SPECIALIZED BG EXPERT CARBON Review - Issue #35

carbonshoes

The Specialized Expert model of shoe has been around in various forms for many years and I have owned a few in my time. I have broad feet with a tall arch and a high bridge, and have always found Specialized shoes to be the best fit for me personally. My previous pairs were always comfortable, fitted snugly, and lasted well. This is the first pair that I have had that bears the BG (Body Geometry) acronym. I’ve never owned a tailored suit, or a suit of any description, but the best way to describe the fit of these shoes is to imagine what a tailored suit might feel like after years of wearing off-the-rack models. This shoe is more comfortable than previous models, fits my foot more specifically, and is incredibly rigid through the sole, which helps to convey power to the pedal and provide feedback from the bike. A full-length carbon FACT inner sole is responsible for that impressive rigidity, and achieves this while maintaining an appreciably low weight (680 grams per pair). The area forward of the cleat has been designed to flex, which makes walking quite comfortable. The moulded tread pattern provides plenty of bite in all conditions, bar wet rocky stream crossings, and doesn’t interfere when clicking into and out of the pedal. Specialized has experimented with a variety of closure combinations over the years; thankfully for this model the laces have been replaced by three simple Velcro straps. I have found this to be more than sufficient, and idiot proof. There is a Pro model of this shoe that has a ratchet type buckle, but this adds both weight and price and is, in my opinion, unnecessary. Mesh panelling ensures plenty of ventilation in the heat but may not be so pleasant for some in the cold winter months. I haven’t had these shoes long enough to really test durability. However my previous pairs lasted very well, and continued to perform adequately even as they eventually started to come apart. I have always been impressed with Specialized shoes and expected this model to be on par, but my expectations have been surpassed. Specialized has put together an impressive package––a shoe that manages to combine style, comfort, and business-like performance. Definitely recommended. LEIF ROY