In the never ending pursuit of speed, efficiency and perfection, the R&D team at Specialized never lets up. Real, but perhaps razor thin advantages can truly be the difference between winning and falling off the podium. That premise has driven the development, design, and engineering of the S-Works Ares Road Shoe. When the moment comes for an attack in the hills, a long solo move, or a full gas sprint for the line, every watt counts, which is why the team designed the S-Works Ares to be the most efficient and powerful performance shoe ever made. They combined decades of Body Geometry development with obsessive innovation while working with the world’s best athletes to completely reimagine the road race shoe. An entirely new, patent-pending closure system, Dyneema®-reinforced tongueless sock, and ultra-stiff FACT Powerline™ carbon outsole eliminate foot roll, reduce pressure on tendons, and transfer every ounce of power to the pedals for unprecedented performance and comfort. It’s 1% faster than any shoe we’ve ever made, and at the finish line, that’s all that matters.
For those chasing podiums in their minds, the S-Works Ares still offers incredible fit, comfort and all the aforementioned premium features. What is most eye catching is the tongueless sock design, which is very much like a sock-liner system, but designed to be worn with a thin cycling sock. With this set-up, and the Independent BOA® Li2 Fit System, you eliminate potential pressure points and less overlapping or built up material to trigger irritation. By triangulating retention and spreading out pressure over a larger surface area, the closure system also essentially eliminates foot roll. These are advantages any serious cyclist can embrace. The Form Fit last is featured here, with its roomier toe box, and the system is all tied into the PadLock heel retention system that has driven major rider satisfaction where zero movement is the dream.
At 220 grams (per shoe, size 42), the S-Works Ares is lighter than the S-Works 7 Road and the S-Works Vent (just a few grams in the latter), so there is no weight penalty here, a weight advantage in fact. The incredible upper and space-age materials help, but so does the incredibly light and outrageously stiff FACT Powerline™ carbon plate outsole, with the same stiffness (15/15) as the pro-level workhorse S-Works 7. The toe zone of the outsole features an air intake vent, which is aligned with perforations in the Body Geometry footbed for cooling.
Body Geometry features of the shoe include the Varus Wedge, Longitudinal Arch, and Metarsal Button. As a key construction element of FACT carbon outsole, the 1.5mm built-in Varus Wedge stabilizes the natural movement of your forefoot and improve knee alignment by creating a natural with the inner portion of the foot raised that 1.5mm from the outer portion. This creates a more natural position and angle, which also can improve power and efficiency. The Longitudinal Arch is comprised of two aspects. First is the molded arch support in the outsole itself. The second lies within the arch of the insole. The Body Geometry footbeds offer three arch height options to best support the natural shape of the individual, preventing arch collapse and again creating an optimal foot support for power delivery without fatigue. The Metatarsal Button is also in the insole. It lifts the foot under the zone to the rear of the toe bone structures, creating a more natural shape. The foot, like the hand, has a natural curve- it is not flat. If the foot is too compressed, the structure flattens, with the potential to impinge nerves and surety of reducing blood flow, which results in numbness and potential damage. You can see the progression of the support and comfort choices made to ensure foot health and performance. This is Body Geometry, and it has improved cycling experiences for countless individuals.
As a pure road race shoe, the S-Works Ares features a 3-bolt cleat interface, which works with every major road pedal system. Like every aspect of the shoe, there is some set-up flexibility. There is no design aspect, technology or feature that has not been engineered, lab tested, and road tested. Collaborating with many of the worlds top cyclists, Specialized can quickly get feedback, from heavy mileage and the most challenging conditions, all of which directly informs changes and confirms the positives. The combination of the process, the people, and the desire to deliver the best cycling products in the world is the DNA of Specialized, and the S-Works Ares delivers the perfect series combinations in pure cycling shoe.