A lighter, cheaper, & casual Shimano RC9
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 41.5
Lets say you aren't racing and aren't willing to drop Shimano SH-RC9 money on a brand new pair of stiff carbon cycling shoes, then the SH-RP9 are a great option. These retail for $200 but a course Competitive Cyclist, Back Country, and Steep & Cheap have them for even lower at the best price available. These actually weigh less than the top of the line $425 SH-RC9 and unless you are putting out serious watts I am not sure you will be able to tell the difference between the RP9's level 10 stiffness and the RC9's level 12 stiffness. What you will be able to tell right away is that the toe box of the RP9's is pretty relaxed. My first ever cycling shoes were a pair of RP1 and since they are not offered in half sizes I bought a 42, which fits perfectly. The RP9 do come in half sizes and I found the the size 42 to be a tad too roomy in the toe box. I returned them for a size 41.5 and these fit much better. So my advise is that these run true to size but if you are looking for a snugger fit go down half a size. The 2nd pair I received did have some minor scratches on the bottom of one of the carbon soles like someone tried to install clips previously. I called customer service and they helped me out. These come with an upper BOA system which really gives you a precise snug fit, but the bottom is still the Velcro strap and this has very little to no adjustment, making it a bit pointless. I actually found these don't breathe as well as the cheaper RP1 since they lack bottom middle sole vent, but none the less these are far from stuffy. Ride wise these are very secure on the heel and are very stiff, but again these are more relaxed on the toe box making this shoe great for longer rides or rides where things get a little more competitive but not for racing.