Set to change the market, it’s not often we see products that are complete “game changers”. It’s a bit of a cliche in the cycling world, but have Specialized managed to create a shoe that changes the way we look at road cycling shoes? Leaked on a variety of athletes from grand tour riders to the worlds best Ironman athletes, we finally got a closer look at the new Specialized S-works Exos.
Tipping the scales at a claimed 150 grams per shoe for the BOA dial version. It’s sister shoe, the Exos 99 comes with laces and a record breaking 99g per shoe in size 42. With the same stiffness & power transfer that we’ve seen successful on the biggest stages. Specialized have carefully engineered this shoe to make sure that it upholds the performance we expect from the S-works brand.
Similar to the s-works 7 without the upper structure, it will be interesting to see if this shoe begins to spread through the road cycling world despite the very hefty price tag. Coming in a quirky, hexagonal box Specialized have thought through the whole package.
The S-works Exos shoes come with a body Geometry sole and foot bed. These are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency. As well as reduce the chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment to keep the glutes engaged throughout the ride.
Specialized’s lightest FACT Powerline™ carbon plate maximizes power transfer. It comes with a stiffness index of 13.0 which makes it one of the stiffest soles available to by.
An evolution of the Dyneema® Mesh seen on the S-works 7 road shoe allows Specialized to achieve weight without sacrificing hold for the ultimate connection and comfort. Developed by NASA, the material 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 still backing the motto “every watt is sacred”. Form Fit last with a Warp Sleeve vamp offer the ultimate level of connectivity, comfort, and speed.
BOA® IP1 dial for on-the-fly micro-adjustment will keep your foot locked in and is backed by the BOA® Lifetime Guarantee. Though the system looks quite narrow, so it will be interesting to see if there are any pinch points along the top of the shoe. Titanium alloy cleat nuts can rotate to position pedal/cleats 5mm rearward while the usual three-bolt cleat pattern fits all major road pedals.
The Specialized S-works Exos come with a non-slip, replaceable heel tread with internally recessed screws for security. This will give the shoe a longer life span and add to the durability. Meaning you won’t have to fork out for another pair when the heal wears. A small tab on the back makes this shoe ready for triathletes as you race out of T1.
With cutting edge technology keeping the weight of the S-works Exos to an absolute minimum. Retailing at £449.99, they’re certainly not at the cheap end of the market. Though with exceptional power transfer and a comfortable fit, they could be worth the investment.