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Cheaper, Lighter, Cooler: Specialized S-Works Torch Shoe Gets Lace-up Treatment

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe thin fabric
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If you’re into a lace-up shoe’s timeless look and feel — listen up. The new Specialized S-Works Torch shoes are now offered in a Lace-up version that is lighter and about $100 cheaper than its BOA counterpart.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe

Specialized has been adding lace-up options to most of the S-Works shoe line for some time now. It usually takes a few months (or, in this case, almost a year), but it’s like clockwork, and they always look very cool.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe pair

Check out our full review of the S-Works Torch here.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe unlaced

Why Laces?

Why add a lace-up version to a shoe that many already deem comfortable? Well — first off, laces look cooler. What better way to show everyone on the group ride you’re most fashionable? But seriously — Eliminating the BOA enclosure removes the ability to overtighten and cause hot spots, which gives a level up in comfort.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe tounge out

For some, the BOA dials don’t sit in the most comfortable place, and laces do not require any extra plastic molding to keep them in place. Eliminating the molding means a very pliable and supple shoe, especially considering the upper material.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe toe box

The S-Works Torch Laceup has a new upper with reinforcement in critical zones, redesigned from the BOA removal. Eliminating the asymmetrical BOA bed gives the shoe a super clean symmetrical look, with a striking line down the middle of the toe box.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe close up

How is it different from the S-Works BOA Torch?

The lace-up version of the S-Works Torch carries overall (except the BOA) technology and features, including the new wider base plate, 4mm wider (than the previous S-Works 7 shoe) at the ball of the foot.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe i beam

The sole and last are the same as used in the S-Works Torch (BOA), with a full carbon sole and internal ‘I-Beam.’ The I-Beam construction allows the sole to be super lightweight without excess carbon. This process makes it 20g lighter (than the S-Works 7) while maintaining the same stiffness profile.

If you want to know all the tech details of the S-Works Torch, check out our new piece here.

Like the S-Works Torch, the new lace-up version uses an asymmetrical heel. This design counter supports the medial side of the foot while removing material from the lateral side, allowing for a lower collar.

Underneath, Specialized uses titanium alloy cleat nuts to keep the shoe as light as possible along with a replaceable heel pad.

S-Works Torch — Color Options

The S-Works Torch lace-up arrives in different colorways than the original; White (tested), Black, Dune White, and Dark Navy.

Specialized S-Works Torch Lace-up shoe thin fabric

S-Works Torch Laceup Pricing and Availability

The all-new S-Works Torch Laceup is available online and at your local Specialized dealer.

Available sizes: 36-49 with half sizes from 38-46

Weight: 198g/shoe 43* (without insole)

Price: $350

Look for a full review as we get more time in on these, but if you’re looking to get some of your own, check out Specialized.com.

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2 months ago

Lace up’s are cool and all, but this is definitely one of those form vs function type of deals.

The advantages of boa’s vs laces:

  • Some peoples feet swell or just in general you need to either tighten or loosen your shoes while riding. With boa it’s a simple reach down and adjust. With laces, nope
  • Boa’s are robust and pretty much not susceptible to damage under normal conditions. Laces can get tore up pretty easy.
  • Boa’s can be adjusted through your shoe covers. I am not not saying you can wind them down a bunch of turns, but if you need to snug up your shoes after a cover is on it, this is possible with boas. I’ve done it every winter ride. Laces, nope.
  • Boa’s look mostly the same after 100’s of hours on the bike. Laces, look nasty AF after like 2 rides.

Again, the market here is for people that are more into form vs function. I just think it’s funny that’s how petty the top end market is. Other than weight, I cannot think of one advantage laces have vs boas in cycling shoes.

No I don’t work for boa.

2 months ago
Reply to  tech9

Cool story bro

2 months ago
Reply to  tech9

It would appear you haven’t actually tried lace up shoes nor used your BOA shoes in certain conditions. To counter your opinions:
1) with the right type of laces used they will allow for foot swell without the need to ever adjust. Plus, laces are infinitely adjustable.
2) this is just simply not true. Boas are way more susceptible to sand and dirt/mud. Laces can be simply watered down and washed off in these conditions.
3) fair use case but how often are you adjusting shoes once you have covers on? The covers are an added piece of compression that requires adjusting shoe tension before riding mostly I would argue.
4) again just simply hose them down and let them dry. Which you should be doing anyways with any type of shoe to extend the life of the shoe significantly.

Laces allow for a lot more adjustability to fit everyone’s unique foot shape. Plus, laces are way easier to repair should you have an issue on a long ride or adventure.

2 months ago
Reply to  tech9

Is it petty to have a personal preference, an aesthetic preference? Someone not sharing your tech and/or aesthetic tastes does not mean that someone is petty.

As for your analysis of laces vs BOA, it’s not as conclusive as you suggest. Ben makes some good counterpoints.

Was Taylor Phinney petty for using Giro Empires? What about the other pros that have and do use lace-up shoes?

1 month ago
Reply to  Robin

Pretty sure Pogs races in lace-ups, too

2 months ago

Came here for the comments and wasn’t disappointed. Hilarious how much hand wringing road riders will do over a pair of shoes. Next up, a long and vicious debate over the height of socks…

2 months ago

If only Tadje Pogocar would provide his feedback on wearing laces…

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