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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Each to their own.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:52 am 
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Yeah, not sure why you'd come in to share how you haven't tried them and they're not for you.


I went from Lakes (which I loved) to S-Works... which I loved a little less and now I'm still happier than a fat kid in a candy story with my Empires after many months of use. It does suck that the beautiful sole is easily marred but hey, they're shoes. If they were supposed to stay pretty they wouldn't be on the bottom of your foot.

Adjustment mid-ride? I haven't needed it once. On my S-Works I was glad they were so easy to adjust because I always needed it!

I'll be picking up another pair for sure.


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Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:52 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:46 am 
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This^

My pair never once slipped or needed any adjustment mid-ride. Everyone I know with them, including quite a few high level racers, have reported the same so I'd say they're more than a "club ride shoe".

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:00 am 
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Imaking20 wrote:
Yeah, not sure why you'd come in to share how you haven't tried them and they're not for you.


I went from Lakes (which I loved) to S-Works... which I loved a little less and now I'm still happier than a fat kid in a candy story with my Empires after many months of use. It does suck that the beautiful sole is easily marred but hey, they're shoes. If they were supposed to stay pretty they wouldn't be on the bottom of your foot.

Adjustment mid-ride? I haven't needed it once. On my S-Works I was glad they were so easy to adjust because I always needed it!

I'll be picking up another pair for sure.


Um, because they have laces...

I tried cycling shoes with laces.... 15 years ago.

Then this neat little device called BOA hit the marketplace. Bye bye ratchet, later Velcro... No way, laces.

I don't really need to try them to know what didn't work for me before won't change the fact that I am uninterested in loops and laces and found something that workers better for me, and even gave the reasons why that is, (on the fly adjustability, swelling feet, etc). That's nice, you don't need to adjust but some do. It's rare but I like the ability to, rather then to not.

If you like them, that's great, enjoy but please don't try and sell me on something I've tried in other brands before better solutions came to market.

If you would really like to support your reasons answer my concerns, what do you do with the extra lace slack, double knot or tuck?

You ever tried the 74's? I ditched many a Genius after a decade in SiDis, all because of the fit and BOA adjustability.

Last thing I need to focus on in a race is my shoe coming undone or winding up in my cranks.

Look, I like making my bike and kit look awesome but this seems more like a fashion statement then a fully functional product and yes, I base that solely on the fact they have laces.

Next thing you'll be selling me on leather helmets and toe cages :roll:

Enjoy your pretty shoes.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:31 am 
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I double knot, then tuck the excess into the build-in elastic loop halfway down the tongue. I've ridden Empires since last April and never an issue with laces getting caught in anything.

Personally, my feet tend to shrink over the course of a ride (I'm told this is unusual and weird) so I make the laces slightly extra snug to begin a ride and they are comfortable from 30 minutes in until the end. It's definitely not a good system for anyone who needs to adjust mid-ride, but they are great if you don't have to.

I used to wear Specialized S-Works circa 2005 (one of the earlier Boa iterations) and those laces lasted about five years before they wore out and snapped. I couldn't find the original hardware replacement kit, so I used a newer version that wasn't completely compatible. That worked for a few months before the ratchet started acting up and eventually seizing to the point where I had to destroy the shoe to get it off my foot.

I suppose that biases me towards traditional laces like on the Empires. I'm never going to have to deal with them becoming obsolete and not being able to find replacement parts. Plus, after using a shoe without buckles or ratchets riveted on to the upper, I don't think I could go back. Most of the shoes I've tried cause pressure points where the Boa/Ratchet mechanism is mounted, which is a non-issue on the Empires. There may be some Boa systems without this problem... I just haven't personally worn any that solved this issue for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:47 am 
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Thanks for the level headed response. If your feet shrink, (which is odd), you should really consider something more up to date with regards to the BOA construction. Your prior experience is approaching nearly a decade ago and I think it's safe to say both Specialized and BOA as a company are here to stay for the lifetime of your chosen shoe. You can even get replacement BOA parts for free by contacting the company direct. My experience with earlier BOA design was in 2003 on a pair of Shimano snowboard boots that constantly unwound which put me off from the idea but the design was improved in the years following to the point that once I tried the Specialized offerings I gravitated towards the shoe for its fit and function.

