Back in mid July Shimano unveiled a number of new road and mountain bike shoes topping off with the carbon soled RC7 & XC7 with a single Boa. At the time it was clear that there was a gap at the top of the line, and now they have filled that with a couple of new S-Phyre shoes offering the best of road and cross-country (and cyclocross) power transfer. Tested for months in the pro ranks, Shimano has now pulled the curtain off their new top race offerings…

S-Phyre RC9


The new S-Phyre shoes are all about delivering the max in power transfer efficiency. They start with even stiffer carbon soles, and then add in a second Boa dial to those of the next down 7s to cinch in a perfect fit from forefoot to instep.

Shimano_S-Phyre-RC9_SH-RC900_carbon-soled-road-race-bike-shoes_blue-front Shimano_S-Phyre-RC9_SH-RC900_carbon-soled-road-race-bike-shoes_blue-sole

Shimano see the road-going S-Phyre RC9 as the absolute top of the range, and it’s not hard to see why with the stiff sole and overall lightweight setup you get with a road shoe and its minimal tread. tested throughout the 2016 race season under the feet of riders on Giant-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, Orica-BikeExchange the shoe is ready to head to consumers now.

Shimano_S-Phyre-RC9_SH-RC900_carbon-soled-road-race-bike-shoes_yellow Shimano_S-Phyre-RC9_SH-RC900_carbon-soled-road-race-bike-shoes_white

The shoes are constructed from a single-piece Teijin Avail synthetic upper that Shimano says is both breathable and resistant to stretching over use or when wet. Then they add a bunch of perforations in larger dimples to provide good ventilation, a mesh sole vent, and even drain holes to get water out on wet rides. Retention is managed by two independent Boa IP1 dials and a criss-cross of forefoot lacing and a large instep strap. Keeping things slim and pared down the RC9 claims a weight of just 232g a shoe. The new road shoes are available in this blue, white and hi-vis yellow in sizes 36-48 (including half sizes.)


S-Phyre XC9


Over on the off-road side of things the shoes are almost the same, save the outsole. While the RC9 gets a smooth vented carbon setup, the trail-going XC9 substitutes in a Michelin sole. We’ve seen a number of Michelin soles from the likes of Northwave and some others, so it’s nice to see them getting some traction in a mountain bike-specific design.

Shimano_S-Phyre-XC9_SH-XC900_carbon-soled-cross-country-race-mountain-bike-shoes_yellow-front Shimano_S-Phyre-XC9_SH-XC900_carbon-soled-cross-country-race-mountain-bike-shoes_yellow_Michelin-soles

The XC9 carries over the efficient pedalling of the road version, while still being up to tackle the elements, especially when using the asymmetrically-located toe spike threads. The paired down Michelin outsole does a good job of keeping racers moving, whether on or off the bike. Per shoe weight comes to 325g for a size 42. The XC9 will be available in blue or yellow, and again in sizes 36-48, including half sizes and wide footbed options.

courtesy of Shimano. photo by Irmo Keizer

To add a bit of pro feel, both pairs of new S-Pyre shoes will be sold with color matching premium synthetic socks. The socks have their own pro performance tech, with a temperature-regulating ventilation of the sole, extra cushioning in key stress areas, and a woven in shape that is said to help with heel stability and a tall cuff that wont’ drop over time.


    • BOA will send you free lifetime replacements of their reels and cables. I just replaced the reels on my S-works road shoes and they are literally good as new. Took about 15 minutes.

  1. Given my experience with Shimano shoes, I am sure these are the bees knees when it comes to performance and comfort. But lord almighty they are ugly – looks like a technicolor burrito.

  2. That weight seems to be for the smallest size, which makes these very light for a Shimano shoe and heavy for anyone else. Pearl makes light shoes, why can’t Shimano?

  3. XC90’s biggest hoke ever. Had two pairs, after about 7 rides the toe caps started coming off. 2 times shoes were replaced under warranty, third pair I sold – I gave up.

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