The Torch 1.0 Road Shoes from Specialized deliver a quality built and well-equipped road shoe at a great price point, but are hardly entry-level otherwise. Road riders advancing to so-called clipless road pedals and shoes often find upper level shoes to be a bit stiff and uncomfortable. Comfort for an experienced cyclist is relative, as the materials, unbelievable stiffness, and minimalist construction are advantages, not challenges, but when you are getting started or just beginning to explore and enjoy the benefits of road shoes, a little comfort goes a long way to that experience being enjoyable. Now, that doesn't mean the Torch 1.0 won't perform. It surely does, and at 290 grams per shoe, it is actually competitive with shoes at the next pricing level.
The Specialized shoe team decided to address the issue of comfort and performance head on. To do so, they've implemented a perforated synthetic construction upper on the Torch 1.0 that allows for a little more wiggle room in the toe box.. The upper is then paired with a modestly stiff (6.0) injection-molded nylon composite sole that is engineered to be moderately stiff and plenty light, and also features heel and toe zones of a softer but durable material that provides grip and safety while walking with road cleats mounted. Proven Body Geometry systems used on the highest level Specialized shoes are used for sole construction and footbed development that are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment.
For the closure, a single, simple Boa® L6 dial is used for the closure that features tool-free snap replacement capability, while also providing simple, on-the-fly micro-adjustments. This draws the mid and top sections of the upper together in a pattern similar to normal shoe lacing, comfortably closing the upper for an impressive fit. At the forefoot, a single Velcro strap allows for independent tension adjustment in this key area, and means you can maintain the upper portion fit while offering a little more or less room up front.
The composite outsole carries what is referred to as the Delta 3-bolt (triangular) pattern for mounting cleats. Every major road pedal system sold features this pattern, ensuring there are several price point ranges available. When you dig deep on the Torch 1.0, you see many features and technologies applied that ensure it is both a great shoe, and more than competitive price-wise.