The Specialized Torch 1.0 has tech found in Specialized’s more expensive shoes, in a budget package
Sitting at the bottom of the brand’s road shoe range, the Specialized Torch 1.0 shoe still benefits from many of the higher level features like the Body Geometry technology found in its most expensive shoes like the £325 S-Works 7.
Body Geometry includes a slight canting of the forefoot, which Specialized claims improves the alignment of the hip, knee and foot, leading to increased pedalling efficiency. It takes a little getting used to, but this does lead to added comfort on longer rides.
As well as the sloped footbed, there’s also a well structured insole with a built-in bump which sits under the middle of the forefoot. Spesh says that this helps separate the bones and leads to less chance of developing hotfoot and I never suffered from this or cramps in my soles when testing. Finally, there’s longitudinal arch support, again helping keep your feet more comfortable as you ride.
Whereas the Torch 2.0 and 3.0 shoes get a carbon sole, the Specialized Torch 1.0 sits on a nylon unit. It’s reasonably stiff though and boat-shaped to provide good lateral foot support. In common with most shoes at this price, there’s two-bolt as well as three-bolt cleat compatibility.
The sole has a wide integral heel piece and a grippy area under the toe. There’s a small vent under the toe, but otherwise the sole is unvented.
The Specialized Torch 1.0 upper is synthetic leather with plenty of perforations built in. The tongue is not highly padded, but it does have more vents for extra air circulation and feels comfortable. There’s a reflective grey band built into the heel area, for extra night time and low light visibility.
The Specialized Torch 1.0 is closed with three Velcro straps. They’re long, but quite narrow, although the top closure is displaced to help avoid pressure across the forefoot.
Velcro works fine, but it’s not as easy to make fine adjustments as with a ratchet or Boa and over time the hooks tend to deteriorate, so that closure becomes less secure. But overall, the Torch 1.0 provides a comfortable, quality pedalling interface, despite its budget price.
The Specialized Torch 1.0 provides good pedalling dynamics and foot stability with a comfortable fit. Although its three Velcro straps a will lose closure strength more quickly than a ratchet or Boa closure over time, for an entry-level shoe it’s got great features.