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Specialized launches S-Works Vent shoes

2 Jun 2020
Verdict:

The S-Works Vent shoes are an airy update to the Specialized S-Works 7 design

In an aptly-timed release following the driest May on record, Specialized has launched its latest top-tier shoe design, the S-Works Vent.

The new shoes are largely based on Specialized’s popular S-Works 7 shoes, with a few trick upgrades that Specialized says improve the shoes' performance in the heat, whether that may be the heat of the British summer or the heat of an indoor training space.

The S-Works Vent shoes apparently feature the same fit, Boa S3 closure system and Dyneema layer reinforcement as the S-Works 7 shoes. However they also use sections of a new upper material developed by Specialized that looks to be similar to the woven/knitted uppers we’ve seen featured on several competitor shoes recently.

Specialized says it is a ‘single-layer, engineered mesh material that is designed to provide structure where it is needed while remaining extremely open and breathable.’

The airy upper is paired with the sculpted sole of Specialized’s featherweight S-Works Exos shoes. Compared to the slab-like block of carbon sitting at the bottom of the regular S-Works shoes, the Exos sole features large cut-outs to save weight and further promote ventilation for only a small sacrifice in stiffness.

The cherry on the S-Works Vent’s airflow cake is a vented toe cap, which Specialized says was inspired by the distinctive ‘mouth ports’ on its Prevail II and Evade II road helmets. Where the mesh upper lets air flow over the top of the rider’s foot, and the vented sole allows air to access the bottom, these small intake ports at the front of the shoe aim to promote airflow directly onto the rider’s toes.

 

Specialized S-Works Vent road cycling shoes: Price

The S-Works Vent shoes will be priced at £360, so by introducing yet another top-end shoe alongside the S-Works 7 and S-Works Exos, it could be said that Specialized is competing with itself to a certain extent.

However the brand believes the demand is there for a performance shoe optimised for hot conditions.

It would not be unreasonable to say Specialized’s opinion is justified - the introduction of the S-Works Vent shoes is no different in principle to the multiple clothing brands who are releasing indoor-specific apparel at the moment.

Cyclist will have the opportunity to spend some time in the S-Works Vent shoes soon, so check back for a full review in the coming months.

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