It had to come didn’t it? We didn’t know we needed it, but Shimano has created a gravel racing shoe. We have to say that we’ve never particularly felt the need for a specific shoe, happy with using MTB shoes to get our gravel kicks. It looks like Shimano’s main aim has been to shave off some weight compared to even its top end XC race shoes.
To save weight the RX8 sheds certain features that come with MTB XC shoes, whilst keeping the abrasion-resistant TPU lugs, heel stabilizer and the super stiff carbon composite sole from Shimano’s high-end XC9 shoes for the best balance of gravel pedalling performance and off-the-bike capability.
To match the versatility and variability of gravel racing, the RX8’s upper is intended to provide the perfect balance of holding power and all day comfort, adjustable with a Boa IP1 dual micro adjustment dial. Shimano has also used Silvadur stay-fresh technology in the insole material to keep the shoe smelling fresh ride after ride.
The RX8 tips the scales at a very light 265g (size 42) skimming 60-65g off the weight of Shimano’s XC9 and XC7 cross country race shoes. The weight saving is primarily achieved with a smaller heel cup, no spike mounts and using just one Boa IP1 dial, replacing the other with a velcro strap.
The RX8 is available in silver or black and comes in EU sizes 38-50 including wide fitting sizes. Shimano suggests that it is best matched with the Shimano SPD M9100 or M8100 pedals.
We have requested UK pricing details, but we’d expect them to be relatively high-end.