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SpecializedS-Works Ares Road Shoe

$425.00

Item # SCQ00IH

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Item # SCQ00IH
Description

Why We Like the S-Works Ares Road Shoe

"Innovate or die" has been Specialized's motto since 1981, and this mantra truly comes alive with the all-new Ares Road Shoe. Designed to be the most powerful performance shoe on the market, the Ares gives us race-worthy performance in situations where every watt counts, yet provides a level of comfort that's on par with our favorite casual slippers. How is this possible? It starts with an entirely new Boa closure that tightens the uppers into perfect symmetry around your foot, combined with an ultra-light, ultra-stiff carbon outsole that converts as much energy as possible into forward momentum. The Ares offers the breathability of the S-Works 7 Vent, the lightweight feel of the S-Works EXOS, and the impressive power transfer of the S-Works 7, giving you the best possible combination of comfort and efficiency.

Despite the lightweight minimalist approach, the S-Works Ares still features Specialized's Body Geometry technology that improves comfort while helping to reduce your chance of chronic injury. Defining elements include a Longitudinal Arch support that boosts your power output, a built-in Varus Wedge that improves knee alignment while pedaling, and a Metatarsal Button that alleviates numbness and hot spots.

  • Slipper-like comfort meets race-worthy performance with the Ares
  • Uses Specialized's stiffest carbon sole for maximum power transfer
  • Symmetrical BOA closure wraps your feet in supportive comfort
  • Ultra-strong Dyneema fibers prevent stretching & warping over time
  • PadLock heel prevents slippage and power loss
  • Body Geometry technology boosts comfort and efficiency
  • Roomy toe box helps prevent numbness and hot spots
  • 440g claimed weight per pair is impressively light

Tech Specs
Upper Materialsynthetic leather, Dyneema, TPU
ClosureBOA Li2 Fit System
SoleFACT Powerline (stiffness index 15)
Cleat Compatibility3-bolt
Manufacturer Warranty2 years
Size

Specialized

Cycling Footwear
EUUS MENUS WOMENUKCM
35 3.5 5 2.5 22.5
36 4.25 5.75 3.25 23
37 5 6.5 4 23.5
38 5.75 7.25 4.75 24.5
38.5 6 7.5 5 24.75
39 6.5 8 5.5 25
39.5 7.25 8.5 6.25 25.25
40 7.5 9 6.5 25.5
40.5 7.75 9.25 6.75 25.75
41 8 9.5 7 26
41.5 8.5 10 7.5 26.5
42 9 10.5 8 27
42.5 9.3 10.75 8.3 27.3
43 9.6 11 8.6 27.5
43.5 10.25 11.5 9.25 27.9
44 10.6 12 9.6 28.3
44.5 11   10 28.6
45 11.5   10.5 29
45.5 11.75   10.75 29.3
46 12.25   11.25 29.5
46.5 12.6   11.6 29.9
47 13   12 30.2
48 13.75   12.75 30.9
49 14.5   13.5 31.6
50 15.5   14.5 32.3

What do you think about this product?

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>Rating: 4

Almost Perfect

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
42.5
Height
5` 9"
Weight
156 lbs

I love this shoe. As others have written, they are by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn (and I have a bit of a cycling shoe thing). That would be great, but they are also excellent fitting and provide high performance. You don't need to tighten them much... just snugging them down gives excellent feel and control. The "not perfect" comes from the sock liner. I have the white shoes, and the liner (particularly at the instep) turned grey very quickly from dirt, and doesn't seem to be cleanable. The rest of the shoe looks great, but the liner... not so much. I'm still seeking a way to clean them.

>Rating: 5

Fantastic fit, super stiff soles!

