The Shimano R321 road shoes can be fully custom-fitted, with an oven and vacuuming process at a Shimano dealer giving a tailored fit. But the shoes also feel great right out of the box, with arch-support insert options tuning the underfoot volume as needed.
Highs: Ingenious uppers, stunning fit and efficiency
Lows: Reversed buckle confuses at first
The innovative ultra fine synthetic leather uppers mimic overshoes by wrapping the seamless instep panel across the combined outside panel and tongue, and covering more than half of the shoe to smooth airflow.
The low-profile buckle and ratcheting strap swap positions, so work in reverse, cleverly preventing excess plastic strap dangling in the wind.
Mesh vents in the toe box and uppers, one sole vent and an array of perforations keep things cool, and interchangeable arch wedges fine tune footbed fit. The carbon sole is pro stiff and generously wide to fully support cleats, adding stability, and on the bike we found the R321s needed far less tightening than most shoes to feel utterly secure, fitting like a sock and being barely noticeable, even when pushing hard.