Gravel Grinder News: Shimano Announces New RX8 Gravel Shoe – by Guitar Ted
Last year Shimano quietly introduced a set of gravel shoes dubbed the XC-5. We reviewed the Special Edition version of that model here. Since then we have had the breakthrough introduction of Shimano’s GRX group, the first dedicated bicycle component group to gravel. We covered that here. Now Shimano has followed all this up with a more high end, racing oriented shoe for gravel riding, the RX8.
Here is what Shimano says are the reasons why the RX8 shoe exists:
“Many gravel riders and racers are currently underserved in terms of footwear options. While riders will benefit from features found in mountain bike shoes, those shoes are typically overbuilt and heavier. With many road cyclists exploring gravel, their tastes in footwear drift towards road shoes with ultra-stiff soles delivering maximum pedaling efficiency. Shimano’s RX8 is designed to meet all of these needs in a balanced shoe optimized for gravel.“
With that in mind, Shimano has developed the RX8 shoe to have a stiffness of 10 on their 1-11 point scale, so right up there with the top level racing footwear. However; Shimano did not forget that riders on gravel roads often have to portage their bikes, walk sections of unrideable roads, or that they have to get into stores to resupply without fear of falling on hard surfaced retail flooring. So, instead of using rubber lugs, Shimano incorporated lugged soles made of a TPU material and incorporated an anti-slip pad as well in the mid-sole.
The uppers use a perforated, one piece, “Surround Structure” synthetic upper, a micro-shield toe guard, and a two way adjustable Boa closure with an additional Velcro closure near the toe box. With a mind toward saving weight, the new RX8 shoe benefits from these choices and actually weighs less than Shimano’s top of the line S-Phrye MTB shoes at a claimed 265 grams for a size 42.
Shimano plans on making the new RX8 gravel shoes available by August of this year at a MSRP of USD $250.00
NOTE- Images and information about the RX8 gravel shoes was provided for by Shimano.