You can ride a really light bike. You can have really fast wheels. You can have electronic shifting, and a powermeter, and carbon pedals, and a whole host of other fancy-schmancy gear to make you that little bit faster, but none of it matters if you aren't comfortable.
Close your eyes and think about your favorite shoes. Maybe they're your house slippers, or an old pair of Vans, or even some wooden clogs from your trip to Holland. It doesn't really matter. They fit perfectly, support your foot, and (usually) look super fly. The S-Phyres are my favorite shoes.
Now, if the answer to my question was "my cycling shoes," stop reading. You've already found the answer, and unless they're starting to decompose, you'll probably be happiest sticking with what you've got. I'll bet though, that most of you reading are in various states of what I like to call "content discomfort." You wear the shoes that you wear because they were a sweet deal, or they match your kit, or (insert professional rider here) wears them. They probably feel fine, maybe even good. Without realizing it though, you adjust them 7 or 8 times every ride, a toe or two will go numb after an hour or two, and you probably breathe an unconscious sigh of relief when you take them off in the garage. I myself floated in a state of "content discomfort" for years. I've worn Sidi, Lake, Giro, etc, and while all of them were really stellar shoes, the fit was never quite spot on.
Shimano has been making shoes longer than I've been around, and they've always been pretty good. The typical reaction to Shimano shoes has always been that they're dependable, pretty standard, and somewhat forgettable. But then a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant decided to get serious and throw its considerable R&D weight into the world of shoes. When the first pictures of the S-Phyre came out there was an audible "wow" throughout the cycling world. The design was memorable, but not gaudy. Bright, but not garish. I waited eagerly to try a pair, and I was blown away when I did. Out of the box, they feel broken in. The materials are incredible. It feels like you're wearing a rock solid slipper. The boa cables follow an unusual pattern that lends itself to lace-up levels of pressure distribution, and it really shows on the bike. The sole is insanely stiff, but it isn't undermined by poor fit. (A completely rigid carbon sole won't do you any good if your foot isn't held in snug.)
As far as fit goes, my foot falls between the designations of "normal" and "wide". Working here at Competitive Cyclist, I've observed that at least half of the customers I work with have a wide foot, but that most shoe brands hold tight to a Euro-centric, fairly narrow fit. Shimano seems to have realized this and sized the S-Phyre line accordingly. For reference, I wear a "mega fit" Sidi, and an HV Giro, but a normal Lake. My fairly wide, square-ish feet felt most at home in the non-wide S-Phyre, and based on that, I would say that the wide series would be great for those of you with a particularly wide foot. I can't attest to the long-term durability just yet, but my initial impressions have been very positive.
I can't tell you which shoe is going to help your foot reach podiatric nirvana, but if you're not quite there yet, you're gonna have to give these a shot. If you want to speak in more detail, shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can talk!