2023 S-Works Recon SL and ADV shoes


1 Like

I’ll have to keep this in mind if anything happens to my RX8s, they look amazing.

1 Like

I’m sold on both… While I don’t love the color ways of the ADV, I bet they’re great for their intended use.
I went all in on Specialized shoes last year after 8 years in Giro’s and I’m really happy with the move. The Torch are my favorite, and the new Recon is just a Torch with some lugs… Perfect!!!


These are nice. Look like a good gravelfocused shoe but…$450. Lol. I know everyone has different thoughts on what’s worth it but I just can’t see a tangible benefit to spending that kind of money on a shoe. Especially a white one that will look like crap after an actual season of gravel.

Those green and brown ones look :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: though.

1 Like

I clicked on their instagram link - $600, then I realized that was Canadianaian. They’re only $450 here… for shoes, that clearly don’t cost $280 more than their Recon 3, which are usually available for $170. Also, the last model looked a LOT better than the new one and the special colors aren’t desirable.
Their only saving grace is that the competition is dropping the ball on the CX/XC/Gravel shoes. No toe flex, boring looking, or bad color schemes.

They look really good, but I got the RX8s recently as well, and I am really happy with them. Super light, stiff, and fit me well (with Spesh insoles).


Agreed. They look amazing but if I buy them it will have to be once they’ve been out a while and show up with a hefty discount on Black Friday or something.

I’m also way too happy with my RX8s to spend money trying something else just now (actually went and bought my next set of RX8s on clearance when the model was updated recently in case the fit changes don’t suit me)

Not sure if this is a UK-only colourway since I don’t actually see the white ones available on our Spesh site, but the cactus orange/purple looks fun and bold for a ‘statement’ shoe!


+1 While I could be wrong, it’s hard to swallow an extra $200+ from RX-8 to these. That said until one rides really great shoes, the prices look crazy. Now about those Bont customs…

Hah I’m other way round. My backup RX8 insoles are in my SW7 road shoes!

Unfortunately the lack of toe spikes is a hard no for me. I get they want to make them light but that’s a must have.

1 Like

Yes I expect there must be a further XC release incoming. If not for MTB season then maybe come autumn for CX?

1 Like

The insoles of the RX8 were surprisingly good (which is a shame, that 300 to 500 dollar shoes usually come with that sh*tty of insoles, that you need to buy $15 insoles, which are always a huge upgrade). I just put the Spesh, because I have them in everyone of my shoes and like how they all feel the exact same.

I have the Spesh insoles in all my shoes as well to keep the feel the same.

I hear you there - it’s a shame Shimano won’t sell those RX8 insoles aftermarket (I think the same ones come in the S-Phyre shoes too but I’ve only ever tried them on, not owned a pair). They’re incredibly effective for how simple they are. Giro sell something similar aftermarket but they’re not quite the same. Spesh again offer a great fitting product but it’s a wee bit different too.

It definitely seems like the curse of using shoes this stiff is that our feet make pretty strong adaptations to whatever little shape irregularities are in an insole. My SW7 shoes objectively fit me really well, but after all the hundreds of hours I’d done in RX8s I ended up going through a succession of different insoles to get the SW7s to feel right. Even with RX8 insoles they’re still just different enough that I sometimes cramp on the outside of my right foot. Have even tried a valgus wedge to undo the inbuilt varus. Got into it with the bike fitter and he reached a similar conclusion. Gave me some PT ‘foot strengthening’ exercises to try but I’m ashamed to say I’ve never done them :flushed:

In an attempt to come vaguely back on topic: I guess that’s one of the things that’s exciting to me about the Recon SLs - a more direct competitor to the RX8 than the previous Recons means I could potentially get myself all locked into a single brand after a while. (That or I switch to RC902s on road :man_shrugging:)

$450 is certainly a hefty price tag, and it was a tough pill to swallow, especially seeing as I then was selling my backup NIB Giro Empires for $150… But with that said, I’d rather have a $450 pair of shoes, and a crappy pair of aluminum shallow wheels versus some $100 shoes and $1000 carbon wheels. They’re often overlooked, but a good fitting shoe/insole/pedal setup is more important than any aero frame or deep wheels.


The whole varus wedge may be sending me away from Specialized for good. I have used their shoes for 2 years, but have been dealing with knee pain on and off that entire time. After trying many different things, I think this built in “feature” may be doing me in. A shame because i would be snagging these shoes for sure

Has anybody been riding these for a while? How have you been liking them?

Specialized is one of the few places that make a 49 ( :exploding_head: ) and I’ve been feeling a little cramped during hot rides in my current shoes. I’m a medium width in every non-cycling shoe though. Seems like a bit of extra room with the new last might be the trick.

I could justify the cost if they’re the right shoes I guess.


Why no toe spikes!?

I’m guessing these are marketed more as gravel/XC than cross?

Do you really want to get $425 white shoes dirty? :pleading_face::pleading_face::pleading_face:

I’ll follow up… I’ve been running a pair of the S-Works Recon SL for a while now, and love them. Prior to these, I was riding road pedals on my Crux, so that I could use some SW7 shoes or my Torch’s. These are as good as any road shoe as far as comfort, and they interact really nicely with my XTR pedals. It makes for a stable and solid platform, much more than I’ve ever encountered on a MTB pedals/shoe system.

And for what its worth, I only run white shoes, cause #pro… I race ultras/bikepacking stuff, and have a pair of the Recon Lace’s in white that I’ve put over 1,000 miles on, including a 5 mile hike a bike through mud and snow on the two most recent ones, and multiple times during and after each event, I get questions about how my shoes are still so white… Specialized’s materials are pretty bomber and clean up really nicely.