- Specialized Sonoma shoes
- 01372 840800
Clearly the Specialized Sonoma isn’t a hardcore MTB shoe. No deep, lugged soles or threaded spikes here. Indeed, the Sonoma is actually part of Specialized’s road range as a “comfortable, walkable shoe”. But we suspect that that’s what a lot of people are looking for – even the Rockhopper shoe is a bit burly-looking for some rider’s tastes.
We’ll point out the obvious first. If you’re likely to have to do a lot of walking on loose or muddy surfaces, this isn’t the shoe for you. The sole is smooth with some dimples in it, geared towards walking on Tarmac or pavements. That’s not necessarily a problem – there are plenty of rides out there where the only time you’ll have to walk is into the café.
As with all Specialized shoes, the Sonoma uses Body Geometry Technology, including (deep breath) a varus wedge, metatarsal button and medial arch support. Or in English, a cunningly-shaped inside that feels a little bit odd initially but is actually very comfortable.
Pedalling performance is surprisingly good for this style of shoe. Obviously it’s not race-shoe stiff it’s certainly adequately stiff without feeling like a pair of clogs off the bike. There’s just enough flex in the toe and heel to make brief strolls perfectly comfortable, although you probably wouldn’t want to walk around all day in them (although we have been known to…)
The uppers are synthetic leather and mesh, although the mesh isn’t the super-airy sort that lets everything through – we’ve worn these on fairly chilly days with a thin extra pair of socks and been fine. Not ideal through puddles, though. Fastening is by simple laces – there’s a cunning bit of shock cord with a pull-tab on it to tuck the loose ends under. The looks are very understated and pub-friendly.
We’re pleased with the durability of the Sonomas – this pair have done a lot of miles in Nevada, Morocco and various more-or-less manky parts of the UK with no more care than occasional jetwashing and nothing’s fallen off yet.
Positives: Good all-rounders if you’re not into off-road hikes, surprisingly capable
Negatives: Not the cheapest of this style of shoe
We rather like these. They’re kind of the baggy shorts of shoes – if we can’t be bothered to go fast we’ll pull these on. Just the job for those rides that are mainly about caff stops…