With me, I do try and experience many new innovations and tend to stick with what works. The old adage "if it aint broke" well, "if it works" makes it hard to go back, especially when I am already completely satisfied with what I currently use.

Again, thanks for the response on the laces. Enjoy em!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:13 pm 
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carbonLORD wrote:
Imaking20 wrote:
Yeah, not sure why you'd come in to share how you haven't tried them and they're not for you.


I went from Lakes (which I loved) to S-Works... which I loved a little less and now I'm still happier than a fat kid in a candy story with my Empires after many months of use. It does suck that the beautiful sole is easily marred but hey, they're shoes. If they were supposed to stay pretty they wouldn't be on the bottom of your foot.

Adjustment mid-ride? I haven't needed it once. On my S-Works I was glad they were so easy to adjust because I always needed it!

I'll be picking up another pair for sure.


Um, because they have laces...

I tried cycling shoes with laces.... 15 years ago.

Then this neat little device called BOA hit the marketplace. Bye bye ratchet, later Velcro... No way, laces.

I don't really need to try them to know what didn't work for me before won't change the fact that I am uninterested in loops and laces and found something that workers better for me, and even gave the reasons why that is, (on the fly adjustability, swelling feet, etc). That's nice, you don't need to adjust but some do. It's rare but I like the ability to, rather then to not.

If you like them, that's great, enjoy but please don't try and sell me on something I've tried in other brands before better solutions came to market.

If you would really like to support your reasons answer my concerns, what do you do with the extra lace slack, double knot or tuck?

You ever tried the 74's? I ditched many a Genius after a decade in SiDis, all because of the fit and BOA adjustability.

Last thing I need to focus on in a race is my shoe coming undone or winding up in my cranks.

Look, I like making my bike and kit look awesome but this seems more like a fashion statement then a fully functional product and yes, I base that solely on the fact they have laces.

Next thing you'll be selling me on leather helmets and toe cages :roll:

Enjoy your pretty shoes.



Pump the brakes there, trigger. My point is just that this thread seems to be about experience with the shoe - of which you have none. If they're not for you - that's nifty - but sharing that bit of info does diddly for anyone considering them... so why waste your time? (like I'm doing now)

I have negative interest in trying to convince you to get a pair. Literally less than zero.

I tie my shoes (loop, loop, UNDER swoop... none of that garbage they teach you in grade school) then run the laces through the elastic loop and finally through my lowest lace - down by the toe - and my extra laces are effectively held down for the length of my foot.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:20 pm 
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I'm not the only one to state they are unappealing, and I'd rather not commit to boy scout knots when a simple dial and twist will suffice.

We read the review, some however are not into laces in 2014.

Like I said, if they work for you better then the alternatives out there, fantastic.

My questions were answered already by Krackor but I appreciate the follow up.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:39 pm 
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Location: Bristol
As a former boot fitter, I've been waiting for a high-end shoe with laces for ages. I can't wait to get my hands on a set.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Have to agree with Carbonlord on this. Although I love the simplistic look I love the fact that laces are not the norm for most of the industry. If they had the sidi system instead of the laces I think they would sell double the amount.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Many people (including myself) are drawn to these shoes specifically because of the laces. If we wanted Boa or ratchet straps, there are many other options available. It might be nice if Giro made a Boa shoe in addition to the Empires, but no reason to discontinue the traditional laces.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:30 am
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Location: Sweden
If Phinney can win in them I do think they are some more then club ride shoes. I do love my empires and have been racing them the past year with no issues at all. They have laces but but that is the only thing you can compare to the shoes 15 years ago. This shoes is pure awesomess!

For me they have played out both Bont Vaypor and S-works.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:09 pm 
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I agree. I have tried this winter Fizik R1, Bont Vaypor and Zero + and the new S works. The empires work better for me than any of the other's I've tried. I'll mention this in my mini review that I'll post over the weekend.

Let's all just agree to disagree on the laces point. Shoes are very much like saddles. What works for one person doesn't work for another.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:40 pm 
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I love it when people say "(insert pro rider here) can win on (insert product here)". Phinney could beat us all in a pair of bunny rabbit slippers.

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Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:40 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:54 pm 
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I think you missed the point. Point being that they're way more than a 'club ride' shoe as you (ignorantly) stated earlier.


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