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Specialized launches world's lightest road shoes

26 Feb 2019

Page 1 of 2Specialized launches world's lightest road shoes


The Specialized Exos range will come in two different shoes, both of which claim to being the lightest in the world

Cyclist Rating: 
• Superlight • Dyneema upper offers surprising support
• Very pricy • Single point of adjustment affects fit

Click through to page 2 to see our 4* review of the new shoes

Specialized launches world's lightest road cycling shoes

Specialized has released two completely new S-Works Exos road shoes and both can lay claim to being the lightest in the world…

How so? Well, the Exos at a feathery 150g (claimed weight for size 42) is the lightest production shoe with a Boa dial closure, meanwhile, the Exos 99 at (you’ve guessed it) 99g, is quite simply the lightest production road shoe ever.

The launch, ahead of the coming Grand Tour season, is a nod to where these shoes will likely be put to best use – the mountain stages in the pro peloton. These shoes are clearly built for climbers.

Buy the Specialized Exos shoes from Rutland Cycling

That said Specialized suggested the positive response and interest from its sponsored pros points towards the possibility of selected use in the upcoming Classics too.

Take your pick

‘We see it a bit like Venge and Tarmac’, says Specialized’s Will Watt. ‘It’s just about having different products for different days. This shoe is not to replace the S-Works 7. That’s still the GC shoe.

‘The Exos are for the mountain stages when every bit of weight saved can work to a rider’s advantage. And shoes are a rotating mass too, which makes it even more important.’

The bulk of the weight saving comes from the all-new Dyneema uppers. It feels tissue-paper thin, yet somehow the woven material also feels tough and durable.

‘This new Dyneema weave performs in all conditions,' says Watt. ‘It’s a very tough material, very hard wearing, and it doesn’t stretch, even soaking wet or in very hot environments, which really helps to maintain the consistency of the structure and support in the upper but at an incredibly low weight.’

Specialized makes no secret of the fact from the outset this project was about creating the lightest production road shoes in the world, but given its credibility in bike-fitting, with its comprehensive Body Geometry range, this was clearly not going to be something it would be prepared to achieve at all costs.

The Exos are pro level race-day shoes so performance is paramount and that remains at the core of both shoe designs.

‘The Exos looks like a simple shoe but this is technically the hardest shoe project we have ever worked on,' Watt explains. ‘To make a shoe light that still performs at the top level is really not easy. It’s a really selective use of materials. The development time was much longer than the S-Works 7 [shoe] in order to achieve it.’

To that end, Specialized’s FACT Powerline 13.0 carbon sole unit (as used on the S-Works 7 shoe) forms the basis of the both Exos shoes, delivering a super stiff platform at this critical contact point.

The Exos incorporates a single Boa IP1 dial closure, which needs little introduction as the practically ubiquitous system for quick and easy tuning of the fit, including on-the-fly adjustments.

The cleat mounting hardware is titanium, both lightweight and corrosion resistant, and Specialized has trimmed a bit of weight out of the insoles for the Exos shoes too.

At £450 the Exos is not a shoe we’d expect to see being widely used, but to those who are slaves to power data and the bathroom scales, it will certainly appeal.

The Exos is available now, in white (as pictured) with an all black version to follow soon; sizes 36-49 (half sizes 38-47).

Lightest in the world

With the Boa system is itself adding around 30-40g to the shoe it was easy to see how the lace-up version – Exos 99 – could achieve its exceptionally low weight and become officially the lightest production shoe in the world.

The Exos 99 will be to order only, in Rocket Red colourway, with only limited numbers available worldwide. ‘Maybe 500 globally, and maybe as few as 50 in the UK’, says Watt.

S-Works Exos 99: sizes 39-49 (half sizes 40-47)

Click through to page 2 to see our 4* review of the new shoes

£450 for Exos; £600 for Exos 99

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Page 1 of 2Specialized launches world's lightest road shoes