Shimano RP9 Cycling Shoe

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Shimano RP9 Cycling Shoe Review Facts

If you are serious about cycling and choosing the right performance wear to take your workout to the next level, step up to proven performance with the Shimano RP9 footwear. The fit and feel are designed for the long haul, with several endurance-boosting features that will keep you ready for a full day in the saddle. The perfect option for any cyclist who just wants to strap on and go, the RP9 is a clean, minimalist shoe. While still including all of the top features that make Shimano’s road racing shoes amongst the best in the world, the RP9s have been geared towards the everyday rider who wants to invest in the footwear that will keep them riding for longer.

Part of Shimano’s road performance line, the Japanese firm’s RP9s offer premium comfort, innovative support and high-end performance at a mid-level price. If you are looking to discover more about these great value shoes, and why we consider them to be a premium option, check out our in-depth review for a breakdown of everything that you need to know.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Exceptional levels of comfort
  • Supportive
  • Stiff soles
  • Easy to take on and off
Cons
  • Cold feet in cold weather
  • May take some getting used to
Version

Version

In 2018, the Shimano RP9 was redesigned, addressing many of the earlier issues that people had with the shoe. For example, when the RP9 first came to the market, the original shoes were heat-mouldable. This meant that you could place them in the oven for a completely custom made fit experience. However, it was reported that not many users were utilizing this feature, and the disadvantages of this system soon began to outweigh the benefits. Instead, Shimano replaced this feature by including interchangeable foam arch supports into the design. These wedges attached via hook and loop fastenings to the bottom of the liner, and you get two different sizes with your purchase.

One of the most significant changes to the newest version of the RP9s has to be the use of the BOA® IP1 dial, which replaced the previous ratchet closure system. This change has been celebrated amongst fans, with many online reviews noting the manner in which the shoes can be tightened and loosened by even a fraction, allowing the wearer to discover the perfect level of comfort for them. To change up the fit even further, Shimano has also gone from two hook and loop fastenings to one.
Use

Use

The RP9s are part of Shimano’s Road Performance range. This means that they include all of the top features that you see in their Race Competition selection, but with an increased focus on endurance and going the distance. Not everyone likes to race, and the RP range from Shimano recognizes that cyclists, who are not competing, still want top-tier features. The RP9s are particularly well-suited for recreational riders who want performance gear without breaking the bank.

The Shimano RP9 is ideal cycling footwear if you plan on traveling long distances. If you often hit the road for several hours at a time, you will be more than impressed by the RP9s and the manner in which they reduce, or even eliminate, foot fatigue. This is due to how they have been ergonomically designed to relieve pressure and to promote endurance. Due to the design of the shoe, they are also super easy to put on and take off, making them the perfect cycling shoes if you are doing a triathlon. Shimano has also added reinforced rubber to the heels and toes of the RP9 to make it easier to walk on the road in these shoes. However, the stiffness of the soles and design of the road shoe still means that you will not be able to walk far.
Style

Style

If you are a more style conscious rider, you are bound to be impressed with the sleek design and clean finish of these cycling shoes. Although, not available in the bright and eye-catching colorways of models from other brands, they are a clean, minimalist shoe, and there four different colors possible. With an uncluttered design and clean lines, these Rp9s are aimed at the rider who prioritizes excellence and simplicity.
Comfort

Comfort

If you are looking for cycling shoes that will retain comfort and reduce fatigue on those long rides, the RP9s will soon become your new favorites. Due to Shimano’s focus on endurance when creating the RP9s and the Road Performance range in general, these cycling shoes are some of the most comfortable available. A light and stiff carbon shoe, Shimano has used innovative methods and the latest technology to keep you going mile after mile.

Throughout the research and design process for the Shimano RP9s, there has been a clear focus on creating a cycling shoe that boosts endurance. The combination between the padded heel and tongue, which is part of the upper’s singular construction, helps to reduce or eliminate foot fatigue. Additionally, the Dynalast footbed helps to ensure that your foot feels supported throughout continuous pedaling. The 3D anatomic design on these shoes conforms to the foot, offering support and stability. The heel of the shoe supported with an external cup and the newest version of the RP9s include interchangeable arch supports, which are easily removed and replaced. The heel of the RP9 keeps your foot locked in place, where the rest of the shoe feels relatively roomy. This may take some getting used to, particularly if you are used to a more supportive cycling shoe. However, the ability to fine-tune your fit with micro-adjustments also boosts comfort.
Breathability

Breathability

Rack up the miles whilst minimizing energy loss, with cycling shoes that are not only breathable but are also comfortable and provide a serious level of performance. The Shimano RP9s are as good as any top-level shoe when it comes to breathability, keeping your feet cool and fresh throughout your ride.

