Written by Toby Orton.
The Specialized Sport Road Shoe is a comfortable, basic road shoe that will suit entry-level riders progressing to cleats.
What they say: The Specialized Sport Road Shoe exhibits the essential performance and Body Geometry ergonomics of Specialized’s high-end range in an affordable design for road riding beginners.
What it is: Sat at the bottom of the Specialized range, the Sport Road is an entry-level shoe for riders taking the step up to cleats. A good-looking, streamlined silhouette, it comes in black/red or white/white colourways. Inspired by features developed for Specialized’s high-end S-Works shoes, a few design touches have managed to trickle down. Whether the claims of the trademarked ‘Body Geometry System’ are really here in this shoe is difficult to feel but you can certainly identify the noticeable moulding of the footbed to the contours of the feet. After six months use, lack of comfort has never been a problem. But comfort is one thing and the shoe has a tendency to feel mushy when you grind your foot down. The combination of the nylon-composite sole and the spongy three-strap Velcro fastening certainly sucks out some of your power transfer.
As you would expect with an entry-level shoe, there are other drawbacks. The synthetic upper creates a veritable hot box for the feet during summer temperatures and during the winter chill, the large swathes of mesh venting leave the toes crying out for another pair of Merino socks – that or some gaffer tape over the holes.
However, they are aimed at beginners and available at a great price, which makes it difficult to dismiss the Specialized Sport Road Shoe. They are reasonably light at 290g each, subtly branded and considerably less clunky looking than rivals in their class.
Who it’s good for: The Specialized Sport Road Shoe is marketed at road beginners and there is no doubt that it makes for a good set of entry-level footwear. Its style, affordability and relative technical merits make it a good option for anyone taking the leap to cleats.