Specialized have been dropping hints and rumours of new toys in 2018 for a while now. A new power meter, brand new evade and the S-Works 7 road shoe are finally being leaked into the market. The S-works 6 have been a market leading shoe from the moment they were released alongside the evade aero road helmet, so we were excited to see how the new & improved 7 performed.
They bridged the gap from the original S-works 6 road shoe by releasing an updated colour scheme that you might have seen here. Now retailing at £324.99 the S-works 7 comes with a regenerated aesthetic, an upper that is 15 times stronger than steel and a sole that leaves you itching to hammer the pedals.
Specialized describe the shoe to have exceptional power transfer, superior comfort and undeniable style. The connection with the pedals is where the Californian company have looked to improve the shoe the most. A stiffer, lighter sole – though overall the shoe weighs the exact same as the S-works 6.
A refined padlock heel improves what was almost too firm in the s-works 6. It compromised comfort and stopped the shoe sliding on the foot easily. This time Specialized have taken no chances and got it right with a more relaxed fit that still offers the same security.
A new space-grade Dyneema material used through the upper is claimed to be 15 times stronger than steel. This stops any stretch through the shoe and leaves a very durable exterior. It’s clear that Specialized truly are backing the motto “every watt is sacred”.
With regard to the fit of the S-works 7, Specialized have kept all the functionality we loved in the S-works 6. The Longitudinal Arch, Varus Wedge, and Metatarsal Button all remain. The sleek design hugs the foot and can be paired with Specialized Bodygeometry Sl Footbeds. This lets riders with any foot composition jump straight in. They support the inside of the foot keeping the knees aligned and the glutes engaged.
The seams that are bonded together, rather than sewn, cleaning up the lines and contouring to the foot giving the new design a new and improved aesthetic. The custom CNC’d alloy BOA® dials also add some panache, but they also feature durable spring clutch internals and precise, one-millimeter micro-adjustments that let you perfectly dial in your fit.
Out of the Box:
As previously mentioned the new padlock heel allows the shoe to slip onto the foot much easier than the aggressive heel counter found in the 6. The toe box comes with plenty of room, if you through the 6 was slightly limiting, the 7 has fixed the issues. The Dyneema material has a little play along the inside offering an extra level of comfort that wasn’t previously seen.
The BOA dials have been updated to the new S3 dials as well as being moved outward to the side of the shoe. This completely eliminates any pinch points that were present in the 6 and comes with much more padding on the tongue. Often people found that the top of the 6 was too tight to the foot, so by redesigning the tongue and moving the plastic boa dials, this has been resolved. A new laser-etched aluminum replaces the usual plastic wires to offer an even more accurate closure system as well as a more professional look.
The shoes certainly feel snug & all the comfort issues found in the 6 seem to have been ironed out. The 3 bolt cleat pattern allows the shoe to be used with all road cleats as you’d presume for £324.99.
On to the Bike:
The S-works 7 certainly don’t lose any power when you press down on the pedals. The sole of the shoe feels incredible stiff and there’s absolutely no watts lost. From start to finish we felt like we could go at the pedals and the shoe just wouldn’t budge. The heel cup isn’t quite as firm as the s-works 6, but that offers a lot more comfort through the foot, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to slip.
The extra tightness in the dials makes the shoe feel very close to the foot. We often found the s-works 6 to have pinch points so never fully tightened the dials, that’s an issue that’s been completely redesigned in the 7. The newly revised tongue and upper aesthetic hugs the shoe closely giving the perfect medium where comfort meets power.
The shoe looks to have more ventilation than the s-works 6, with the perforations in the tongue being more pronounced. The bottom of the s-works 7 has a slightly smaller toe vent, but we can’t imagine that it will perform worse than the s-works 6, especially with Peter Sagan having ridden the 7 in some of the warmer parts of the world. But given the circumstances of the current B
ritish weather it was impossible for us to test the ventilation in the shoe.
We absolutely love the S-Works 7, from start to finish this shoe really does tick all the boxes. It has to be said that it’s more of an evolution of everything we love about the 6, rather than a complete redesign of the shoe. Aesthetics, durability, ventilation and performance all marry perfectly together to form a shoe that will no doubt be the choice of the worlds best.
- Body Geometry sole and footbed are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce the chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment.
- Our stiffest and lightest FACT Powerline™ carbon plate maximizes power transfer: Stiffness Index 15.0
- Dyneema® Mesh is trapped between layers of four-way stretch mesh and TPU to create no-stretch zones for the ultimate connection and comfort.
- Independent alloy BOA® S3-Snap dials for on-the-fly micro-adjustment, backed by the BOA® Lifetime Guarantee.
- PadLock™ heel construction cradles the heel and is proven to improve acceleration
- Titanium alloy cleat nuts can rotate to position pedal/cleats 5mm rearward.
- Non-slip, replaceable heel tread with internally recessed screws for security.
- Form Fit last with a roomy toe box for the ultimate in connectivity and comfort.
- Three-bolt cleat pattern fits all major road pedals.
- Approximate weight: 224g (1/2 pair, Size 42)