In case you didn’t know, Scott makes literally (not really) everything. From motorbike backpacks, to ski goggles and running shoes, to cycling helmets and bikes, no matter what adventure you seek, it's a safe bet you can find something from the Swiss outdoor juggernaut. Even within cycling, you can outfit yourself from head to toe in Scott equipment.
As far as cycling shoes go, Scott doesn’t command the same reputation as the likes of Specialized, Giro, or Sidi, though perhaps it should. The Road RC shoes are packed full of high tech features and made with premium materials – and they ride pretty well too.
As Scott’s flagship road shoe, the RCs feature a stiffness index of 10 – the highest on Scott’s scale. The stiffness is on par with my personal pair of Giro Empires (size EU 44) and noticeably stiffer than the Northwave Extreme Tech Plus (EU 44) though they’re roughly 30g heavier than both. At 534g, the RCs, also size 44, are middle of the road in weight, put into the shade by the feathery new 440g (size 43) S-Works 6 road shoe, but lighter than Shimano’s flagship R321 – which are a doughy 578g (size 44).
You won't have any trouble with hot feet in the Road RCs
The microfibre upper is asymmetrical and has both perforations and mesh panels, which provide ample and pleasant air flow. Despite the ‘Adaptive Fit Pattern’, which Scott says should fit everyone well, the shoe is cut narrow and provides a low volume fit — those with wide flat feet need not apply.
Bringing the upper together are two Boa IP1 dials, one at the top and the other at the midfoot. The lower reel combines with two sets of ‘power guides’, offering a 2:1 cable pull across the forefoot. As the shoes are quite narrow and my feet are not, it was easy to get overzealous with the Boas.
The Torsion Fork allows for a bit of lateral flex through the heel in an effort easy pressure on ankles and knees
Most notable is the Power Zone Outsole concept. Using what Scott calls the Torsion Fork, there’s a degree of lateral flex built into the heel of the shoe.The front of the shoe is as stiff as any I’ve ever ridden in.
Starting at the back third of the shoe, the middle of the carbon sole is carved out allowing for some lateral flex, which Scott claims is to relieve strain on knees and ankles; adding comfort and helping to reduce overuse injuries that may come as a result of shoes that are ‘too’ stiff.
I couldn’t detect any side-to-side flex on the road, though I did experience a sensation that I struggle to quantify. When there’s a lot of energy going through the sole of the shoe, my heel felt weightless. Not unstable or uncomfortable, but a 'weird floating sensation' I’ve never experienced previously. The best I can tell, this is a manifestation of the lateral flex – not a bad thing, just different.
We're beginning to see more shoes come with adjustable footbeds, and the Ergologic insole that came in the Road RCs worked pretty well
Inside the Scott RC road shoes is a high end ‘Ergologic’ footbed, similar to Giro's Supernatural footbed with its adjustable metatarsal bubble and arch support. Both are tearaway Velcro adjustments, meaning they can be removed completely or replaced with smaller or bigger adjustments — for a stock footbed this is pretty luxurious. Having said this, where the likes of Giro or Shimano include such things, these shoes only include the 'medium' wedges.
For me, the stock arch support was spot on, but the extra metatarsal support caused my toes to go numb after an hour or so. Once the little grey shims were removed the trouble subsided.
No replaceable heel pad, no problem
While the RC road shoes feature non-replaceable toe and heel pads, the burly rubber is more akin to what you’d expect on mountain bike shoes, and after months of use and plenty of walking I suspect they’ll outlast multiple replaceable pads on other shoes.
The Road RCs could, in this tester's opinion, use a bit of help in the style department
Though aesthetically they don’t immediately wow me (I like the look of laced shoes), the RC road shoes are high performance kicks I’d happily reach for on the way out to a race or all day epic. Priced at $274 / AU$400 / £TBC, they’re not particularly cheap, but they’ve got the performance and comfort to back it up.