Skip to content

Specialized Torch 3.0 vs Shimano RC7 vs Giro Regime: The Best Mid-Range Road Bike Shoes

Mid-range clipless road cycling shoes are ideal for serious cyclists because they provide pro-level performance without breaking the bank. We check out out three top models: the Specialized Torch 3.0, Shimano RC7, and Giro Regime.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Road

The Giro Regime. Photo: Giro

Are you ready for a clipless road shoe upgrade? If you want the best blend of performance and price, then "mid-tier" shoes are the ticket. These have many of the same features as pro-level shoes but cost hundreds of dollars less. 

We take a closer look at our top-three mid-tier models: the Specialized Torch 3.0, the Shimano SH-RC702 (a.k.a. “RC7”), and the Giro Regime. For any roadie wanting to race, train, or just put in serious miles, these three models will go the distance and more.

[button]Shop Cycling Shoes[/button]

These three shoe models are our most popular “mid-range” models. That means they’re a step below the top-of-the-line option from each brand (Specialized S-Works Torch, Shimano RC9 S-Phyre, Giro Empire/Imperial). Despite that, they all have two of the key features riders look for in high-end shoes:

  • Stiff carbon soles
  • Dual BOA lace systems

The soles will be slightly less stiff than their top-end counterparts, but most riders won’t even notice. They’re more than stiff enough to race at the highest level. Some riders may even find the slight bit of extra give more comfortable on long rides. 

Really, all three of these shoes are very similar. They are close in terms of price, weight, and stiffness. Here are the key differences:

Specialized Torch 3.0: 

[product-block handle="specialized-torch-3-0-road-shoes"/]

  • Higher-end BOA dials that can be backed off a few clicks to loosen (the BOA dials on the Shimano and Giro shoes can only tighten or be fully released). This is great for riders who want to fine-tune fit while riding. 
  • Moderate width - It was snug, but comfortable enough for my size 43 EE width feet. 

Shimano RC7:

[product-block handle="shimano-sh-rc702-road-shoes"/]

  • A side-swing tongue that provides a large opening, This makes it the easiest to get on and off, and it suits high-volume feet. 
  • Widest width - This was the most comfortable for my size 43 EE width feet and I’d happily wear it. For riders with wider feet, it’s also available in a “Wide” fit. 

Giro Regime:

[product-block handle="giro-regime-road-shoes"/]

  • Uses a Synchwire upper which is stitch-less and extremely well-vented. I think it has the best combo of airflow and durability. 
  • Includes inserts to fine-tune arch support in the insole. 
  • Narrowest width - My size 43 EE width feet fit, but I don’t think I’d want to do any long rides in it. Better suited to narrow-to-standard width feet. 

[button]Shop Cycling Shoes[/button]