PRODUCT REVIEW – SPECIALIZED TORCH 3.0 ROAD CYCLING SHOE

Shaun George BOTS Guides

When it comes to taking your riding experience to the next level, there’s nothing like investing in a good pair of cycling shoes that will make a world of a difference out on the road. One of the greatest challenges with designing a cycling shoe is the fine balance between comfort and performance.

If a cycling shoe is really performance-oriented then it’s going to be very stiff, lightweight and have a tight fit. However, for comfortable road shoes, you’re going to have to make a few scarifies; endurance shoes will most likely have more width and wiggle room in front, additionally, endurance shoes will have more padding for better comfort and support. On longer rides, power transfer isn’t going to be a priority which is why endurance shoes are usually not as stiff as performance shoes. These additional features along with a few others will increase the weight of the shoes as well.

Specialized has done a fantastic job on their Torch 3.0 Road shoes which seem to be an uber comfortable and high-performance shoe at the same time. The Torch series of road shoes have been around for a while and have only improved with each iteration. We believe without a doubt that the Torch 3.0 is one of the best, professional cycling shoes in the Indian market.

THE SPECIALIZED TORCH ROAD SHOE SERIES

There are 3 models within the Torch family lineup, the base 1.0, mid-level 2.0 and the range-topping 3.0. As you go higher up in the series, the main difference lies in the sole construction and fastening systems.

Torch 3.0
Specialized Torch 3.0 shoe anatomy

The Specialized Torch 1.0 shoe uses a nylon composite sole, while the Specialized Torch 2.0 has a carbon fiber sole and Specialized Torch 3.0 uses Specialized’s stiffer FACT carbon sole. The 1.0 is the more beginner friendly road shoe and the 3.0 is the racier of the three shoes. The mid-range 2.0, however, is the choice of riders wanting a balance of big-mile comfort and high-performance.

TORCH 3.0

BUILD

The foundation of the new Torch 3.0 shoes is a full FACT carbon composite sole that has been rated at a stiffness index of 8.5. The soles are drilled for three-bolt cleat compatibility with clear markers for adjustability and ease of lining them up. Provided up front are a couple of vents at the front and mid-section, while a rubber heel pad makes walking less of a complication.

The upper is made from a combination of a lightweight thermoplastic polyurethane and synthetic leather. Mesh panels and perforations in strategic places aid cooling when temperatures ride. A thermo-bonded construction process reduces the weight and gives the shoes a sleek look-structural rigidity is also maintained through this manufacturing process.

FIT

Two heavy-duty Boa S2-SV Snap dials that pull two separate wires across the top of the shoe ensure a snug foot position. The dials allow easy micro-adjustment in both directions. when the dial is pulled upwards, tension is released. A small velcro strap below the dials provides toe box adjustment. The toe box offers more wiggle room than full-on road performance shoes that lock you in completely. You’ll also be thankful for the generously padded tongue that provides comfort on long rides. This retention system makes for the perfect performance fit.

The Body Geometry insole has been perfectly engineered for perfect heel cup support and optimal power transfer along with comfort. The body Geometry sole construction and footbeds are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chances of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment. The sole also aids optimal blood flow to the entire foot. The fit ensures your feet don’t move around under hard pedaling and there is almost zero heel lift during a pedal upstroke.

For cleat fitment, three grippy patches of a sand-paper like finish have been provided so that the cleat doesn’t slip around under load. Another small yet significant feature of the 3.0 is the inclusion of a toe bumper that prevents scuffing when you put your foot down on the ground – toe first.

Two colors that are currently available worldwide are the lemon green which naturally, divides opinion amongst the masses, and a more reserved and much loved black that is available online and at our store. Sizes 39 through 49 are available for riders. These cycling shoes are not only for men but can also be used by women riders.

Approximate weight: 248g (1/2 pair, Size 42)


SUMMARY

If you’re just looking to get into racing or need a more performance-oriented ride feel than what you already have, the Torch 3.0 is the shoe for you. Sure it isn’t as stiff and as light as the S-Works shoes are, but then again, it doesn’t empty your wallet like some of the more expensive road-performance shoes. The Torch 3.0 is lightweight, stiff and pretty comfortable. It’s a great shoe for the performance cyclist within you. If longer – endurance rides are your thing then we’d recommend the Specialized Audax. The Torch 3.0, on the other hand, offers a decent slice of performance that will satisfy most people with a bit more comfort than the top-tier racing shoes.

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