Of all the ways that road cycling has made itself unapproachable — from the grouchy shop employees to the neverending maintenance — the high cost of gear might be the most egregious. The bikes themselves can quickly summit $10,000 (with the affordable ones running at least a few grand), but even the clothing is pricey. Jerseys, bibs and helmets cost hundreds of dollars and yet are critical to the full enjoyment of the sport. And then there are the shoes, the point of connection between human and bicycle. The best ones hover around $300 or $400.
Why are cycling shoes so expensive? Because, while they look like the Velcro ones you wore in preschool, they’re performance footwear built on specific lasts with high-end materials like carbon fiber and perforated leather. Hundreds of miles of pedaling comfort comes with a cost. Specialized’s new shoe, however, does not. It’s called the Torch 1.0, and it contains many of the features that you’ll find on the best cycling shoes available.
Specialized built the Torch 1.0 with the same body geometry it uses in its higher-end shoes, and even gave it quick-adjusting Boa dial. It’s plenty stiff, and at 8.3 ounces per shoe, lightweight, too. And yet, the final cost is just $100. That makes it one of the most feature-laden affordable cycling shoes available. (So, you know, you can shell out a little more for a bike.)
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