Check out Shimano's lightest road shoes

The RP901 are built for endurance

Shimano has unveiled its latest road shoes, the SH-RP901 or in simpler terms, the RP9s. If that name sounds familiar, it's because the moniker has been used before for its endurance performance footwear. Like the previous RP9s, the new version caters to riders who want a light, high-end shoe but also want comfort and a bit less overall rigidity. 

Shimano's new RP9 shoes are claimed to be its lightest yet at 224 grams
Shimano's new RP9 shoes are claimed to be its lightest yet at 224 grams

Lightest ever

Shimano stated the new $300 / AU$369 (UK TBD) RP9s have a claimed weight of 224 grams. That's a decent weight reduction over the previous RP9 BikeRadar measured weight of 287.5 grams (size 43), but still a bit off of Giro's scale-tickling Prolight Techlace shoes which come in at 187 grams (size 45). 

Boa and a suction cup-like heel

The biggest difference is the new RP9s do away with one of the Velcro straps as well as the ratcheting buckle in favor of a Boa dial. 

A Boa dial snugs up the upper portion of the shoe while a Velcro strap handles the toe area
A Boa dial snugs up the upper portion of the shoe while a Velcro strap handles the toe area

The other big news was the fit is said to be improved with a new heel cup. Longtime Shimano employee and former Olympian Wayne Stetina said the new heel provides "a suction cup-like fit with absolutely zero heel lift."

Shimano also claimed that because the heel cup is so snug, the rest of the shoe's adjustments can be loosened for added comfort. 

S-Phyre trickle down

The new RP9s use the same microfiber upper material as Shimano's top-end S-Phyre shoes, and the carbon sole gives a bit more with a claimed 10 out of 12 on Shimano's stiffness scale. 

The carbon soles have a stiffness rating of 10 out of 12 according to Shimano
The carbon soles have a stiffness rating of 10 out of 12 according to Shimano

The aesthetic of the RP9s mimics the S-Phyre as well with loads of perforations throughout. Shimano gave a nod to 70s cycling culture, too, with pull tabs on tongue and heel.  

The insole is also not the typical throw away item as found in most shoes. The arch can be adjusted with the included pads and the insole is lined with silver anti-bacterial material. 

While S-Phyre shoes boast Shimano's trademark bright blue, the dark blue version of the new RP9 is a limited edition color.

Women's model

Also displayed was the women's RP7 shoes. It has a lower price point of $200 / AU$279 (UK TBD) due to a less precise Boa dial and simpler construction. The women's version is available in one color. 

A women's version is also available at lower price point due to a simpler Boa dial and less intricate construction
A women's version is also available at lower price point due to a simpler Boa dial and less intricate construction

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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