Reviewed: BG S-WORKS Road Shoe

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Overview

Back in 2008, we reviewed the Specialized BG S-Works Road Shoe and generally had good things to say about the top end performer within Specialized's road line-up. It is justified to state that we have adequately put these shoes through the paces the last two years....tallying-up a few miscommings since the initial review. With the introduction of the 2010 version (which debuted during last year's Tour de France), we were jazzed to see if Specialized had refined the product, addressed the issues we had found.

What we liked

A few of the issues we had with the older version of the BG S-WORKS Road Shoe, dealt mainly with the overall fit and the configuration of the BOA Lacing System. The good news it that Specialized realized this and made modifications in both areas for the better. So, with that said, lets break down these two issues:
BOA Lacing System
Since the BOA lacing system was a one-way ratcheting mechanism on the old shoe, it hindered the ability to easily get the shoe on and off. Basically, the ratchet mechanism would limit the total slack in the overall system and prohibit a "full" opening of the lacing. I liken it to pulling-on a ski boot with one of the buckles still fastened.
I am happy to state that the '10 model now features a two-way Boa ratcheting system on both the upper and lower "strap areas". Specialized states, "The two independent Boa dials optimize closure in each zone: top dial locks the ankle and heel down, mid-foot dial snugs the arch and forefoot."
I found that these independent systems allowed more slack for me to fully open the shoe upper for easy on-and-off.
Fit and Overall Comfort
The older version's comfort was directly tied to the fact that the upper strap (the strap closest to the toe-bed), was a strap, and not part of the BOA system. Quite frankly, I never really found a comfortable setting for the strap, so I just set it and dealt with it being too loose or too tight (depending on the sock). I would then use the arch BOA dial to compensate for the forefoot's shortcomings.
As mentioned above, the 2010 version of the shoe now has a BOA dial in the forefoot area instead of a strap...and it is heaven.

What else did we like?

  • Replaceable heel tread with internally recessed screws. Ok, about time with this one! My older pair resemble the moon's surface after a few years worth of walking off the bike.
  • Mesh-venting on the carbon sole under my toes.. Man, I really love this feature. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but having the added ventilation on the bottom of my feet really helps on those warm days (we have had but a few).
  • Stiff, Stiff, Stiff. Made with FACT 12.0 carbon, the sole is one of the stiffest things I have ever had on my feet. Can I feel the difference from the FACT 10.0 carbon in the old version? Yes. The power transfer is absolutely amazing. Combine that with the glove-like fit of the upper and you get a shoe that is designed to push the pedal forward with maximum efficiency.

The Snob In Us

In general, we loved the shoe. However, we are still trying to get over the high gloss look (we have the black version) which Specialized calls, "...water-resistant Micromatrix upper material". I am cool with it being all that, but I really don't want to feel like I am going to a wedding when heading out for a long day in the saddle.

Our Recommendation

Light, stiff, super fit, with easy, on-the-fly fine-tuning options...the 2010 BG S-WORKS Road Shoe from Specialized is the best shoe I have ever worn (sorry Sidi lovers). With a price tag of $350.00, it is well worth the money just knowing that the folks at Specialized are continually fine-tuning their products and learning from past releases.

Where To Buy

Specialized.com

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