The Shimano S-Phyre RC9 is the latest iteration of Shimano’s top-of-the-line road shoe. It supplants the R321 in the top spot of the Japan-based company’s road competition line. The S-Phyre is a very light, very stiff shoe that will satisfy any roadie looking to move up a category in the local crit series or even beat the competition on a favourite Strava segment.

The biggest change from previous models is the introduction of the dual Boa IP1 dials. When I pulled the S-Phyre out of the box, I thought, “No way my foot will fit in there.” I usually size down in a cycling shoe, so I was worried I had messed up my order. But the quick-release function of the Boa dials lets you slip in without a hassle; it was incredibly easy to find my preferred fit with the two dials working to tighten and loosen the different areas of the shoe. I especially appreciated this feature on cooler rides this past autumn as I was able to loosen the forefoot to make room for a thicker sock and a little more blood flow.

Now I wouldn’t be the first to say that Shimano has traditionally favoured function over fashion, but with the S-Phyre, it’s definitely hit the nail on the head in terms of looks. Now that may be my Pippo Pozzato-inspired fashion sense talking, but the fluo-yellow colour pair was calling my name from the minute I saw it released this past summer at Eurobike. The shoe also comes in a traditional Shimano blue, a classy white with black, and limited edition black.

Additionally, the venting on the S-Phyre is a feature worth noting. The dimpled synthetic leather upper did a great job of letting out the heat on longer rides and the drainage holes performed admirably when I dared to let these shoes out into the wild on muddy and rainy days.

The Shimano S-Phyre has a claimed weight of 243g in a Size 42 (U.S. 9).


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