Shimano road cycling shoes are made for everyone. From elite cyclist to overweight grunt. What you’ll get here is a short summary of the attributes of each model, all on one page. I wish I could say that I’ve tried them all personally, but what do I look like, the son of a Saudi Arabian sheik?
So let’s get started.
There are SEVEN models of Shimano road cycling shoes. But first be forewarned, while different models will be made of different materials and have a different style, the claims sound remarkably similar. No matter if it’s Shimano, Northwave, Nike, or others, they all claim to have very stiff soles, extremely light weight, etc…
And if you’re like me, you may be saying, ‘Cut the crap, where be da deals, dud? I mean dude.’
The SH-R215…Top Of The Line In Shimano Road Cycling Shoes
This one’s Shimano’s top of the line racing shoe. Its sole is 20% lighter than previous designs. They’ve made it hollow to reduce the weight even more. Besides weight loss, the hollow designs allows these shoes to impersonate a pair of castanets should you wear them to a Mariachi concert.
However, like all manufacturers, the claim is that these Shimano road cycling shoes’ soles has even more rigidity despite their weight loss.
Ha! They’re all trying to match their shoes with the ones with the cast iron soles that I made in metal shop. Bet they can‘t fry an egg on their fancy soles! Extremely stiff and good in the kitchen too.
Like the Nike Lance, the SH-R215 utilizes a combination buckle and Velcro strap system. That buckle’ll suck your foot right into the shoe, for added stability. They even put in an anti-bacterial, scented insole. I don’t see what’s so special about that- after awhile all shoes have a scented insole.
Regarding the upper, it has two ventilators and a ‘breathable’ tongue. Breathable tongue- now that’s a concept just ripe for stand-up comedians. This Shimano road cycling shoe has a ‘sponge deep heel cup’ which of course enhances fit and comfort.
These Shimano road cycling shoes come in an ‘E’ width, so you don’t have to squeeze into those shoes made from narrow Italian lasts. One less thing for those elite Italian cyclists to laugh at us about.
The SH-R151…The Shimano Road Bike Shoe For ‘Sport’
This Shimano road cycling shoe is a step down and is touted to be good for ‘sport’ and competition. It has the proverbial super duper lightweight and rigid carbon fiber sole for that all-important transfer from your massive thighs to the pedal.
This one’s got three straps instead of the buckle and two straps. There’s one shoe for each foot, and they’re mirror images of each other.
The SH-TR02…The Shimano Road Bike Shoe For Triathletes
Look carefully at the picture of this one. What do you see? A strap on the heel, a single, wide closure strap, and if you look closely, that wide closure strap tightens backward. All of the above are made for the quick entrance/exit coveted by the triathlete.
Same hollow, rigid lightweight sole, as well as that scented, anti-bacterial insole. However this one’s got a seamless interior and quick drying mesh for riding comfort without socks. Shimano road cycling shoes that don’t need socks- think of the money you’ll save.
The women’s model is designed to fit women (duh!), with a narrower heel and forefoot. It’s also made in a color that most male riders will shun.
The SH-R130B…A Shimano Road Cycling Shoe With A Top Buckle
Now we’re back to Shimano road cycling shoes with a buckle top strap. Coupled with two Velcro straps, this set-up adjusts to remain comfortable while cinching down tight with the buckle. Nothing looks too special about this shoe, but it’s more than well-suited for most cyclists. In fact, until most cyclists start going a lot faster than they do now, shoes like this one should be more than adequate.
If shoes were bought based on cycling ability, this shoe would be more than enough, and the high-end shoes would only be purchased by a couple dozen cyclists on each continent. However high-end shoes make equipment freaks feel good, and the rest of us who can’t afford the expense get a kick out of smugly going past an over-equipped rider. It’s a win-win for all.
The SH-R098A…The Shimano Road Bike Shoe Without Too Much Pizzazz
Here’s a lightweight Shimano road cycling shoe with three straps and not a word said about the hollow carbon fiber sole. Don’t despair, I can assure you that it’s stiff and lightweight (aren’t they all?).
SH-RA80…The Entry Level Shimano Road Cycling Shoe
An entry-level Shimano road cycling shoe, this one’s also got three straps and no buckle. About all that can be said about it is that it has a stretch-resistant polyurethane-coated leather upper.
SH-RT50…At This Level, Shimano Calls This Shoe A ‘Value Cycling Shoe’
Well, the model numbers are getting smaller and you can guess what that means. Yup, price goes down and in the words of the manufacturer, the shoe becomes more likely to be labeled a ‘value shoe’. This one’s got recessed cleat mounting and a smooth rubber sole for limited slipping. I wonder if the whole sole’s made of rubber (who ever heard of a stiff rubber?) or if it’s only rubber coated? Go buy a pair and let me know.
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That’s All Folks!
Them’s the Shimano road cycling shoes line. Starts high, ends low. Starts expensive, ends at about the price most of us would like to pay for shoes. Starts way too high-tech for the vast majority of those who purchase them and ends with a stiff rubber sole.
Before you fail to take these shoes seriously, don’t forget that Shimano is the company that took on the vaunted ‘Italian component’ line (Campagnolo ) and seems to be prevailing.
This is a company to take seriously, including with regard to their line of Shimano road cycling shoes.
|Bicycle shoes in AAPSM|
|Bicycle shoes Wiki article|
|Homepage from Shimano road cycling shoes|
|Shimano road cycling shoes|
|About the reviewer: Ron Fritzke is a cycling product reviewer with a passion for ‘all things cycling’. A former 2:17 marathoner, he now directs his competitive efforts toward racing his bike…and looking for good cycling products.|