Quality without the price tag.
Outside of flashy graphics and fluorescent color schemes, have you ever stopped to think about what a $400 pair of shoes have that a $200 pair doesn't? Well, lucky for you, these are the kind of things that we're obsessive about, and the answer might surprise you. When compared to the likes of Shimano's SH-R170 Shoes, the halo-shoe category starts to lose its luster. Anatomic last design? Check. Stiff carbon outsole? Got it. Comfort and adjustability? Check and mate. Basically, when you run through your wishlist, you'll notice that the SH-R170s checks off all of the boxes, only at a fraction of the price of what you were prepared to spend.
Shimano had one key objective for its SH-R170 shoes: Create a race-day shoe at an everyday price. And not surprisingly, Shimano did not disappoint. The R170s feature a carbon composite outsole construction that strikes the ideal balance between rigidity and comfort. Now, we're all led to believe that stiffer is better, and in some cycling applications, this is absolutely true. However, it's crucial to remember that over the course of a century, that blanket-applied, overly rigid shoe will degrade your circulation. So, to avoid the eventual numbing, Shimano developed what it calls its Dynalast technology. This outsole system delivers power to the pedal, while still allowing a calculated level of flex. This is possible due to the sole's variable stiffness and density that accommodates the movements of the arch.
Furthering this power transfer are the R170's securing straps. The shoes feature two asymmetric, hook-and-loop straps that allow you to control the shoes' internal volume. Shimano has given these a broad, angular, and offset design that makes them simple to grab and adjust while in the saddle, should you need to make any on-the-fly adjustments. Controlling the overall tightness and security is a Shimano micro-adjust, ratcheting buckle. This system allows you make incremental adjustments with an elongated ratchet fixture. And when examining all three straps, it becomes obvious that they all work in unison with the R170's anatomic last design. This means that the entire shape and structure of the shoe has been mapped to conform to the male cyclist's foot throughout the motion of cycling.
For the uppers, Shimano used a stretch-resistant, synthetic leather for the support structure. This material is similar to other high-end synthetics in that it's more durable, lighter weight, and better to look at than traditional leather. To keep your feet cool, Shimano placed ultralight open mesh at the points of ventilation. Even better, in cooperation with the synthetic leather, this keeps the elasticity of the shoes extremely high, while providing the utmost in breathability and moisture management.
And of course, no top-tier Shimano shoe would be complete without Shimano's heat-moldable insoles. This system allows you to conform the insoles to a custom mold of your feet. This brings obvious advantages in both comfort and arch support. And over the long leg in the saddle, your custom shape will nearly eliminate the threat of abrasion.
The Shimano SH-R170 Shoes are available in whole and half sizes from 38.0 to 50.0 and in the colors White and Black. Please note that these shoes are only compatible with standard three-hole road cleats.
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Share your thoughts
I've only ridden with these shoes a few times so far for hour-long rides, but I already love them. They are VERY comfortable. The fit is perfect, thanks to the half size increments. I got my shoes in white just in case there is any truth to the "cooler temp theory" during the hot summer days. But for fit and function, I have felt no "hot spots" while riding from any rubbing. My shoes are mounted on Shimano 105 pedals and I feel like my legs have become a part of my bike. Shoe closures provide great pedal stoke efficiency. The shoes are well vented, so in colder weather you'll definitely want to use some type of shoe covers. I rode with just toe covers this week on a windy 40 degree day and my feet stayed toasty warm.
- Gender: Female
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift, but have feedback to share
I gave these to my dad for Christmas. He broke his foot two years ago and has had issues with finding comfortable shoes. He is very happy with these, and he said they are comfortable.