You may recognise Jonny’s name, as we recently featured his Specialized Sequoia on the blog! As one of our gravel aficionados, it made perfect sense to get his opinion on the Specialized S-Works Recon Lace Gravel Shoes! Read on for Jonny’s thoughts below.
On first impressions these shoes have the looks that make you want to throw them on and dash out the door to ride straight away. But how do they stack up against the modern day shoe? Are these shoes just another model to plug a hole in the Gravel market for the sake of it, or are they in fact the perfect adventure shoe?
With their carbon plate sole, SlipNot rubber heel and toe tread, PadLock heel construction, Form Fit and Body Geometry inner sole, this shoe is packing plenty of tech to make it as modern as you can get which is definitely felt throughout riding.
Though I’d expect nothing less of a shoe that has the name S-Works attached to it!
The upper is where it really gets interesting. Its lace closure and wider Form Fit toe box (which was remarkably roomy) poses some questions… How will I feel before, during and after a ride? Does it keep the foot closed in well enough compared to the tried and tested BOA dial?
What I will say on that matter is that it does not perform any worse or better than its BOA version, nor is it a measure of whether to go for one or the other. The BOA is a fine adjustment (a to the millimetre system) that can make the difference between 1st and 2nd place in racing but for a casual/fun ride, there is something rather simple about lacing a shoe and that to me is what this shoe is all about.
Instead, with the lace up closure you have the “tie and go” feel. Simplicity is the order of the day with just a couple of ties you’re ripping it up as fast or as casual as you like. Once you tie the laces as tight or loose as you want, you’re good to go.
These are stylish shoes that do not look out of place off the bike either. Looking like a regular pair of shoes, the lace up closure is classic, dare I say “retro” and there were no issues with walking in them off the bike either.
Overall I really like the simplicity of the shoe. They are lighter than the BOA version and much less complex which is definitely felt throughout riding with no detriment to the rider. The fact you can just put your feet in the shoe, tie the laces and GO with the same tech under your feet is amazing.
Whether going full gas on a sprint or doing a long haul ride for hours, you can feel the support of these shoes though the pedals, making them very comfortable to ride in and alleviating any soreness or fatigue. Instead my feet felt quite refreshed and brought about no knee pain which I have previously suffered with.
After a 200km trip, my feet felt as good as when I started.
There is something very easy (stripped and raw) about these which take riding back to a place of freedom, exploration and ADVENTURE. For that, these are the perfect shoe.
Thanks Jonny for taking the time to share your thoughts on the S-Works Recon Lace Gravel Shoes! You can find the Recon Lace over on our website, or for our full shoe range click the button below!