Shimano’s new RX8 Gravel racing shoe fills a gap in cycling shoe market and were a welcome change for me personally, as I was happy to remove my bulky, heavy Cyclocross racing shoes for these sleek, lightweight replacements.
Shimano has recently shown a deep commitment to the gravel riding community with the launch of the GRX groupset in 2019, the Discover cockpit components, adventure bags and the recently released RX8 shoes complete their product offerings. The RX8 shoes are truly high performance, lightweight gravel racing shoes. The RX8 shoe marries the top performance features of mountain bike and road racing footwear in a shoe that balances pedaling performance and off-the-bike capability. The result is a lightweight, stiff, walkable shoe that is mechanically efficient, aerodynamic and ideal for gravel racers, gran fondo riders, and weekend warriors.
Gravel riders and racers have traditionally been underserved in terms of high performing footwear options. While riders will benefit from features found in mountain bike shoes, those shoes are typically overbuilt and heavier. Gravel races are typically longer than mountain bike races and typically do not involve as much dismounting as mountain bike racing, so although being able to walk in the shoes is important, it is more important to have ultra-stiff soles that deliver maximum pedaling efficiency. For people who are looking to walk or run long distances, these soles would be too stiff. Shimano’s RX8 is a balanced shoe optimized for gravel.
The RX8 features a super-stiff and efficient full-length carbon outsole. The shoes also include an anti-slip pad for improved grip when walking or running. The cleat-pedal interface features a wider contact point that is optimized to fit with new XTR PD-M9100 pedals.
All of this comes in a lightweight package at 265g. Weight in cycling shoes is something all riders should consider, as the shoe must be lifted with each pedal stroke.
The shoes are incredibly comfortable as well, making them ideal for ultra-endurance events. The RX8 utilizes a one-piece synthetic upper with perforated venting and secures the foot with a single Boa IP1 dual micro adjustment dial. Weight is reduced by utilizing a Velcro strap at the front of the shoe.
The RX8 is available in our webstore in Black and also via special order in Silver and the RX8W women-specific version is available via special order in Navy Blue. Wide options are available in the black colorway exclusively. It is best matched with the Shimano SPD M9100. The RX8 is available for $349.99 CDN MSRP.
For special orders, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org We ship internationally.
By Dede Barry