This good looking cycling shoe from Specialized is economical and comfortable. The wide toe box and contoured foot bed suits my high-arched, wide feet. I usually wear a sports insole with my cycling shoes but I didn’t need them with the Torch Road shoe.
That’s because the Specialized BG (body geometry) high performance foot bed has a built-in longitudinal arch support, a metatarsal button to reduce “hot foot” and a varus wedge, which holds the foot in a stable and biomechanically optimal position for cycling. The foot bed is designed for all-round better foot support, which eliminates hot spots and numbness.
The shoes were super comfortable when I first put them on but after about 30 km (18 miles) my right foot developed a hot spot. To be fair, this could be a problem with the cleat position, and not the shoe. I’m experimenting with that and will report back.
Generous venting on the bottom and top of the Torch Road shoe keeps your feet dry and cool. The injection-molded and glass-reinforced sole is heavier than carbon-soled shoes and not as stiff. If you’re used to wearing carbon-soled cycling shoes, that lack of stiffness is noticeable as soon as you get on the bike. If you ride a lot, you may want to shop for a carbon-soled model.
The synthetic leather upper is supple and allows the shoe to fit snugly around your feet. Two narrow Velcro straps and a lightweight buckle make the Torch easy to adjust. The shoe fits two-bolt SPD and three bolt cleats.
The Torch comes in black/crimson and white/gold. I’ve never been a fan of white cycling shoes but they are cooler, and surprisingly easy to keep clean with a damp cloth.
Bottom Line: Excellent value. A good mid-level shoe.
Price: $125 US ($180 CND)