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Shimano S-Phyre RC9 cycling shoes review

Cycling Weekly

The range-topping Shimano S-Phyre RC9 cycling slippers impressed us with their redesigned sole and comfortable one-piece upper


Available in white, high-vis yellow and Shimano’s unmistakable sapphire blue, we feel that the Shimano S-Phyre RC9  shoes with their redesigned sole and comfortable one-piece upper more than justify their luxury price tag, earning them a place in the Editor’s Choice 2017 listings.

Prounounced ‘S fire’, Shimano’s latest top of the range slipper is the first from the Japanese brand to feature Boa dials.

In a departure from the ratchet of the previous top end R-321 shoe the new shoes also feature a redesigned sole with a carbon heel cup similar to that found on the best Specialized shoes. The RC9 also does away with the heat mouldable custom fit of its predecessor.

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Any foot can find comfort

Despite the decision to remove the heat-moulding option, we found these cycling shoes to be incredibly comfortable from first wear.

Available in sizes 40-46, with half sizes and wide fit options available, it’s likely that almost any foot could find comfort.

Boa IP1 dials provide excellent adjustability Cycling Weekly

The shoe’s one piece upper is made of microfibre synthetic leather and closed via two Boa IP1 dials which can be adjusted either way to allow for minute alterations in pursuit of the perfect fit. The lower Boa has a crossed strap to cater for the toe section.

The upper has a perforated dimple construction for ventilation and in an attempt to provide drainage holes for wet days. On the inside, there’s a silver treatment for the insoles, which is antibacterial to keep whiffs at bay.

Not for weight weenies

If you’re after featherweight shoes the S-Phyre’s aren’t they – in fact, a size 44 tips the scales at 265g. However, shedding every last possible gram isn’t top of the agenda for everyone, and Shimano would argue losing weight would have the adverse effect of diminishing performance in other aspects.

We applaud the decision – the uppers achieved a good balance of stiffness and comfort. All too often cycling shoes have supremely comfortable uppers that are too floppy for sprinting, and the S-Phyre’s have no problem there.

Ultra rigid carbon sole Cycling Weekly

The sole is, of course, an ultra-rigid carbon construction and Shimano offers a seamless midsole, doing away with the lasting board often used and thus enabling a lower stack height – which in turn maximises power output.

With a price tag of £299.99, the S-Phyres are far from cheap, but with the shoe playing such a pivotal role in power transfer, and being donned on almost every ride, we reckon few cyclists will regret investing in these pearly beauties.