A road cycling shoe that delivers competitive performance, with impressive fit and features is ideal for a substantial group of serious cyclists, some of whom may do a little racing, but most won't, and really just enjoy a great experience and demand their equipment help facilitate that. From the outset, the design process of the Specialized Torch 3.0 Road shoe was driven by the goal to create a performance offering as feature-packed as any top-end shoe. The challenge, however, was pulling this off at a palatable price that could really attract that market. It is a very competitive price point with excellent competition, but Specialized has great tools and existing resources to draw from, carrying down key features and technology from the S-Works development process. This isn't trickle down, it's informed adaptation and experience.
With the Torch 3.0, the key was to find the proper design and materials to mate to a proven FACT™ carbon outsole that combined for great fit, comfort and power transfer. The resulting upper exceeded expectations through a tested blend of fabric tech, construction and fit knowledge. In order to achieve this, the designers utilized three strategically placed materials that are welded together: TPU and mesh in the front with a synthetic leather in the rear. This makes for a more comfortable and supportive front of the shoe with ventilation and breathability. The stiff rear and heel cup, meanwhile, lock down your heel and keep all of your watts going into the pedals as efficiently as possible. The combination is very effective, and has been cut and shaped for best closure with the two BOA-® S2-SV Snap dials. These wire systems allow for the anchor points to be wider than the protruding bone structure along the top of the foot, where the soft foam under the tongue can protect this area without direct, hard pressure. The Torch 3.0 has a very nice fit and supportive feel that is confidence inducing to the rider, and due to micro-adjustability with the dials can be easily changed while you ride. At the metatarsal bridge, a single but effective Velcro closure allows you to independently adjust tension over the area that tends to expand most while riding, without compromising the locked in feeling of the upper.
This refined upper is combined with the legendary FACT™ carbon fiber sole to further ensure efficient power transfer while pedaling while supporting the foot for all day efforts. A toe vent allows for inflow of air to help keep your foot drier and cooler. With a Stiffness Level of 8.5, it is almost ideal for the serious enthusiast, delivering directional (heel to toe)stiffness and power, while offering slight forgiveness in the lateral plane, as well as mitigating some of the road buzz that comes up through the pedals. The outsole, and the accompanying footbed insole get the Body Geometry treatment, with the Varus Wedge (outsole), Longitudinal Arch support and the Metatarsal Button (both in footbed). These ergonomically designed and scientifically tested additions are used to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment.
As a road shoe, the Torch 3.0 carries the standard fore-aft adjustable 3-bolt pattern cleat mount system, along with a toe tap and heel lug to assist when walking or touching down. Viewed as an integrated unit, the this is an impressive shoe that truly delivers in all areas above it's price point. At 248 grams per shoe (size 42), the weight is equally competitive. When you factor in the proven Body Geometry benefits, the Torch 3.0 is tough to beat.