-world bike fits and condensed it all into the S-Works Torch Cycling Shoes. Check it out here or stop into your local ERIK’S!