Specialized launches lightweight MTB shoes and improved XC tires

Trinity Racing's Christopher Blevins climbs above the California coast
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has launched the S-Works EXOS EVO, a lightweight cross-country mountain bike shoe. Weighing in at a claimed 232g per shoe, Specialized says this is the lightest off-road shoe it has ever made. 

Specialized was able to lower the weight of the shoes thanks to a proprietary layup called 'Dyneema.' This lightweight and mesh-like fabric is what makes up the upper of the shoe, where lots of the weight savings come from. 

The Dyneema layup is also claimed to improve fit and resist stretching and wearing. 

To dial in the fit, the shoe uses a BOA Li2 dial which was recently released and features an increased level of micro-adjustability. The toe box and heel platform have also been optimized for a better fit. 

The lightweight upper is combined with Specialized's XC FACT carbon sole, featuring a stiffness index of 13.0 for efficient power transfer to the pedals. 

For traction on the trails and protection from debris, the shoe has a rubber heel and toe tread plus a Mudguard TPU layer.

The shoes retail for $425 and are available in sizes 36-49. 

Specialized S-Works EXOs EVO

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized has also completely redesigned its range of cross-country tires with new treads and rubber compounds. 

The Renegade is the brand's fastest-rolling XC tire designed for hardpack conditions. The Fast Trak is a mixed-conditions tire, while the Ground Control is best as a front tire for muddy racing. 

Each of the models is available in different casing options. The Control casing is designed for all-around riding or racing. It offers a bit more puncture protection than the S-Works casing, which is the most lightweight option for serious racers. The Grid casing offers the most protection for rugged trails. 

There are also three different rubber compound options: T5, T7, and T5/T7. The purest XC compound is T5, which uses a harder rubber for improved rolling resistance. On the other hand, T7 tires are softer and offer a bit more grip. The combined T5/T7 compound is what's used on the S-Works models. It uses T5 on the center tread for optimal rolling ability and T7 on the side lugs for grip. 

The tires retail for $60, with S-Works models going for $70. 

Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 

Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4