First look: Shimano's new RP9 road and XC5 multi-purpose shoes – Bike Magazine Australia

Shimano’s RP9 is the company’s lightest road shoe offering to date. It uses a carbon composite sole said to be slightly more forgiving than the top-of-the-line S-Phyre road shoe (scoring a 10 out 12 on Shimano’s stiffness range), and a larger heel lug on the outsole to aid in grip when walking in the shoe.

A single multi-function Boa dial secures the shoe and allows easy adjustability on the fly. At the toe, a single Velcro strap offers further adjustability.

The well-ventilated micro-fibre upper, and indeed the whole look of the shoe, were influenced by the simple designs of Detto and Vittoria shoes from the 1980s. Inside the heel is the same “cat’s-tongue” material found throughout Shimano’s footwear line. Combined with the Boa systems retention, this fabric keeps heel lift to a minimum while securing the foot in the shoe.

The men’s version is available in four colours – black, dark blue, white, and Shimano’s signature light blue. A separate woman’s shoe is built on a different last, and is available in a single grey color.

Shimano XC5

Billed as a multi-surface offering, the lace-up XC5 features a full wrap, single-density rubber outsole over a carbon composite last. Its cleat interface is for two-bolt mountain-style cleats, and the toe of the shoe accepts two toe spikes, giving the semi-aggressively lugged shoe added ability for all off-piste activities.

The perforated faux leather microfiber upper is said to breathe well and dry fast. It also has a rubber toe bumper for added durability against scuffs and wear. Adding to the versatility of the shoe is a generous reflective patch covering most of the heel of the shoe. With lots of gravel and adventure rides beginning and finishing with a lack of daylight, this is sure to be a popular feature.

Stiffness is a 7 out of 10 on Shimano’s stiffness scale. This should add comfort both off the bike when walking and hiking while retaining good power transfer to the pedals.

The XC5 will be available in both men’s and women’s versions built on separate lasts. A single width will be available, but the nature of a laced shoe means the XC5 should fit a variety of feet. Men’s are available in two colours: Black with orange laces or Grey with dark grey laces. The women’s version is available in a single colour: dark grey with purple laces. Each pair will also come with a second contrasting lace in a more muted colour.

Copyright © 2016 Rodale Inc.