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Shimano announced its new S-Phyre line of premium footwear including two new performance cycling shoes as well as complementary socks for road, cross-country, and cyclocross racing. Shimano says this footwear line was designed specifically to maximize power transmission and minimize aerodynamic drag.
Both the S-Phyre RC9 road shoe and S-Phyre XC9 mountain bike shoe use a one-piece outer made from stretch-resistant and breathable microfiber synthetic leather. They have perforated dimple vents that are flexible for what Shimano calls “a glove-like fit.” The supple upper also accommodates a wider range of foot shapes, now up to an E+ width in standard sizes.
Both shoe options also use double Boa IP1 dials and wire lacing for micro-adjustments when tightening the shoes.
The S-Phyre outsole construction eliminates the shoe’s lasting board, which reduces weight and stack height. This improves the stability and Shimano says it also improves power transfer. Additionally, an external heel cup prevents the foot from twisting or rolling in the shoe, which also helps with power output through the carbon sole.
Shimano’s new S-Phyre RC9 weighs in at a respectable 232 grams per shoe. It’s not the lightest we’ve ever seen, but they’re getting close.
- Weight: 232 grams (size 42)
- Size: 36, 37-47 in half sizes: 48; wide sizes: 40-48
- Colors: blue, white, yellow, and limited-edition black
- MSRP: $400.00
At first glance, the S-Phyre XC9 looks like some kind of hybrid between a road and mountain bike shoe. It looks similar to the RC9 road shoe with a perforated microfiber synthetic leather upper. But the XC9 uses a lightweight cross-country and cyclocross outsole that is supposedly more durable than the road shoe and provides abrasion resistance.
Designed in conjunction with Michelin, the outsole has an anti-slip arch pattern that provides extra grip in the mid-arch section. It uses a dual-compound rubber for better traction off the bike, while Shimano says the triangle knob design helps reduce weight.
For grip in extra sloppy conditions, the shoes come with optional extra-long 18-millimeter toe spikes as well as a reinforced spike mount, which should please ‘cross racers.
- Weight: 325 grams (size 42)
- Size: 38, 39, 40-47 in half sizes; 48; wide sizes: 40-48
- Colors: blue, yellow, black
- MSRP: $400
To round out the footwear package, the S-Phyre RC9 and XC9 shoes are sold with color-matched socks. Shimano studied the shoe-sock interface (yes, it sounds a little crazy to us too!) to create a system that it says helps promote efficient pedaling through optimal ankle angles. An ankle guide is woven into the socks to ensure efficient pedaling rotation through the 360-degree pedal rotation and the socks have an anti-slip heel for better power transfer. We presume the socks are compatible with other types of shoes but not recommended for sandals.