Hot on the heels of releasing its first dedicated gravel groupset, industry giant Shimano are once again proving that adventure/gravel riding is not a passing niche, pulling the curtains back on its all-new RX8 gravel shoe.
With an impressive weight figure, gravel specific features and a number of colourways on offer, join us as we take you through five things to know about the all-new Shimano RX8 gravel shoe.
1. No Longer a Niche
Where beat-up trainers were once relegated to MTB duties, versatile MTB shoes were developed serving as a “do-it-all” option for off-road riders. As technology advanced, and riding trails exploded in popularity, recent years have seen more variants introduced including dedicated all mountain, XC, trail, and now gravel specific shoes. Aimed squarely at gravel racing, the RX8 sheds a number of features from its XC stablemates, making for a shoe that’s said to give gravel grinders everything they need in a shoe, and nothing they don’t.
Making use of TPU lugs, heel stabilization, and a stiff carbon sole, the RX8 is said to provide riders with the same pedalling dynamics that Shimano footwear is known for, as well as versatile off-the-bike performance. The sole in particular is borrowed from the high-end XC9 Sphyre XC shoe, which boasts a stiffness rating of 10, similar to the road going RP901 we recently reviewed.
Up top, the closure system is handled by a single IP1 Boa closure system located at the collar, with a velcro clasp handling closing duties at the forefoot. Inside the shoe, an adjustable arch wedge system carries across from the road and MTB range, as does Silvadur antimicrobial treatment, keeping things smelling fresh after long days in the saddle.
The RX8 tips the scales at a claimed 265g for a size 42. This 65g weight saving over the top-end XC9 on which the shoe is based is as a result of removing unnecessary features. By taking away unneeded features from its XC counterpart such as the screw in spike mounts, a forefoot BOA dial and fitting a smaller heel cup. This makes the RX8 65g lighter than the top-end XC9 and in excess of 100g below its competitors from the likes of Giro and Fizik.
4. Men’s and Women’s Specific Fits
The RX8 is slated to be available in both men’s and women’s specific fits in euro sizes; 36-43 (Women's) and 40-50 (Men's). Colourways announced at launch include Black, Navy/Blue, and a limited edition Silver.
5. Pricing and Availability
At the time of publishing, we estimate the RX8 will hit local shores in the coming months with a price tag of AU$359.
In the market for some new footwear and don’t know where to begin? Our Cycling Shoe Buyer’s Guide is loaded with all you need to know.