Here is our review of Shimano's top of the range road cycling shoes

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Shimano S-Phyre RC9


  • As stiff as they come
  • Comfortable
  • Big choice of sizes
  • Well made
  • Firm/secure upper


  • Very expensive


Shimano S-Phyre RC9 road shoes


Price as reviewed:


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

In a departure from the ratchet on 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 RC-9 also does away with the heat moulable custom fit of its predecessor too.

Buy now: Shimano S-Phyre RC9 Road Shoes from the Cycle Store for £287.99

Read more: Buyer’s guide to road bike shoes

That said, the Shimano S-Phyre cycling shoes felt very comfortable the first time I put them on and have plenty of size options, being available in half sizes as well as a wide fit version.

The shoe’s one piece upper is made of microfibre synthetic leather and closed via two Boa IP1 dials, with the lower Boa having a crossed strap to cater for the toe section.

It has a perforated dimple construction for ventilation and there’s also a silver treatment for the insoles, which is anti bacterial.

Video – Buyer’s guide to road bike shoes


That said, at 265g for a size 44, the Shimano S-Phyre is by no means the lightest road shoe out there – as a comparison the Giro Empire SLX weighs 175g.

Shimano would argue that shedding every last possible gram can have the adverse effect of diminishing performance in other aspects and the Shimano S-Phyre can not be found guilty of that.

>>> Coolest cycling shoes of 2017 (video)

I’m a fan of the uppers on the Shimano S-Phyre – they achieve a good balance of stiffness and comfort. All too often I find shoes have supremely comfortable uppers that are too floppy for sprinting.

An example of this would be the old Fizik Uomo R1 reviewed previously.

The quality is everything you would expect from Shimano, but I do find it quite hard to pick between the Shimano S-Phyre RC 9 and the Specialized S-Works 6 Shoe, which is comparable in performance but £40 cheaper.

Buy now: Shimano S-Phyre RC9 Road Shoes from the Cycle Store for £287.99

Similarly, the Giro Empire SLX are £70 cheaper based upon RRP. They look cool and perform well, but the high price is hard to justify.

For more information and UK distribution, head over to Madison.


Excellent shoes, that perform brilliantly. The only real downside is the eye watering price


Weight:265g (one shoe, size 44)
Colours:White, Blue, Yellow
Sizes:40-48, with half sizes and width options.