A redesigned classic.
It's with a not-so heavy heart that you have to part with your classic cycling shoes. Though they've carried you through the miles of building your foundation on the bike, the soft flex and blown out stitching aren't things you'll miss, though, as you reach toward a new pair of shoes to get you through the miles that lie ahead of you. Choose support, stiffness, and lightweight construction you can count on as you progress further down the road with the Shimano SH-RP9 Cycling Shoe for men, whose lightweight carbon soles and ventilated uppers empower your drive to ascend treacherous alpine roads as much as casual seaside byways.
The RP9 is Shimano's classic flagship model, covering the spot of a mid-pro-tier shoe that's race-ready but also happy to spend weekends on the scenic path rolling through vineyards and towering Cyprus trees. This year the shoe received a major face lift, cleaning up bulky hook-and-loop straps and buckles in favor of a minimalist and elegant aesthetic. Sleek synthetic leather with perforations wrap your foot snugly, allowing airflow while supporting your foot with a firm hug. One hook-and-loop strap remains over the forefoot and toe, but the previously used extra strap and buckle are replaced by a Boa system that works to cinch your foot in to the perfect micro adjustment for your own personal needs.
The carbon sole of the redesigned SH-RP9 receives a rating of 11 out of 12 on Shimano's stiffness scale, offering rigidity that lends to maximum power output from every pedal stroke. A shaped heel cup on the outside of the shoe holds you in securely, minimizing potential heel slip when you're hammering up intense sections of your local climbs. Underfoot you'll be supported by a heat-moldable EVA foam insole and two levels of arch support so you can dial in a fit that corresponds to your foot shape.
- A pair of kicks ready for scenic byways and road races alike
- Send maximum power to pedals with carbon composite soles
- Redesigned closure system with sleek micro-adjustable wire dial
- Perforated synthetic leather upper for soft, ventilated comfort
- Heat-moldable EVA insole and arch inserts for custom fit
- Q & A
Decent, but not for narrower feet
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs large
I actually purchased these with the cheaper model RP7. The RP9 is supposedly stiffer than the RP7, but in my hands they felt equally stiff. The outsole looked identical as far as I could see, surprising considering the price gap of almost $100. The upper is marginally thicker, but really only a little. The BOA dial is a major improvement over the ratchets used in Shimano's older shoes. However, the fit of the upper leaves much to be desired. There's a lot of wiggle room in the midfoot, unless one really cranks on the dial. There's a bit of cushioning in the tongue, which creates hotspots on the top of the foot. For more aggressive styles of riding, this would not be acceptable, not for the money anyways. Cranking on the RP7 equally hard doesn't create the same creases in the tongue that leads to hotspots. I ended up keeping the RP7's, sad since I preferred the navy color on the RP9. Definitely look into the RP7's if your feet are on the slimmer side, much better value...