The upper of the shoe is made from microfiber synthetic leather that features laser-cut MicroVent perorations. There is also a vent hole underneath the toes, to keep the air flowing throughout the shoe. Although the vast majority of online review stated that breathability on the RP9s was top quality, there was one complaint. If anything the ventilation may be considered to effective, with some cyclists saying that these shoes resulted in cold feet on chilly winter morning rides.
Midsole

Midsole

The footbed and midsole of the RP9s prioritize comfort and support to keep you fatigue-free during even the longest of rides. The Dynalast footbed has been particularly praised, as this works to optimize power transfers and supports the foot while you pedal. It focuses on ensuring an excellent toe-spring section that will provide a smoother upstroke. Reducing energy loss, Dynalast can also work to improve your overall technique, keeping your feet in a perfect position throughout your ride.

The shoes also feature an anti-microbial insole, which will help to prevent the build-up of bacteria and reduce the likelihood of funky aromas; with several reviews noting that these shoes always smelt fresh. Underneath the liner, you will see the hook and loop fastenings for the interchangeable arch support wedge. You will get two different size wedges with your purchase, or you could just remove them if it is more comfortable.
Outsole

Outsole

Fans of the RP9s have praised the consistent quality and support that the outsoles provide. They are lightweight and stiff, promising to support your pedaling practices. Although Shimano has taken away the heat-mouldable elements of the sole on the RP9s, this has not really been missed. The Shimano RP9s carbon-weave sole measures at ten out of twelve on Shimano’s stiffness scale. This carbon stiffness has been described as remarkable by quite a few fans online with many highlighting that this allows for maximum power transference.

There are clear markings on the sole to line up your cleats, and you are able to adjust, offering each ride the opportunity to suit the shoes to their needs. Although the sole is drilled for three-bolt cleats, you can also use an adaptor if you prefer 2-bolts. Shimano has also added a sizeable heel cover and reinforcement on the toes, which makes it easier to walk in these shoes on the road.
Upper

Upper

The upper of the shoe has several similarities with the R321, Shimano’s bestselling top tier race shoe. The pre-softened supple leather offers limited stretch and the one piece ‘surround technology’ improves pedaling efficiency. This means the top wraps from inside the foot and over the top, with plenty of padding to maintain comfort.

Perforated with MicroVent holes, the upper of the shoes has also been treated with ‘Silvadur’ which is anti-bacterial and will help to keep your feet smelling fresh; the success of which was echoed in several reviews. The manner in which the tongue is part of the padded upper is also noted, and it is suggested that this makes it much easier to put on and take off these shoes.
Size & Fit

Size & Fit

Offering a comfortable fit straight from the box, the Shimano RP9s feature exceptional adjustability and a spacious toe box with plenty of room to move around. There is both standard and wide fit available. However, there have been some suggestions that these shoes do run a little small, and that you should go up half a size for maximum comfort and support. Plus, the RP9 is fairly lightweight, with a size six weighing in at 224g. To get the best possible performance out of your cycling shoes, it is important that you get the best fit. Different shoes suit different feet, and we always recommend trying on several pairs from different brands before you commit to purchase.

Upgrading from the previous ratchet system, the RP9s now features a single BOA IP1 dial which allows for exceptional adjustability. BOA dials have become an increasingly popular choice for cycling shoes, as they offer excellent closing force, and fully secure when locked in place, and are easy to adjust on the go. Immobilizing your feet and locking in support, the dial pulls and releases the tension wires around the shoe. This is the lightest system available, and it will help the wearer to avoid uncomfortable hot spots and contact points.

Overall, wearers have certainly welcomed the adjustability. Although there is a small strap of Velcro, several reviews have noted that they have not had any need to adjust this; proposing that the Boa dial does an excellent job. However, if you are used to a tighter-fitted cycling shoe, it may take some time to get used to the lack of locked in feeling as the fit is more relaxed than other models.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Shimano’s superb selection of cycling shoes is amongst some of the best in the world, and they are an innovative company that is dedicated to improving your ride experience. The RP9s are pretty great, with very few negative comments or concerns mentioned online. Endurance- focused and providing power delivery, this light, and stiff carbon shoe has similar features to a top-tier race shoe. With a sleek low profile, clean lines and stylish aesthetics that will please even the most style-conscious of cyclists, the RP9s look good while feeling great.
The normal rule for choosing cycling shoes is that you get what you pay for, with higher priced models being more lightweight and having the latest features. However, the RP9s are slightly different, providing great value for money when compared to similar models. Although, it is noted that there have been a few issues raised regarding cold feet in winter and some difficulty in getting used to the fit and feel of the shoe. Overall, the Shimano RP9 cycling shoes are a great value and you will no longer have to sacrifice power transmission and performance.