Pumped up kicks.
If you've ever owned a pair of Shimano shoes, you're probably familiar with the quality and attention to detail that mirrors what the firm puts into its components. And if you haven't tried any, put aside your component brand loyalties for a second and try some on. Perfect for a higher volume foot, Shimano's SH-RC9 S-Phyre Bicycle Shoe - Wide is most likely the best fit you'll achieve this side of going custom. As one of three points of contact with your bike, comfort, fit, and performance completely rely on proper footwear. The pros count on the RC9 S-Phyre and put more training and racing miles on them then we could ever hope for and here is your chance to pedal a mile in their shoes.
Shimano constructs the single piece upper with Teijin microfiber synthetic leather offering suppleness and a precise fit. Built-in drainage holes allow rain to exit the shoe during your own spring classics and the quick dry 3D mesh keeps feet feeling fresh even on the hottest days. The micro-adjustable and independent dual Boa IP1 dial closures provide an incredible fit, and Shimano actually forewent the Custom Fit heat and vacuum system we are used to seeing on its high-end shoes over the past decade. The strategically placed Boas and upper contour to feet so well, it simply doesn't need it.
A rounded one-piece molded heel cup starts at the carbon sole and continues up the back of the shoe. It's designed to stabilize the back of the heel, gently holding it in place, eliminating the possibility of twisting and rolling to improve comfort and efficiency. The lining of the heel features a cat tongue like gripping material that prevents heel lift so you can pedal circles while your foot is held in total comfort without excessive tension on the shoe. Surrounding the cleat mounting and toe area of the sole, a bonded overlay protects the sole and makes the walk up to the counter at the coffee shop a little safer.
If you're a weight-weenie, Shimano shoes might not impress on paper. The firm refuses to skimp on performance bolstering features in the quest to shed a few grams. But, just like a frameset or wheelset, weight is just but one part of the equation that adds up to a great ride and Shimano regards fit, comfort, and power transfer, in addition to weight, when it comes to designing, developing, and constructing shoes.
It’s a shame that you never really get to see the shoe's sole on the ride because that’s where the shoe really shines. It's pool table-stiff Dynalast carbon fiber sole is designed for improved foot support and comfort that channels every watt dished out into the pedals. The seamless mid-sole construction process eliminates the board last, which reduces weight and lowers the overall stack height of the sole for maximum efficiency. The sole's stiffness measurement comes in at an impressive 12 out of 12, the stiffest from the brand, and provides 11mm more fore-aft of the cleat adjustment over its previous road shoes.
A single size 42 shoe comes in at 243g so it's actually quite at home chasing KOMs in the Grand Tours while durable enough for the muddy cobbled classics. If you have wide feet, you're doing yourself a great disservice if you don't check out this higher volume RC9. The fit, performance, and durability is everything we have come to expect from a Shimano shoe and if you've used them in the past, you know what we are talking about and welcome home. If you haven't, take the plunge, you won't be disappointed.
- A pro-level road shoe with all-day comfort
- Higher-volume design fits wider feet
- Carbon fiber composite sole is light and efficient
- Breathable synthetic uppers contours to feet
- Dual Boa IP1 closures dial in the fit
- Compatible with all three-bolt road cleats
- Item #SHI00HU
- Q & A
Hey Shimano! More of this, please!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 43
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 whicht 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk!