Sworks 6 Road Shoe Review

I love my cycling. Since returning to the sport in August 2014, it’s awakened a passion in me that I haven’t seen for many years. A passion that focuses me, motivates me, and pushes me to explore new possibilities.  I don’t claim to be a guru, and expert or national champ. But I am a lover of life on two human powered wheels.

In this new series of posts, I’m going to explore world of bike gear. Some of them my own, and some borrowed from the manufacturers. The aim is explore what this products mean to the passionate cycling enthusiast.

First under the microscope is Specialized new 2016 Road Shoe, the Sworks 6.

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I had a pair of the 2015 version in white and red, after I moved over from Giro’s lace up, the Empire. They were an amazing shoe, and served me well. So how does a company make an already great shoe, better?

If you go purely by Specialized marketing craft, the Sworks 6 FACT Powerline carbon sole is a totally new and uncompromisingly stiff. Personally I love stiff shoes, hence why I prefer to do the majority of my rides in zero play cleats. But the huge boost for me on the Sworks from the super snug new heal, which delivers on the promise of reduced slippage. But don’t get me wrong, many have complained about the heel making this shoe impossible to get on. Once my foot slips inside, the Boas pull the heal tight in around my angle, clinging to me like a chastity belt (not that I know what that feels like).

On the bike, that fit translates to a feel like no other shoe. I felt connected to the bike, confident as a hammer out big sprints or up climbs. It’s hard to imagine, but that boost in confidence was something missing from the previous versions.

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Also gone are the previous complaints of a ‘narrow fit’. The new bridge of the shoe feels roomer, but also tighter. Helped by the velcro strap, it adjusts to the width of the foot snuggly. And the Boa system provides strong individual fit, allowing you to go tight for hard rides, or loosen off for long rides.

My only fault of the shoe, and it’s hardly worth picking on, is the new tighter heel means you need to loosening off the boas fully to get in or out of the shoe. Hardly a deal breaker, but I don’t recall having to do that for the previous version. Also, unlike Giro who package their shoes with various inner sole adjustments, Specialized charges extra for the sole inserts. So someone like myself who needs the mid-arch support has to throw another SGD80 over the counter to get my fit. That’s on top of the already high retail price of SGD 550, not cheap. I grabbed my pair from Tay Junction.

So far I’ve done over 2000 kilometres for the year in my Sworks 6 Black, and recently picked up these sexy white ones for my race kit. Also I couldn’t resist the magenta Boa kit for some added flare.

Overall, I love them and give them a solid 9/10. High price, but hey, that what you play for top gear. Just wish I didn’t have to pay extra for the inner sole.

Next week I’ll be reviewing one my more essential pieces of kit, the Garmin Edge 520. Got something you’d love me to review, then list it in the comments section below.

Brand: Specialized
Model: Sworks Road 6
Website: http://www.specialized.com/sg/en-ap/ftr/shoes/road-shoes/sworks-6
Retail: SGD 550
Love Score: 9/10

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