Attention all brevet and touring riders, Specialized might just have the perfect shoe for you. The Specialized Audax shoes are inspired by the sport of randonneuring, more popularly known as Audax / Brevets / BRMs here in India.
As a sport that involves riding uber long distances, unsupported through designated checkpoints, comfort is a key requirement and performance is a close second to squeeze out every drop of power. The comfortable design ensures an extremely comfortable fit and the proprietory Specialized Body Geometry technology along with the carbon fiber sole together provides a high level of stiffness to facilitate aggressive, high-performance riding.
The Specialized Audax shoe is also perfect for cyclists who want a high-performance road shoe without the conventional looks of one as this shoe has subtle classy styling cues vis-a-vis the rest of the racier selection offered by Specialized and other brands.
As mentioned earlier, the Specialized Audax is meant to provide all-day comfort for riders who don’t want to compromise on performance. With a considerably roomier toe-box area compared to other shoes in its category, this shoe is a definite win for riders with wider feet. This is also important on uber long rides like a brevet.
The fit is near perfect and there is essentially no heel lift under hard pedaling – perfect for squeezing every ounce of power your generate to move the bike forward. When wearing road shoes you want a snug, somewhat “tight” fit that holds you in even on the roughest of terrain and under extreme load.
The retention system consists of twin Velcro straps and a single BOA S2 dial, which pulls a wide strap down across the top of the foot arch, evenly distributing the load with no pressure points; adjustments to the tensioning on the fly is a doddle thanks to the simple and ergonomic layout and the BOA dials.
Look at the sole and you’ll find a 3-hole cleat system that is compatible with Shimano, Look and Time cleats. A carbon/composite sole is provided for light and stiff power transfer Stiffness Index 10.0 Pedalling performance and comfort is up there with some of the best shoes. There’s no lack of stiffness from the carbon sole when you push down hard on the pedal.
The sole with minimal treading isn’t really designed for walking in. You’ll be happy to know that there are rubber heel inserts at the back giving you some grip when you do decide to walk with the shoes. Don’t get mistaken by the looks and name of the shoes as it’s designed for long hours on the bike and for a stiff yet comfortable ride when powering up a hill.
The upper is of a supple Micromatrix synthetic leather with laser-etched venting with reflective elements for visibility. The uppers are fairly stiff at first and need to be broken in for a little flex to set in. The heel cup allows for maximum articulation and blood flow even during long rides.
The Body Geometry footbed is scientifically tested to increase power output, increase efficiency, and reduce the chance of injury by optimizing hip and knee movement. An upward tilt from the heel of the foot to the big toe has been built into the insole. A metatarsal bump, between the ball of the big toe and the second toe has been integrated into the footbed to prevent sore feet and hot spots. Low profile heel cups further provide a secure fit and relieve pressure for the free range of ankle motion.
Looking for a good looking road bike shoe with a unique non-road look, a stiff sole, a comfortable heel cup, a roomy toe-box, and a durable upper – well, the Specialized Audax road shoe is an excellent option for cyclists looking to race or shoot for the moon on long rides like bike tours or brevets/randonneuring events.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010