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
45
Height
5` 11"
Weight
163 lbs

Let me start by saying that I'm a long time fan of S-works shoes. I currently rotate through the Sub6 (lace up), Exos (one BOA dial) and now these which are by far the most comfortable. On the hottest days here in Texas, there is no beating the Exos and for style, the Sub6 hit the mark. But these Ares are SOOOOO stinkin' comfortable that I choose them most often. There is also some magic with the stiffer sole that makes them feel super connected to the pedal; like every watt is getting transmitted directly to the pedal. I love the new BOA dials that you can turn to tighten or loosen one micro notch at a time or pop them up to instantly get them off your feet. One note on the size: I always wear a 45 in S-Works shoes and these seam just a hair larger than the other, but still fit fine. Maybe if you're in between sizes then size down. I agree with other reviewers that the looks are funky, BUT...I don't care. I'll take function over form in this situation. The cost is a little embarrassing to admit to anyone so I gloss over that bit when people ask, but I'll wear holes in my kit, wear out my chain and use no name water bottles to put extra money towards shoes like this.

>Rating: 5

Nice Shoes

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
45
Height
5` 10"
Weight
166 lbs

I decided to go with these shoes because they were rated most comfortable in a number of reviews. Given that "comfortable" in this context is a rather relative term, I must agree: I have ridden about 600 miles in the shoes and I like them very much. The wide toe cage is a major plus for me and the fit is spot on. The double BOA system is great and allows minute adjustments. So far the have aged very well.

>Rating: 5

Best shoes ever

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
42

I’ve tried many brands and types. I finally found my feet soulmates. Not kidding. These shoes are amazing fit and comfort.

>Rating: 5

Awesome shoe

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
Runs small
Size Bought
43.5
Height
5` 8"
Weight
175 lbs

Nice to see that cycling shoe design finally caught up to other athletic shoes (running, soccer cleats) with a sock-like body supported by the BOA straps. The fit is snug and takes some time to get into, but once on they are light and comfortable. Plenty of room in the toe box like other Specialized shoes. I tighten the straps just enough to keep them from flopping around- that honestly all that is needed. Once clipped it it feels like the pedals are glued to your feet with no roll. No pressure points or hot spots unlike the tongue on my S-Works 7s. The only issue is sizing- these are a half-size smaller than other Specialized shoes. I wear a 43 in the S-Works 7, and the footbed and sole matched up perfectly with a 43.5 in the Ares. I can only guess Specialized was trying to market a snugger fit for these shoes so simply labeled the size differently. Hard to find but worth the quest.

>Rating: 4

Stability, good biomechanics

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
Runs small
Size Bought
43

I have feet of two different sizes. As a result, my smaller foot can slide alot in the shoe or feel "unglued" from the pedals. I used to use the Giro Imperial because the boa dials locked in my feet, but the upper stretched on those overtime and when i cinched down on the boas i got hot spots and numbness in my smaller foot. The Ares solved all of those problems. I can cinch down on the top dial really hard without hotspots, and I can tighten down the toe dial just enough to make my toes feel stable but not constricted. All of my feet pain and "sliding around" are now a thing of the past. The 1.5 degree outward tilt and (subtle) ankle support helps with the power transfer and prevents knee pain. I don't feel like a SPECIFIC muscle is sore after I cycle because every muscle from the hip down feels engaged. The shoes are a bit hot, but not overly so. If you use a well ventilated sock it should not be an issue. Also, the fit was a tiny bit smaller than the Giro Imperial. I wear Nike in Size 10, Giro in size 43.5, and the Ares are perfect in size 43.

>Rating: 5

These shoes are AMAZING

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
45
Height
6` 0"
Weight
185 lbs

I came from a pair of 2007 Specialized road shoes that had the traditional velcro over the ball of my foot and ratchet near my ankle. The ratchet finally broke after nearly 1500 rides. Well, these are so far and above those shoes it's hard to even put into words. They fit my foot like a glove. I'm in Texas, and contrary to what I read, my feet do not get hot in these. They fit so well, I no longer have to "grab" the inside of my shoe with my toes like I had to before. I can ride with my whole foot relaxed and it's like the shoes are PART of my foot. I can't recommend these enough!

