Limb Field Test | Specialized Torch 1.0 Shoes


With the Torch 1.0, Specialized dispels a widely held assumption that reasonably priced automatic road shoes should be basic, black and bulky. Here we have a $120 road shoe with the clean lines of a premium model, available in six eye-catching colors.

Torch 1.0 road shoes



  • $120 | 590g (pair, size 42)
  • 6 colors | Sizes 36 to 49 (no half sizes)
  • Nylon sole with 3-bolt cleat
  • Boa L6 dial and Velcro strap

    The closure of this shoe is a combination of a micro-adjustable Boa dial and a single Velcro strap at the front. The nylon composite sole has a vent/drainage hole in the toe box and a rubberized gripper on the heel, and accepts three-bolt road cleats. Although Specialized offers the Torch 1.0 in an impressive range of sizes – 36 to 49 – it does not include half sizes. I’ve had my Torch 1.0 shoes for over a year. During that time, I’ve used them for everything from long hikes over mountain passes near my home in Colorado to Zwift Sufferfests in the depths of winter. The Torch 1.0 has continually impressed me with its comfort, support and good sole stiffness.

    by the numbers

    10 Testers

    7 US states and 1 Canadian province

    6 climatic zones

    Avg. Weekly mileage ‣ 105

    Testers agreed that the Torch 1.0 is a sleek and attractive shoe out of the box. Some even complimented the look, and many were surprised by how light the shoes were. There were, however, differing opinions on the fit of the torch. Like many cycling brands, Specialized is moving away from sizing products by gender. With limited sizes and widths available, I wasn’t surprised testers had conflicting ideas about fit. Some said the shoe was too narrow, while others said it was too wide. However, most of our testers gave the shoes high marks for fit and comfort, indicating that Specialized hit the middle ground. Testers also noted that the Velcro strip at the base of the tongue (intended to fine-tune forefoot fit) was little more than decorative and had a minimal effect on fit – an opinion with which I totally agree.

    Most surprising was the positive feedback from testers who used high-end shoes before riding the Torch 1.0. These testers came away totally impressed with these shoes. That alone says a lot about the value you get for $120.

    Quick advice: To avoid staining light-colored shoes, never pair them with dark-colored winter or rain booties.

    For more information on field testing and details on how to get involved in the program, visit


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