Shimano’s RP9 road shoe, which normally sells for $ 275, was designed to bridge the gap between the brand’s hardcore S-Phyre racing shoe and more forgiving options. With a very stiff carbon sole (11/12 on Shimano’s stiffness scale) and relatively light weight (544 grams / pair for a 41), it has many qualities of a great performance shoe at a fraction price.
Having used these shoes last season for everything from the long base miles in the spring to our series of local reviews, I think they more than hit the mark – they’re effective, remarkably comfortable, and stylish enough to give you just one. little more boast without blinding the person behind you in the pace line.
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I love these shoes so much that I found myself treating them a bit preciously: I wore shoe covers unnecessarily to preserve the crisp white upper; I walked a little more carefully on the concrete; and i did things like tie the buckles before putting them in my bag to make sure they don’t bend weirdly. These shoes fit and roll like shoes you want to take care of.
The RP9s have a fairly simple closure system with two Velcro straps on the forefoot and a lever ratchet closure at the top. (The 2018 RP9 upgrades to a Boa closure) The microfiber synthetic leather body gives just enough to create a perfect fit, breathes well and doesn’t stretch over time like real leather tends to.
Shimano also includes inserts to adjust the fit of the sockliner, and the shoes are thermoformable, although like many who have reviewed them, I found them to feel good enough to skip this step.
For a grip on pro-level features at a super affordable price, the Shimano RP9 is an easy choice, even at full retail – and the sale price, saving you $ 150 on these shoes, isn’t an opportunity you’ll want to miss out on if you’re looking for a shoe upgrade this season.
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