Shimano RP5 SPD-SL road shoe review

A smart-looking, decent pair of shoes that won't break the bank, the Shimano RP5 SPD-SL road shoes are a great option for those wanting stiffness without the high price

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Great-quality shoes that are stiff, comfortable and won't break the bank, even if they are a tad heavy.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great price, especially when discounted

  • +

    Stiff sole

  • +

    Good ratchet system

  • +

    Breathe well

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    A bit heavy

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The understated Shimano RP5 road shoes might not be much to look at, but beneath the monochrome shell lies a decent performer at a great price.

Although a little niggle in the heels had me worried to begin with – even though I opted to size up straight away – these are comfortable shoes. Once on the bike the issue disappeared, and they proved great when riding.

The good fit was complemented by the ratchet system which, while it may not look like much, still performs admirably. It's not as impressive as a Boa dial, working instead as a slider, incrementally notching up the tightness of the shoes.

While it's not as fine-tuneable as other systems on the market, I was still able to get a good fit across the top of the foot and the shoes felt plenty secure when pulling up on the pedals.

Buy now: Shimano RP5 SPD-SL shoes from Evans Cycles for £66

Ratchet system on the Shimano RP5

The ratchet system on the Shimano RP5 shoes isn't that sophisticated but it does the job well

For your money you also get a Shimano Dynalast sole, which is glass fibre and Nylon with a carbon plate inserted. Markings on the plate make it nice and easy to get the SPD-SL cleats placed correctly. It's also compatible with SPD cleats.

I found the sole to be plenty stiff with no noticeable flexing and a good level of support. Shimano has got it right, then, considering these are supposed to be endurance shoes.

Watch: Road shoe buyer's guide

Buy now: Shimano RP5 SPD-SL shoes from Evans Cycles for £66

A big vent on the front gives a welcome breeze through the front of the shoe, while vents on the bottom help keep things cool.

At 613g for the pair these aren't the lightest shoes, but for £109 you wouldn't expect them to be, and unless you're racing at the top level I shouldn't think it'll be an issue.

Even better? They're almost constantly discounted, so they're an absolute bargain.

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