Specialised S-Works Ares Highway Shoe Is Highly effective and Comfy

Worth: $425
Weight: 303 grams (with Shimano cleat, dimension 44.5)
Type: Highway biking
The appropriate shoe for: Riders in search of that additional edge, and riders who continually battle with scorching spots and uneven stress.


The most recent addition to the Specialised S-Works household of footwear is the Ares, a street shoe for essentially the most demanding customers. It’s not lighter than the S-Works 7, and Specialised doesn’t declare it has higher air flow than that mannequin, however it goals to repair a perennial downside with footwear that makes use of wire closures: uneven stress across the foot. Particularly, Specialised wished to make a shoe that maximized energy switch whereas sprinting.

The staff at Specialised claims to have solved that downside with this shoe that, at first look, seems extra like one thing you’d count on to see at an Ironman than the Tour de France. The claims of effectivity are daring: the California-based model asserts the Ares is as much as two % extra environment friendly than the S-Works 7. That’s a declare I can’t independently confirm, however I can state that the shoe holds my foot way more securely than some other I’ve ever worn. I haven’t been in a position to log in depth miles within the Ares, however preliminary impressions are overwhelmingly constructive. It felt nice to have my ft firmly in place over the pedals with out the uneven stress and discomfort usually related to cranking down the Boa dials.

The higher dial does such a great job tightening the shoe that the decrease dial can be utilized simply to tighten the toe field once you want that little additional safety

Bobby Lea

The onerous plastic heel cup stays, and the higher remains to be constituted of the Dyneema Mesh cloth that’s confirmed sturdy on different S-Works footwear we’ve tsted. The Ares additionally shares the identical carbon outsole, constituted of Specialised’s stiffest and lightest Truth carbon, because the S-Works 7. It nonetheless makes use of a two-dial closure, however gone is the Velcro strap over the toe field that was largely ineffective. A comfortable liner ensconces the ankle, offering gentle assist and padding in opposition to the stiff strap that attaches outdoors the heel and wraps across the prime of the foot. That liner provides the Ares an unconventional profile, protruding increased above the heel cup than on most street racing footwear.

Two-Dial Closure

The closure depends on two dials, however it now not makes use of two wires that run instantly throughout the highest of the foot and hook into open clasps. The decrease Boa tightens a wire that takes a standard route straight throughout the ball of the foot. However the wire that secures the higher half takes a extra circuitous route and tightening it feels amazingly even. In a departure from the S-Works 7, the wires can’t be faraway from their cloth loops. I’ve needed to exchange Boa dials and wires on a pair of S-Works Recons, so the lack to switch wires on the Ares causes this tester some angst. It’s additionally onerous to disregard that the onerous plastic hooks on the S-Works 7 have been changed with cloth loops. Contemplating how a lot tighter this shoe could be worn, they symbolize a doable level of failure.

The Boa dials themselves are additionally new. Gone are the metallic ones that, regardless of providing an outstanding capacity to micro-adjust rigidity, had a propensity to get knocked and simply loosened. The brand new dials really feel extra sturdy, are simpler to crank down tightly, and keep in place higher with out sacrificing adjustability.

The outsole is identical because the one used on the S-Works 7

Bobby Lea

Comfortable and Safe Match

I discovered it powerful to wrestle my foot into this shoe, particularly in comparison with the relative ease of sliding into the S-Works 7, which really feel as comfy as a pair of excessive efficiency bed room slippers. That’s not an unreasonable compromise for the sake of higher safety, and one thing I bear in mind nicely from the times of shoving my canine into each lengthy and brief monitor velocity skates. The match was magnificent as soon as I they have been on, and so they felt cosy even earlier than cranking down the dials. The higher closure does such a great job securing the shoe that I discovered I may depart the decrease dial free to retain the texture of a pleasant, roomy toe field. However I may additionally cinch it down and comfortably lock my foot in place in a method I’ve been unable to do with different footwear.

That feeling of being locked in place interprets to a brand new and thrilling pedaling expertise—a degree of effectivity that’s most obvious when accelerating whereas standing up on the pedals. In reality, it opened my eyes to how a lot my foot had been transferring round whereas in different footwear.

In comparison with the low profile aesthetic of the S-Works 7, the Ares seems noticeably bulkier.

Bobby Lea

These kicks felt tremendous and it’s not onerous to see how having a safer connection to the pedals enhances energy switch. Two huge questions I’ve stays unanswered: how will these footwear really feel on scorching summer season days and can I miss the sunshine, low profile really feel of a shoe just like the S-Works 7 on an all-day experience? It’s too chilly on the East Coast to check both however the shoe is spectacular sufficient that I am wanting ahead to discovering the solutions to each.

Ares Household

The Ares received’t exchange the S-Works 7, so these of you who love your previous footwear needn’t race to purchase up remaining provides. These will stay as an possibility for riders who just like the extra conventional look. There additionally received’t be cheaper variations of the Ares in the intervening time. It joins the S-Works 7 as a shoe of comparable high quality for individuals who want a unique match. The Ares is obtainable in half sizes from 38 by means of 47, and complete sizes from 36 to 38 and 47 to 49.

The liner provides to the sensation of consolation and safety across the ankle, however it stays to be seen how comfy it’s on hotter rides.

Bobby Lea

Not Simply For Racers

This can be a nice alternative for riders in search of a extra comfy shoe that helps them maximize energy switch. And if you end up continually adjusting your footwear mid-ride to alleviate scorching spots, these could also be for you. However you needn’t be a high-powered sprinter to comprehend efficiency advantages from the Ares. Bear in mind, sprinting and accelerating are, in essence, the identical factor. Even when you don’t throw down 1,500 watt sprints, you continue to make fixed accelerations, whether or not popping excessive of a hill or chasing down a driving buddy. Lastly, one should not ignore the consolation issue. Comfortable ft go a great distance in the direction of making each experience extra satisfying, no matter velocity to period.


S-Works Ares

Specialised specialised.com


  • Very stiff
  • Safe match with even stress throughout the foot
  • Powerful to get in your ft
  • Costly

Bobby Lea Check Editor, Bicycling Bobby is a part of the Bicycling Check Staff and brings with him over a decade {of professional} racing expertise, together with 3 Olympic Staff berths.

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