>Rating: 3

Not for longevity

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size

I got the white ones. (as all road shoes should be white) As the other reviews say, these shoes are really comfortable and super stiff. I love the fit and the look. The BOA system fits like a glove. The down side is they are difficult to keep clean. The sock like liner gets dirty and seems impossible to clean. I'm going to try using a power washer on these but unfortunately after less than two months (2k miles) they look pretty old. I've also noticed that the same liner is starting to wear out and stretch out. Doubt these shoes will last through the year. But, they are so much more comfortable than any other shoe I've owned I'll probably just buy another pair, or try the 7s. Just don't expect these to be the shoes you wear for years - to justify the price.

>Rating: 5

Right to the top

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
41

The Ares are the first Specialized shoe I have owned and I have to honestly say, was one of the best shoes I've ridden. The Fit is phenomenal, extremely comfortable. I broke them in on a long ride and had zero issues. Very normal sizing to them, plenty of room up front, not a narrow shoe. They do take a little more time to get in, and out of, I won’t be running them in any Tri’s but I will be wearing them on a daily basis here.

The
>Rating: 5

Like a Glove...for your foot

Familiarity:
I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
43
Height
5` 11"
Weight
158 lbs

Such an aggressive and powerful name for a shoe that holds your foot so nicely. I have really liked the S-Works shoes in the past, I enjoyed the S-Works 6, and Sub6 lace up version particularly. The S-Works 7 may be the industry standard for a race/performance shoe. The Ares despite it's somewhat polarizing looks is more of an evolution than a revolution of these shoes. The shoe is not super easy/quick to get into, the inner sock/bootie is snug and hugs the ankle. You may not appreciate this snugness initially, however once you do slide your foot in you notice how comfortable the shoe really is. The bootie holds the ankle nicely, but no solid material to rub IMO makes it more comfortable than the S-Works 7. I am picky, so I take time to line up the Boas and the material underneath to ensure everything lays flat as designed. What I was most surprised with, and happy about with this shoe was how tight I can crank down the Boa dials with no sense of discomfort or feel of hot spots on the instep or losing circulation. This was what really sold me on this shoe. I hate to leave Boa's looser than I would prefer to "make" a shoe comfortable. This has been branded as a "Sprinter" shoe, I would label it more as an opportunist shoe, think Jualian Alaphillipes 2020 campaign. The shoe really shines under hard efforts out of the saddle whether that be going after a local KOM, Rainbow Stripes, or a Tour de France field sprint. I have a medium arch foot, and the insoles provided worked great for me. Overall I can confidently recommend these shoes as an overall extremely high-end well crafted road performance/race shoe. These are now my go to road shoe, and overall personal favorite.

Such
>Rating: 5

Existence: Justified

Familiarity:
I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit:
True to size

Specialized’s name is mildly ironic. The cycling world is full of artisanal brands like Bianchi, Assos, Lake, and Corima who pick a lane, and dedicate themselves to perfecting it. Whether it’s frames, apparel, shoes, or wheels, these firms are known for their masterful approach to development and execution in their respective pursuits. Despite their name, Specialized has somehow managed to earn a spot among the absolute top-tier offerings in literally every single product category associated with bicycle riding; and shoes are no exception. In my mind, the best indicator of a product’s true merit is how often it features under use from a professional rider who is sponsored by a competitor. Next time you’re watching a road race, pay close attention; you’ll see plenty of riders sponsored by other brands rocking S-Works kicks. Over the past couple of years, the S-Works 7 has been the primary choice of Specialized-sponsored riders, and highly-coveted forbidden fruit among others. The combination of impressively low weight, ridiculous stiffness, and an obsessive focus on comfort make them a true zero-compromise option. With this in mind, rumors of a new sprinter-optimized shoe to accompany the S-Works 7 and S-Works EXOS climbing shoe surprised me. I didn’t think that they needed to release a new top-end offering. If Specialized were more pragmatic, they probably could have coasted on their success with the 7 for another 2 or 3 seasons. I’m very glad that they didn’t. To their credit, Specialized is wise enough to know when they’ve made a hit; the Ares is represents an evolution on the 7 rather than a complete revolution. The sole remains unchanged, and the fit will be familiar to current S-Works 7 owners. The primary departure from the 7 series comes in the upper; the traditional tongue design had been replaced with a mesh inner sock, and is secured by two wrap-over flaps. In addition to more evenly spreading tension across the top of the foot, it allows for a level of ventilation similar to the current S-Works 7 Vent shoe. As cyclists go, I’m on the big side, and as such, stiffness is as important a consideration as weight in my mind. The Ares are exactly as stiff under foot as the granite-esq 7-series, but with a more secure hold on the upper. My foot feels completely locked in place during strenuous efforts, and the difference is discernable. I could tell almost immediately that Justin Williams had been involved with the development; the Ares strikes me as an ideal option for serious crit rider or sprinter. The Ares gets full marks in my book. Specialized dropped the mic… again.

