26 May S Works 6 Road Cycling Shoes 2016
Review and Comparison of the new S Works 6 Road Cycling Shoes.
Although as rare as rocking horse poop, Cyclespeed managed to get hold of a pair of the new 2016 S Works 6 Road Cycling Shoes to test.
Changes for 2016
Small modifications have been made to the previous , very successful S Works shoes to improve on already class leading comfort.
The toe box is wider and taller to give you more wiggle room and there is a new stiffer heel cup with a taller, soft part on top.
The carbon sole seems thicker and more substantial; certainly, we could not make them flex in the slightest in our hands. The tongue is all new – wider and more substantial and the BOA lace threads through it now.
Whereas the previous model looked slim, fine and pointy, the new one looks stubbier and fatter, perhaps less attractive? But comfort must rule over looks, right?
Weight is down 20g per pair to 440g, which makes these amongst the lightest out there.
So light, stiff, and comfy. What’s not to like? Well the price maybe. At £280 / 370 Euros, these do not fall into the ‘bargain’ category. And they’re made in China, when Italy might have added more caché. But quality is superb and our 2013 (14, 15 and half of 16!) pair have lasted very well over 50 000km with only worn out heel bumpers and a small heel material rip to set them apart from new.
Stay tuned for first riding impressions. Currently in training for the Etape du Tour 2016, these top end carbon shoes will soon be leaving Megeve and flying over the mountains of the Haut Savoie and the cols of Aravis, Colombiere, Ramaz and Joux Plane!
First Ride Impressions
Roomy! And stiff. First thoughts are how roomy the toe box feels. Occasionally the old model would push and compress the toes a bit after a long, hot day. Not these.
Very positive BOAs that allow you to dial in just the right amount of tension, and the new big tongue helps spread the load to avoid hot spots. Very stiff; there is no deflection here – if they’re good enough for pros, you won’t be lacking in stiffness for the pub sprint! And fits the foot well too, just like the old model. But also, just like the old ones, a little stiff around the top edges at first. These can touch your ankle bone where it sticks out on the side, so be aware of that, but this should soften over time. It should be noted that the new 6’s are 15mm higher than the 5’s at this ankle bone point, which is significant, so be aware of this.
A nice new feature of these shoes is the way the BOA laces quickly and easily pop off allowing you full and easy access to the tongue, which a) allows really easy entry and exit of the foot, and b) lets you clean the tongue area when it gets sprayed with road muck. (Which doesn’t happen very often in Majorca!)
So worth the upgrade? Well, depends on how thick your wallet is; they are lighter and stiffer, but the jury’s still out on more comfy until we’ve got at least 1000km on them. Watch this space for the final review in a few weeks time.
3 Weeks in – Problems!
There’s no getting away from it – these shoes are STIFF! It’s as if Spesh have decided to give you foot as much support as they possibly can, a bit like a ski boot. The sides and heel are much stiffer than before. This can lead to discomfort. We think these shoes need ALOT of breaking in, and they will then conform to your foot better, but initially at least, the loss of comfort compared to the previous model is significant. Specialized haven’t just tweaked the old shoe; it’s a complete redesign and the new one bears little resemblance to the old. Moving the sides up by 15mm is huge; maybe a more gentle change would have been prudent? We’re still wearing these on training rides, but crucially, for recent important rides (read, races!) we switched back to the old shoes……..
For more info, see www.specialized.com