Shimano SH-R321 cycling shoes review

The Shimano SH-R321 shoes are the successor in Shimano's line of super-comfy top-end cycling shoes,

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Updated for 2015, the Shimano SH-R321 shoes are just as comfortable as their predecessors with performance to match.

For
  • +

    Superb fit

  • +

    Adjustable instep height and heat mouldable

  • +

    Good power transfer

Against
  • -

    Fiddly retention system

Many have hotly anticipated the updated version of Shimano’s successful SH-R320 road shoe, the Shimano SH-R321 cycling shoes. Described with phrases such as “wrap like” and “glove like fit” with a new “surround”, it certainly needed to be well fitting, and indeed it is.

At £299.99, this is a high-priced bit of kit — as expected in a dream shoe test. Out of the box the shoe feels light, fits well and looks nice too, although from a riding position it looks a bit odd due to the colour scheme that splits the shoe down the middle. Thankfully, I could adjust the instep height, as I found the one provided was a little high for my arch — although you can heat-mould these, I didn’t feel it necessary.

>>>Cycling shoes: a buyer's guide

Shimano says the R231 offers a 12/12 stiffness rating, and the shoes diligently provided good power transfer from the stiff sole without being harsh.

Overall the Shimanos tick both comfort and stiffness boxes. Annoyingly, I did find a few niggles, one being the retention system, which was on the fiddly side, and the wrap style seemed to cause a little pinch when fully tightened up.

For more details visit the Madison website (opens in new tab).

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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.