Shimano’s new single Boa-dial RC7 shoes are considerably cheaper than the top-tier RC9, but with many similar features
The top S-Phyre RC9 model has two Boa dials and retails for over £300, while the RC7 we’re testing here has a single one with the wires double crossing the foot, augmented by a front Velcro strap closure. Best of all, the RC7 is half the price of the RC9.
It still sits on a carbon sole, which Shimano says isn’t quite as rigid as the RC9’s, but it’s still plenty stiff enough for efficient pedalling. Shimano also provides a well-shaped insole.
The RC7 is available in a huge range of sizes, with half-sizes from 38 to 47 and whole sizes at 48, 49 and 50. All are offered in standard or wide fit, so there are lots of options and it shouldn’t be a problem to find one which works for you.
It’s a good thing these options exist, as the Shimano RC7 shoes are quite narrow. They also come up on the small side: I often fit a 42, but found a 43 a good fit in the RC7. They are comfortable though, in the right size. Definitely try before you buy.
I found that I didn’t need to adjust the front Velcro strap, with the Boa giving a firm, comfortable fit which could be dialled down quite tight without any pinch points. Although the tongue isn’t very padded, it too was comfortable and worked well to distribute pressure from the closure.
Watch: Buyer’s guide to cycling shoes
The RC7 has a synthetic upper which holds the foot in place well. It has a large array of small perforations down both sides, perforations in the tongue and a vent in the sole as well as a mesh section over the middle toes. I’ve only tested the RC7 in cooler weather and didn’t find it cold in temperatures around 10°C.
So overall Shimano’s first Boa shoes are impressive and adjustable. They build on the company’s reputation for quality cycling footwear, and provide a comfortable interface to your pedals.
Shimano’s lower priced RC7 Boa-closed shoes are comfortable, light and stiff, but you may need to size up.