Shimano has unveiled its latest road shoes, the SH-RP901 or in simpler terms, the RP9s. If that name sounds familiar, it's because the moniker has been used before for its endurance performance footwear. Like the previous RP9s, the new version caters to riders who want a light, high-end shoe but also want comfort and a bit less overall rigidity.
Shimano stated the new $300 / AU$369 (UK TBD) RP9s have a claimed weight of 224 grams. That's a decent weight reduction over the previous RP9 BikeRadar measured weight of 287.5 grams (size 43), but still a bit off of Giro's scale-tickling Prolight Techlace shoes which come in at 187 grams (size 45).
Boa and a suction cup-like heel
The biggest difference is the new RP9s do away with one of the Velcro straps as well as the ratcheting buckle in favor of a Boa dial.
The other big news was the fit is said to be improved with a new heel cup. Longtime Shimano employee and former Olympian Wayne Stetina said the new heel provides "a suction cup-like fit with absolutely zero heel lift."
Shimano also claimed that because the heel cup is so snug, the rest of the shoe's adjustments can be loosened for added comfort.
S-Phyre trickle down
The new RP9s use the same microfiber upper material as Shimano's top-end S-Phyre shoes, and the carbon sole gives a bit more with a claimed 10 out of 12 on Shimano's stiffness scale.
The aesthetic of the RP9s mimics the S-Phyre as well with loads of perforations throughout. Shimano gave a nod to 70s cycling culture, too, with pull tabs on tongue and heel.
The insole is also not the typical throw away item as found in most shoes. The arch can be adjusted with the included pads and the insole is lined with silver anti-bacterial material.
While S-Phyre shoes boast Shimano's trademark bright blue, the dark blue version of the new RP9 is a limited edition color.
Also displayed was the women's RP7 shoes. It has a lower price point of $200 / AU$279 (UK TBD) due to a less precise Boa dial and simpler construction. The women's version is available in one color.