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Review: Shimano S-Phyre RC9 shoes

A very light, very stiff shoe that will satisfy any triathlete looking to spend more time on their road bike this year.

The Shimano S-Phyre RC9 is the latest iteration of Shimano’s top-of-the-line road shoe. It supplants the R321 in the top spot of the Japan-based company’s road competition line. The S-Phyre is a very light, very stiff shoe that will satisfy any triathlete looking to trade their aero bars for some road riding.

The biggest change from previous models is the introduction of the dual Boa IP1 dials. When I pulled the S-Phyre out of the box, I thought, “No way my foot will fit in there.” I usually size down in a cycling shoe, so I was worried I had messed up my order. But the quick-release function of the Boa dials lets you slip in without a hassle; it was incredibly easy to find my preferred fit with the two dials working to tighten and loosen the different areas of the shoe. I especially appreciated this feature on cooler rides this past autumn as I was able to loosen the forefoot to make room for a thicker sock and a little more blood flow.

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Now I wouldn’t be the first to say that Shimano has traditionally favoured function over fashion, but with the S-Phyre, it’s definitely hit the nail on the head in terms of looks. Now that may be my Pippo Pozzato-inspired fashion sense talking, but the fluo-yellow colour pair was calling my name from the minute I saw it released this past summer at Eurobike. The shoe also comes in a traditional Shimano blue, a classy white with black, and limited edition black.

Additionally, the venting on the S-Phyre is a feature worth noting. The dimpled synthetic leather upper did a great job of letting out the heat on longer rides and the drainage holes performed admirably when I dared to let these shoes out into the wild on muddy and rainy days.

The Shimano S-Phyre has a claimed weight of 243g in a Size 42 (U.S. 9).