Team TotalEnergies riders were seen at a pre-season training camp wearing mystery shoes that we believe may be yet-to-be-released Specialized S-Works 8s.
As we await the start of the 2022 road racing season, fans have nothing to do but gaze longingly at the sunny shots of the pros training in hot spots. With so many photos taken, any unreleased product is quickly spotted and what looks like an S-Works 8 road shoe has been spotted on the feet of runners from Team TotalEnergies, Peter Sagan’s new team.
Custom shoe specialist VeloKicks (their Insta is worth following) noticed them and pointed out some key differences from the S-Works 7 shoes we reviewed in 2019. Since the design is quite old now, it doesn’t It’s no surprise to see something new in Specialized’s pipeline.
While a redesign might be due, Specialized just released the S-Works 7 Lace which would make the imminent arrival of an S-Works 8 shoe a little odd.
Back to the shoes in question and the most noticeable difference, as VeloKicks points out, is the removal of the forefoot Velcro strap.
Removing that Velcro strap appears to have resulted in a slight repositioning of the Boa dials, although these continue to attach directly to the shoe with a simple lacing pattern.
> Your complete guide to the Specialized road shoe range
The images don’t show it clearly, but we think the Varus Wedge that Specialized has been using in their high-end shoes for several years should stay. We would also expect the tight heel fit to be retained.
And if you wanted concrete proof that this is indeed a new S-Works shoe from Specialized, French sprinter Geoffrey Soupe confirmed it on his Instagram page, responding to a fan who simply asked him.
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Interestingly, the shoes Soupe is wearing don’t appear to have any perforations in the upper. These are generally used to help with ventilation, although we don’t see this being an issue in January.
When will we see these shoes? We asked Specialized, but expect them to keep a low profile.