Shimano SH-RW80 winter road shoe review

Strong option for adverse weather

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£139.99 RRP

Our review

If you ride or commute in a cold winter climate, and especially if you don't want to dirty your Italian road slippers, Shimano’s RW80 is worth a look
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These winter shoes are useful whether you’re a racer out training in the cold, an enthusiast who doesn’t want to dirty their expensive Italian slippers or a hardcore commuter who adheres to the same adage as the US Postal Service: ‘Through rain, snow or sleet’.

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The mid-level RW80 doesn’t have a carbon sole or heat mouldable options, but it’s warm and water resistant, and makes an ideal second set of shoes.

The upper is made of a combination of leather, Gore-Tex and thermal insulation. The Gore-Tex and perforated leather are meant to afford some level of breathability, without being drafty. The coated neoprene top cuff furthers the shoe’s goal of keeping cold and wet out and the warmth in.

The RW80’s glass reinforced polyamide sole is built onto a wide last. Three offset Velcro straps, sealed seams and reflective highlights finish the package.

It’s only available in whole sizes (40-48), and you should size up if you wear a half size – and maybe even if you don’t; that way there’s plenty of room for thicker winter socks, which definitely help when the mercury dips below freezing.

The RW80 has a comfortable range of about 55 to 25°F (13-4°C). That can be augmented by a thicker sock or with the addition of an overshoe. Even at 20°F (-6°C), without booties, our feet stayed comfortable for the better part of an hour.

The upper is well cut and without hot spots or chafing. The shoe is stiff enough to be comfortable but not dramatically so, like the flagship SH-R310. That’s understandable; we can’t imagine anyone using the RW80 for a sprint.

Once you’ve run a pair of cycling shoes through a road’s winter grime – a combination of silt, dirt, mag-chloride and/or road salt – they’re never the same, so the option of subbing in a winter shoe can be very appealing.

The RW80’s £139.99 (US$230) price seems reasonable, even considering it will be a second shoe for just about everyone. Mind you these babies won’t win you any fashion contest. Rather, when I look down at my rotating feet, they conjure up images of Frankenstein or Herman Munster as they clunk by.

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In terms of durability, the RW80 seems to carry on Shimano’s tradition of quality in footwear, which is best measured in years rather than months.

Product Specifications

Product

Name SH-RW80 Cold weather road shoe
Brand Shimano

Manufacturer's Description Cold weather road shoe
Re-inforced Toe Box Yes
Shoe Features 3-Hole SPD-SL Compatable
Lace Option No
Hook And Loop Straps Yes
Moulded Heel Counter Yes
Weather Resistant Yes
Breathable Yes
Sole Type Nylon / Glass Reinforced
Available Colours Black
Goretex Lining Yes
Weatherproof Yes
Reinforced Toe Yes
Shoe Sizes Available 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Shoe Closure Velcro Straps
Shoe Compatibility 3 Bolt Cleat
Shoe Type Winter Cycling
Shoe Lining Fabric