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Shimano S-Phyre RC9 road shoe review

Is Shimano’s S-Phyre mark two a significant improvement?

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
GBP £320
Shimano S-Phyre RC9 shoes

Our review

The second generation S-Phyres have made a great shoe even better
Pros: Perfect fit, impressive performance and comfort
Cons: You won’t want to wear anything else

Since it launched, the original S-Phyre has been one of our favourite shoes, so how does this second iteration compare?


Shimano says it’s lighter, with an improved heel cup, better overall fit and hydrophobic materials that shed moisture. Built around a Dynalast carbon sole, the shoe’s construction integrates the uppers with the sole, reducing the shoe’s stack height and saving weight.

The lower stack height is said to stabilise the foot in the downward pedal stroke and improve power transfer, and it’s plain to see when removing the Silvadur anti-odour-topped insole, because it sits directly on top of the carbon fibre.

The all-over hold is excellent and the roomy toe box means uninterrupted circulation all day long

Exchangeable arch supports allow fit customisation, and large holes at the toe and heel of the insole allow cooling air in and rainwater out through a hole within the replaceable heel bumper.

The Teijin Avail microfibre upper is one-piece, supple and tough, with a wrapover style and comfortable padding around the ankle. The externally reinforced heel cup extends beneath the shoe and bonds directly to the sole for stability, and its ‘cat’s tongue’ fabric lining prevents heel slip.

Two BOA IP1 closures are arranged with one dealing with fit around the ankle and the forward one adjusting forefoot volume, with an optional powerzone wire guide that increases tension.

They slip on and can be immediately adjusted to the ideal fit, and then don’t feel like slippers because it’s easy not to notice them at all, the all-over hold is excellent and the roomy toe box means uninterrupted circulation all day long.

More extensive perforations in the uppers make them even cooler than before and there’s even an extra 11mm of cleat adjustment, not that I found it a problem before.

The S-Phyre’s performance potential is many levels above my threshold, but makes the most of everything you have and in superb comfort.


Shimano S-Phyre specifications

  • Upper material: Teijin Avail microfibre
  • Closure: Two BOA IP1
  • Inner sole: Silvadur anti-odour-topped
  • Outer sole: Dynalast carbon
  • Weight (pair): 540g
  • Size tested: 45
  • Sizes available: 36–48
  • Price: £320 / AU$499