The Specialized Audax shoes are designed to be worn on long rides. We see whether they can last the distance
Specialized says the Audax shoes are inspired by the sport of randonneuring, more popularly known as Audax on these shores, which involves riding long distances unsupported save for passing through designated check points.
Don’t let the name and appearance mislead you. Although these smart looking shoes are primarily designed for long days in the saddle, they match up admirably with more performance focused shoes.
The two velcro straps and the Boa S2 dial married with the synthetic leather upper and low cut ankle provided a secure and comfortable fit, even after many hours in the saddle.
The Boa dial is particularly useful for adjusting the fit on the fly. However, you need to take care when tightening the dial as on a one occasion the wire bunched up inside the dial – in a worst case scenario there is always the Boa life-time guarantee.
The toe box is relatively roomy which will appeal to those with wider feet and allows for slightly thicker socks on colder days. When putting on the Specialized Audax shoes I had to make sure the tongue was correctly positioned to prevent a pressure point developing – once correctly positioned there was no discomfort during a ride.
The perforated synthetic upper along with the netted sections provide sufficient ventilation and breathability on all but the hottest rides.
Often there is a trade off with comfort and performance – not noticeably so with the Audax shoes. The carbon composite sole (cream coloured on test) is firm without being harsh and it felt like there was good power transfer to the pedals.
The sole is compatible with three bolt cleat systems which is fine for most riders, but true Audax fans may prefer a sole that accomodates mountain bike SPD cleats.
Likewise, the heal lugs are replaceable, but these shoes are not designed for any prolonged walking.
If the classy on test burnt ash/cream colour scheme is not to your taste there are three other combinations available – including a more understated all black option.
The Specilaized Audax are a stylish pair of shoes well suited to long hours in the saddle. On the other hand, they are pricey, relatively heavy and care needs to be taken using the Boa locking system.
Nice looking and very comfortable shoes. However, for the price there are lighter options available and they seem to sit in the grey area between performance and a true Audax specific shoe.