Specialized swaps Boa for laces in new S-Works Recon shoes

gravel shoes
Oak green is one of the four colour options for this new gravel shoe (Image credit: Specialized )

Specialized has today added an all-new variant of its top-tier gravel, cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain biking shoe, integrating a lace-up version of the popular S-Works Recon.

Available in four colourways, including a very festive Aloha option, these new S-Works Recon shoes are targeted at gravel riders who are committed gram counters.

The core structure of the shoes remains unchanged from the existing S-Works Recon shoes, meaning the same blended upper construction with Dyneema, Body Geometry technologies such as the integrated longitudinal arch support and inbuilt 1.5mm Varus wedge, and the same carbon fibre sole.

Nobody likes saying it, but the road bike obsession with power transfer rings true on gravel and with that same carbon fibre sole, the S-Works Recon lace has a stiffness index rating of 13 - putting it on par with the S-Works Vent road shoes, and only two shy of the S-Works 7 - to maximise efficiency through the pedals. 

gravel shoes

The sole of the new S-Works Recon lace (Image credit: Specialized )

Ergonomics and comfort

Ergonomics are a highly considered factor within the Specialized shoe range and as part of that, these lace-up S-Works Recons have a +1.5mm forefoot Varus wedge to prevent pronation. This is supported by a 'metatarsal button', which allows more natural toe spread, which Specialized claims will aid comfort.

For those short distance strolls off the bike, to take in a view, or when doing a little bit of hike-a-bike on gravel, the S-Works Recon lace-up shoes have a 'SlipNot' rubber heel and toe section. Borrowing from the brand’s experience in mountain bike shoes, designed to make these gravel kicks much safer to walk in.

Another mountain bike influence is the S-Works Recon's reinforced toe-box, which is included to protect against inadvertent terrain strike when navigating technical off-road terrain.

Specialized is marketing the new S-Works Recon lace-up in four colours, with three of those - Oak Green, Black and Aloha - being immediately available, while the White option will be available as of the end of September.

The S-Works Recon lace-up might use a traditional fastening mechanism, but there is nothing old-school about its weight rating, which is claimed at a mere 280g.

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.