Specialized S-Works Recon shoes review

Specialized’s top end off-road shoe has some impressive tech but has proved fragile

Cycling Weekly Verdict

If your gravel riding is mostly on the bike, the S-Works Recon’s quality, stiff construction makes for efficient progress and a comfortable ride. But the lack of flex makes the shoe a bit awkward to run or walk in and the uppers on the test pair have taken some damage.

Reasons to buy
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    Stiff sole for efficient pedalling

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    Lightweight upper

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    Bombproof metal Boa dial closures

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Reasons to avoid
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    Stiff sole makes off-bike action awkward

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    Uppers are not as robust as they look

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You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Specialized launched the S-Works Recon shoe at the beginning of 2019 as its top of the line off-road shoe.

The S-Works Recon shoes come with a very stiff, lightweight carbon sole unit. Spesh says that it has a stiffness index rating of 13. That’s against 15 for the S-Works 7 road shoe. You can feel the stiffness when you ride – it leads to excellent power transfer and a boost to your pedalling efficiency when using two-bolt cleats.

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