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Shimano gravel specialist RX8 shoe gets new Rally edition

Wild colours and added protection make RX8 Rally ready for adventure

Shimano RX8 Rally Photo by: Linda Guerrette / Shimano

Continuing to drive the development of gravel-specific equipment, Shimano is rolling out a rowdier version of its RX8 shoe. The new Shimano RX801R—or RX8 Rally—mixes lightweight design with a little more protection from the elements via a fitted ankle cuff. Both RX8 and the Rally edition come in a range of colors, from standard to a wild tropical print, to help your feet feed the “spirit of gravel.”

Shimano RX8 gravel race shoes refined

Shimano refines the existing RX8 for the new year by addressing a few small details and expanding the size run to include half-sizes. Plus, there’s the new wild colour scheme. More functional details include the move to a low-profile BOA Li2 dial with rubber grip so you can cinch them down comfortably for rough gravel sprints. That BOA still tightens Shimano’s surround wrapping upper, which keeps your foot solidly planted on the stiff carbon-fibre outsole.

Sizes run from 38-48 with new half sizes from 41-16. There are also wide sizes from 40-48. The 268-g (size 42) shoe retails for $400 and comes in black, silver or an inkjet-printed tropical leaves pattern.

Shimano RX8 Rally launches into adventure

Completely new this year is a Rally edition of the RX8. Where the original shoe splits the difference between road and mountain bike features, the RX8R (or RX801R) injects more adventure alongside the gravel race performance. Further borrowing from Shimano’s gravity shoe line, the RX8R includes an integrated gaiter that keeps grit, sand, water and gravel out of your shoes on looser trails (or the occasional hike-a-bike. The snug-fitting knitted ankle cuff keeps your foot dry from the random splashes and grit-free to avoid chafing—or constantly stopping to empty out your shoe—on long expeditions or races.

“The RX8 Rally concept was inspired by my favourite local ride called the Trabuco Creek Trail, which is jam-packed with ‘jungle-cross’ singletrack, multiple creek crossings, and so much sand,” explains Jessie Gascon, Shimano soft-goods product manager. “Sometimes I would avoid the route to keep my feet dry and pebble-free, but not anymore.”

The Rally shoe uses the same BOA Li2 dial, lightweight synthetic leather upper and carbon-fibre sole as the RX8. RX8R is about 22 g heavier than the standard version, 290 g in a size 42, courtesy of the ankle sock. RX8 Rally carries an MSRP of $430 and comes in metallic orange in the same range of sizes as the RX8.