If you’re a style-conscious gravel rider and want your shoes to look as good as the vistas you post on Instagram, Shimano’s limited-edition RX8 shoes might just be for you.
According to Shimano, the purple and green fade is inspired by the Santa Rita Prickly Pear Cactus, native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It’s got a bit of a watermelon vibe about it, if you ask us. Either way, we reckon it looks very nice indeed.
The RX8 is Shimano’s gravel-specific shoe – in fact, it’s one of our favourite gravel shoes – and looks to pair the comfort and durability required for off-road adventures with the low weight (265g for a size 42) and stiff carbon sole you’d want from a road shoe.
Comfort comes from the micro-adjustable Boa IP1 dials, ‘stay-fresh’ treatment on the insole, snug heel cup and adjustable arch supports, while durability is taken care of by the grippy lugs, rubber bumpers and synthetic leather upper.
Whether or not you need gravel-specific shoes is another matter – regular mountain bike shoes and SPD pedals will do the job – but if you want them, the RX8s are a good (if premium) choice.
If you’re after something a little less inconspicuous, the RX8 will still be available in black, silver and, for female riders, navy versions.
The limited-edition colourway will be available from September, in standard EU sizes 38 to 50 or wide fitting sizes 38 to 48. The original RX8 was priced at £219.99 and we’ve asked whether that will remain the case.
Shimano ME5 and ME7 mountain bike shoes also updated
If your shredding is more of the enduro variety, Shimano has also updated its ME7 and ME5 SPD mountain bike shoes.
The ME7 is Shimano’s elite racing shoe, found on the feet of many an Enduro World Series rider, while the ME5 is more of an all-rounder for the rest of us.
The ME7 has a new Michelin dual-density rubber outsole. This is said to offer improved traction with durability. The shoe also has a new low-profile, reverse mount buckle, tucked away to keep it out of harm’s way.
Other features include a perforated synthetic leather upper, neoprene ankle collar, speed lacing system and sealed cleat area to keep water out. The ‘Torbal’ midsole is designed to offer some lateral movement at the heel for trail flow, while keeping the sole/cleat interface stiff enough for hard efforts.
Claimed weight for the ME7 is 400g for a size 42. It’s available in sizes 38 to 50, with half sizes for 41 to 46.
The ME5 offers a sleeker design than the ME7, designed more for trail riding than its burlier enduro sibling. The new version has an updated Boa L6 dial with a closure cap to prevent accidental release during collisions.
There’s also a rubber outsole with a generous tread which wraps right around the back of the shoe, plus a reinforced and perforated upper. Like the ME7, it also has a ‘Torbal’ midsole.
Shimano says the ME5 weighs 362g for a size 42. It’s available in full sizes from 38 to 50.
Both the new ME5 and ME7 will also be available from September.