Having made some of the worlds best shoes over the last few years, you don’t have to look far into the peloton to see pros riding in the S-works 7 or Exos shoes. Though often the bottom end of the Specialized range leaves us wanting a little more out of the shoe. Now the Torch 1.0 has been sent to change our impressions of the entry level shoe.
Entry-level is no longer synonymous with cheap. The Torch 1.0 is the most feature-packed entry-level road shoe on the market. Specialized threw out the rule-book on entry shoes and equipped this shoe with an L6 Boa® for precise fit. Pair that with a Body Geometry ergonomics and you have the most-comfortable, supportive, and high-performance entry-level shoe in history. And the price tag? £89.99.
Gone are the days of velcro straps to close the shoe leaving a lot of movement in the top of the shoe. The velcro system left a lot of wasted energy with feet often moving around slightly. The Torch 1.0 comes with an L6 Boa® for precise fit. Though there is still a velcro strap to tighten the bottom of the foot, the closure system is much closer to that of the top end Specialized shoes.
Body Geometry sole construction and footbeds are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment. These can also be replaced with specialized’s custom insoles if you need extra support on the inside of your foot.
With a 6.0 Stiffness index, the Torch 1.0 shoes come with injection-moulded nylon composite sole is engineered to be moderately stiff and plenty light. As this is where the majority of the cost is saved over it’s carbon counter parts, we expected to really feel the weakness of the shoe here. Though we were pleasantly surprised, the shoe held out well even when you’re out of the saddle stomping on the pedals.
The Torch 1.0 comes with a synthetic upper with mesh venting for supple feel over the foot. A hole in the toe of the shoe lets air pass through over the feet. This feature has been carried on from the S-works 6 shoes where we saw two holes in a pretty similar position. The toe box is roomy like that of an S-works 6 or 7, such is the specialized style.
Reflective heel elements increase your visibility to motorists in low-light conditions. Though we wouldn’t count on them alone, you’ll need lights and otherwise still. Especially if you’re covering the shoes with overshoes anyway. A three-bolt and two-bolt cleat pattern fits all major road and mountain pedals. Available in three colours, there’s a scheme to suit everyone. Aqua, Black & Hyper means that you can match any of your cycling outfits.
If you’re looking for an affordable set of cycling shoes, the Torch 1.0 would be what we recommend. Well out performing their price bracket, we’d be comfortable in suggesting these to any first time rider. It’s great to see Specialized have packaged so many of their best features into the cheaper end of the range.