- Boa dial is a step above velcro or laces
- Style and professional look
- Sizing issues
Price as reviewed:
A couple of rungs above entry-level, the Shimano RP4 shoes should be considered as Shimano’s first performance orientated shoe, suitable for more dedicated riders who want higher end shoe features but still value comfort.
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Certainly for the price point, the Shimano RP4 cycling shoes look more professional or performance orientated than other shoes. This is helped by the styling on the synthetic leather upper, plenty of venting and a BOA dial, which differentiates them from other shoes at this level typically found with laces or velcro.
Typically, BOA dials are seen as an advancement because they offer minute tension changes and on-the-fly adjustments. However, these particular models can’t be back turned, so you can’t loosen the shoe without undoing the Boa dial completely, removing that adjustment that’s very useful if, like me, you tend to over tighten shoes at the start of rides.
Also, somewhat unusually for Shimano, I’ve found the sizing to be slightly out. At its higher end, for example with the Shimano S-Phyre RC9s I’m size 43 but with the RP4s I really could have done with sizing up to avoid cramping my feet. However, it’s worth noting for those without narrow feet that they are available in a wide fit and as always, we recommend you try before you buy.
The Dynalast sole is made glass fibre with reinforced nylon. It’s par for the course at this price point and although it doesn’t feel as stiff as the Specialized Torch 1.0’s sole, it is plenty stiff enough for amateur riders who still value comfort. An elevated heel pad makes walking through train stations or in cafes easier and the synthetic upper feels robust.
Impressively, the shoes also feel very light, weighing in lighter than the new Rapha Classic shoes despite nylon sole. Get the sizing right and the Shimano shoes are suitable for the vast majority of riders.
The Shimano RP4 shoes are good looking and come with all the hallmarks of good performance shoes. Just be careful to get the fit right.