Known mostly for the vast offering of bikes, Specialized also offers a comprehensive host of riding equipment and shoes driven by their Body Geometry program. In fact, the brand has a shoe to suit many different riding styles and anyone's budget too. Here's your complete guide to Specialized's 2021 gravel and mountain bike shoe range.
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Specialized's 2022 gravel and mountain bike shoe range
What is Body Geometry and how do Specialized use it?
Specialized says that they want to design products that are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to increase performance. This all comes under the banner of 'Body Geometry', a program focusing on the unique contact points of the ride, designing kit that improves comfort and reduces the chance of injury.
In terms of Specialized's range of shoes, the performance design focus is the Body Geometry sole, in the form of longitudinal arches, varus wedges, and metatarsal support. This range of support built into a shoes footbed is designed to eliminate hot spots and numbness while increasing power output and greatly reducing the chance of knee injury. The three features are there to align the hip, foot, and knee while limiting medial or lateral knee movement, which helps reduce injury.
With this in mind, let's take a look at the whole range of off-road shoes.
The Recon is Specialized's gravel, cross-country, and light trail shoe. As such, they are lightweight and slim, and they're made with a welded upper that reduces seams for a comfy shoe. Along with Body Geometry, the Recon line-up gets STRIDE toe-flex technology for more natural toe movement when off the bike and the brand's SlipNot rubber compound used in the sole for even more grip when off of the bike. Each of the Recon models comes with a two-bolt cleat pattern.
The flagship shoe of the Recon range, the S-Works version is the stiffest and lightest one on offer with a claimed weight of 270g per shoe (size 42). Like the Recon 3.0 below, the S-Works Recon gets two Boa dials to fasten, sitting atop layers of four way stretch mesh covered with a TPU outer. Plus there is the brand's Expel air mesh inner which adds a level of protection and cushion but is designed not to 'wet-out' and to dry quickly when the going is soggy. It's in the sole where the differences lie, a stiff and light FACT carbon plate maximizes power transfer, giving the shoes a stiffness index of 13.0.
Next up in the Recon range is the Recon 3.0. It's another all-singing, all-dancing recon that comes kitted with a single velcro strap paired with a couple of BOA L6-Snap dials to keep the shoe where it should be. The shoe also gets a carbon version of the STRIDE toe-flex tech and it gives the shoe a stiffness index rating of 10.0 and again, the Expel mesh inner as ther is in the S-Works shoe and the Recon 2.0. A single size 42 shoe weighs in at 355g.
Sitting in the middle of the range is the Recon 2.0. This shoe gets a lot of what you'll find on the priciest model but it's offered in a different way. Closing the shoe is a velcro strap but here we only see one BOA L6-Snap dial. Then there's an injection moulded version of Specialized's STRIDE shank which sits at a 6.0 on the stiffness index.
The Recon 2.0 is set to weigh in a 357g for a single size 42 shoe.
Rounding off the Recon range is the Recon 1.0. It's the wallet-friendly offering that still gets a healthy amount of the goods you'll find on the more expensive shoes. However, it drops the BOA dials in favour of three Velcro straps but the 1.0 gets the same STRIDE shank as the Recon 2.0, sitting at a stiffness index rating of 6.0. A single size 42 Recon 1.0 is set to weight 331g.
Specialized's 2FO Roost range is directed towards trail and enduro mountain biking, featuring a clip or flat option depending on your preference. These shoes are constructed with a synthetic leather upper that the brand says conforms to the shape of the foot. The 2FO shoes differ from the Recon with their own 'Lollipop' nylon shanks rather than a carbon STRIDE shank, in the clip model for stiffness, aiding pedaling efficiency. Specialized use their third generation SlipNot ST (Super Tacky) rubber sole on the flat shoes and SlipNot FG (Felgrip) rubber for the clipless shoes, the latter is slightly less tacky than the ST rubber to allow ease of clipping in and out. The clip model comes with Specialized's extended length cleat slot which allows for 4mm more reward cleat positioning.
Kicking off with the flat pedal shoe, it gets a cushioned EVA foam midsole which is designed to provide extra comfort and impact absorption too. Then there's also that SlipNot ST rubber sole. A single size 42 shoe weighs in at 360g.
The Roost lineup also offers the 2FO Roost Clip. Just like the flat version, this shoe comes with that EVA foam midsole and generally the same design but that's where the similarities end. That's mostly due to the fact that the Roost Clip is just that, a clip or SPD shoe. It gets a Lollipop plate that's made from nylon for added sole stiffness and a SlipNot FG rubber sole. On the subject of the sole, there's an extended cleat slot that offers an extra 4mm of rearward adjustment so you can position the cleats more towards the centre of your foot. The approximate weight of a single size 42 shoe is 367g.
Launched in March 2021 these new gravity-biased shoes were developed by the brand's world cup downhill race team. Built for the rough and tumble of techy trails and high speeds, Specialized aims to offer a supportive shoe that can both protect the rider and offer an efficient shoe for racing and hard riding. The 2FO DH shoes are available as both a clipless and a flat option.
Designed to offer increased stiffness in the centre of the sole to reduce fatigue, flexibility at the toe for walking and support that helps keep your feet 'locked in' on rough trails.
Specialized says the shoes also feature a robust PU leather upper to support the foot further when the going gets rough and increased toe box protection too. There is also an interior cuff to protect the ankles and lightweight XPEL mesh on the inside for good breathability.
Elsewhere the shoes get the third generation of the brands SlipNot sole which aims to add even more traction, prevent you from bouncing off the pedals and help you stay glued to the pedal pins.
Like the 2FO DH flat version above, these clipless shoes were also developed to offer a stiff sole, a flexible area at the toe for walking.
Specialized says the shoes also feature a robust PU leather upper to support the foot and help the rider feel that their feet are secure when the trails are rough. Like the 2FO DH flat shoe there is also an interior cuff to protect the ankles and lightweight XPEL mesh on the inside for good breathability.
The clip-in shoes gets a large recessed cleat box and they also get that 3rd generation SlipNot rubber sole to help the shoes stay stuck to the pins of larger platform SPD or clipless pedals.
Setting themselves apart from the rest of Specialized's shoe range, the Rime Flat brings Body Geometry to a shoe that can live up to the challenges of climbing and hiking as well as cycling.
Constructed with a welded mesh and TPU upper the Rime Flat features an injection-molded toe box to keep your piggies safe from impact. The shoe then uses an XPEL hydrophobic mesh which is designed to reduce water absorption and there's a cushioned EVA foam midsole for impact absorption and comfort.
Finally, there's a shank layer that enhances impact absorption further while providing traction and a greater pedal feel when on a bike.
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