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Specialized S-Works 6 shoes review

Specialized S-Works 6 shoes
3 May 2016

The Specialized S-Works 6 shoes are both stiff and comfortable but best saved for summer riding.

Specialized launched the S-Works 6 last summer alongside the lace up Sub 6 as part of the 5 minute concept, with the S-Works Venge Vias. The S-Works 6 was a totally new design, lead by the ‘PadLock’ heel, but do they achieve the aim of ‘explosive speed and superior comfort’?


We’d say the sizing is true, but on the narrower side. We usually take a 42 and the 42 were fine in thin socks, but definitely a squeeze in thicker winter socks. There’s no width option, so if you have a particularly wide foot we’d recommend sizing up.

For cleat fitting the bolts can be spun 180 to move the mounting point 5mm back and forth, in case you need an especially far forward (or rearward) cleat position. 

Boa dials 

The S-Works 6 shoe has two Boa S2 dials and a Velcro strap at the toe. The S2 dials spin in both directions to tighten/loosen making adjustment both precise, and easily done while riding. One complaint we did have was with the upper Boa dial – the shape of the shoe is such that even with the dial wound all the way out, it was a real fight to get the shoe on. 


Specialized S-Works 6 shoes review

The PadLock heel is very tight making for a solid heelcup, with very pronounced edges. At first it felt very strange but within a few minutes of riding that feeling disappeared. Once on, the shoe feels completely locked to your foot with zero heel slip. It’s easily as secure as any of the custom fit shoes we’ve used.

The carbon sole is made from Specialized’s own Fact carbon and has a nominal stiffness rating of 13, which, as far as we can tell, doesn’t refer to anything specific. What we can tell you though, is that the soles are plenty stiff enough for us. We couldn’t detect any obvious flex, even compared to a pair of Bonts. The carbon sole is also extremely well vented, as is the toe box, so much so that we taped over the toe vent for the first few weeks of the test.

All together, we’d say the S-Works 6 is a great out and out summer shoe. The ample venting, and tight fit means it’s not particularly winter friendly but they look so lovely in pristine white, it would be a crime to get them out at any other time of year anyway.


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