Friday, 13 January 2012

Specialized Sonoma shoes - review

Specialized Sonoma Shoes
I've had these shoes for about 3 or 4 years and probably a good enough time to do a blog review.

What are they?
They are made by Specialized, well know maker of mid priced bikes, bits and clothing - the Panasonic of the cycling world, perhaps.  The shoes are aimed at a general purpose cyclist, combing a reasonable performance on the bike with the ability to be used for walking around.  They don't look too weird, if you're off they bike either in appearance or when walking along in them

The Sonomas seem fairly well made.  The sole is smooth rubber which is reasonably stiff and surprisingly grippy.  The uppers are a combination of suede leather synthetic leather supplemented by a black mesh (which is obviously not rain proof).  The three Velcro straps are great and there is a reflective toe and heel strip.

Cleat installation
This is simple enough.  I use Shimano SPDs and it was easy enough to find the right position for the SPD cleats, held in with Allen key bolts.  Naturally there is a certain amount of trial and error.  The cleat is recessed sp although it won't cause any problems walking along, it does seem to amplify the sound of grinding gravel when walking on rough ground.

Seems fine, probably their greatest strength lies here.  They are reasonably rigid and good on the bike, giving the feeling of not compromising the power transfer from feet to pedal.

Cost, value for money
The current price seems to be around £45 which I think is pretty good value for money.  I have had for several years and they have been ridden for several thousand miles.  Considering they are at the budget end, they're very good, all things considered.

This now is the weakest area in my view.  The fit, is however, okay but for some reason I ended up with a pair that is too large for me (don't ask why, I can't remember).  I find my feel feel a bit "drawn" in them which maybe due to the synthetic nature of the materials used.  The biggest problem is with me getting cramp.  Yes cramp, both feet but never both at the same time, thankfully.

Would I buy them again?
Maybe but although they look very nice and perform well, I think I could do better but not for the money.

Does this help?

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