Scott Road RC SL Shoe review

High-end road race kicks

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Perhaps best known for its bikes, Scott also produces a wide range of cycling apparel, including these all-new, über-high-end RC SL road racing shoes.

Coming in at a whopping £399 for the pair, they’re up there as some of the most expensive stock road shoes you can buy, so expectations were always going to be high.

This meant I was initially sceptical as to whether the performance could justify the price. Was I right? Read on to find out. (Or, if you’re lazy, just skip to the bottom of the page.)

Scott Road RC SL out of the box

The shoes feature a Carbitex upper
The shoes feature a Carbitex upper

Weighing in at 562g for a pair of size 45s the first thing you’ll notice about the SLs is their lack of weight, which is exactly as you’d expect for top-spec shoes. However, there are lighter options from the likes of Specialized and Giro.

Obviously the sole is made from carbon fibre and ticks all the boxes in terms of stiffness, but this is a given on such fancy shoes. There’s also adjustable arch inserts, which again come as standard on most high-end shoes.

The upper is where things change, with Scott using a material called Carbitex. This is a totally unyielding carbon fibre like structure, which still remains pliable — the idea being the upper will never stretch or deform, yet it will flex around the contours of your feet.

Scott Road RC SL ride impressions

Once out and riding I had very few issues with the SLs. They size up big and have a fairly large volume, so I’d recommend sizing half or a full size down, or ideally, trying on before you buy.

Even with the slightly large sizing, the BOAs allowed me to crank the shoes tight, and I had no heel slippage, even during hard efforts. There was a bit of wiggle room in the toe box, but I think this only adds to the comfort, as long as you can get that upper tight enough.

On the edge at the National Hill Climb Championships
On the edge at the National Hill Climb Championships

The Carbitex material has virtually no flex and feels plenty tough, so I’d suspect these would stand up to a crash or two during a hard road racing season.

As you can imagine, having a carbon sole and being light (but not super light) there’s no way you’ll be able to blame your shoes for a poor performance. I used these shoes for the latter half of the 2017 British hill climb season and they felt perfect for ragged 400–500watt efforts.

Great performance at a price

It’s clear that Scott has made a shoe that rivals all the big players in terms of its performance. It’s light enough, plenty comfortable and has the bling factor most riders want from expensive shoes.

But here's the catch, these shoes are insanely expensive and I felt that they didn’t offer anything extra or particularly unique for the price. With this in mind I think most riders might be better suited choosing something a little cheaper that will do the job just as well.

Although I could see these shoes being a must-have for Scott Bikes fanatics who want all their kit to match perfectly with their bikes. So if that sounds like you or you have deep pockets and really like the look of these shoes, you won’t be disappointed. For everyone else, there could be something just as nice for nearly half the price.

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 183
  • Weight: 63
  • Discipline: mountain/road
  • Preferred Terrain: steep hills/mountains
  • Current Bikes: Bmc team elite, engineered bikes custom.
  • Dream Bike: pretty much have it with my engineered
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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