>Rating: 5

Love at First Wear

Familiarity:
I've used it several times
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
38.5

I've been riding these shoes for a few weeks now, and I have to say - they are the most comfortable cycling shoes that I have ever put on my feet. Incredibly stiff, lightweight, and a BOA system that allows you to crank down the shoe without pinching anything - these are the ultimate Sprint shoe. The addition of the stretchy sockliner contrasted with the rigid dyneema keeps my foot incredibly secure (particularly when I'm out of the saddle) without being too rigid. Prior to the Ares, I've been riding the S-Works Vents. I've been pretty happy with them, aside from a few key details - first, the Boa dials pull across the top of my foot, and over time that pressure causes some numbness in my toes. Second, the velcro strap down by the toes is not enough to really cinch the shoe, resulting in the front of my foot sliding around during harder efforts out of the saddle. Finally, while the Boa dials on the SW7/Vents are absolutely gorgeous, the inability to 'pop' the dial open at the end of a ride and quickly take the shoes off has been a serious pet peeve. I'm not sure whether Specialized has some Special mind reading technology or not, but the new Ares have addressed all of these issues perfectly. The new closure system is incredible - it may look funky with different flaps of dyneema going everywhere and the Boa cables zig-zagging around, but the placement of the dials and the points where they pull in the shoes is absolutely perfect. Rather than pull across the top of the shoe, the top dial pulls from the arch/instep area, meaning I can crank these shoes as tight as I want without putting pressure on those nerves. The second dial sits right where the old velcro strap was, and allows me to get the toebox as snug as it needs to be without wrinkling the top of the shoe. Finally, the new Li2 Boas are low profile and pop to release, so I can get these shoes off quick at the end of my ride. Overall, these are quickly becoming my daily driver shoes. They are incredibly comfortable, have excellent power transfer, and just feel great when I'm on the bike. That being said, there are a few instances where I'll definitely be wearing my Vents, and where others may want to go with the SW7 model over these - -Really hot days - obviously this is what the Vents are made for anyways, but the Ares have a lot of overlapping dyneema. While I haven't tested them out on a hot day yet (hello Utah winters), I can already tell that they don't breathe quite as well as some other shoe options. -Really long rides - I love a stiff shoe, but the stiffness of 15 on the Ares is overkill to me on an 80+ mile spin. My Vents are a touch less harsh (Stiffness 13) which I prefer for the longest days. -If you have trouble getting your shoes on - the sockliner and overlapping flaps are what make this shoe so secure, but if you have arthritis or mobility challenges with your hands, you may have trouble getting these on. Something like the SW7/Vents will be easier with the classic tongue and Boa loops that you can unhook to get your foot into. In sum, I love these shoes, and you may love them too. I'll be one of the first to admit that they look, well, a bit odd-looking. The SW7 is classy and elegant, and the Ares are the artsy younger sibling with flaps of fabric and Boa cables and dials going every which way. But the fit and performance is absolutely incredible, whether you're a pro rider or not.

I have a pair of Specialized shoes that are years old with 2-straps and a buckle that recently broke. My questions: 1.) if a had previously used the blue foot bed, are they necessary with the Aries, or should I wear the shoe until such time? 2) assuming they are necessary, it seems to me that the black insole is sewn in, making any alteration impossible. In short, does the Aries accommodate for all situations?