Shimano SH-RC500 Womens Road Shoe
The success of Shimano's S-Phyre top end cycling shoes has resulted in the carry over of many of the design features and technologies to mid range models that deliver excellent performance at much more accessible prices. The $150 retail SH-RC500 Women's Road Shoe is a prime example. Yes, the materials are downgraded, but at less than half the price of an S-Phyre, you will truly appreciate the capabilities of this excellent road shoe with a shaped and slightly narrower women's Dynalast system.
One of the similarities with it's S-Phyre sibling is the low stack height sole, which serves to stabilize the foot closer to the pedal, which maximizes power transfer and overall pedaling efficiency while limiting foot fatigue. Instead of a very expensive carbon plate, Shimano uses their best lightweight carbon fiber reinforced nylon sole for power transfer material to create this 8-rated stiffness road outsole. While not as stiff as the exceptional carbon version, the deflection in the sole is minimal.
The RC500 uses the Surround wrapping upper structure, which envelops the foot better, complementing the low stack mid-sole system. The synthetic leather upper features mesh panels and TPU material for mild stretch and better overall fit. The breathability is much improved over the shoe it replaces. Pulling the the upper together, and allowing for a micro-adjustability of the fit tension is a Boa L6 Dial set-up that uses a crossover pattern to tension the mid and upper sections evenly via low profile glide anchor mounts on both sides of the closure. The dial itself pops up for immediate release of all tension, while the dial action itself can micro adjust in both directions. For the toe box area the very effective hook and loop closure is simple and familiar to just about everyone.
Shimano has set standards for cycling shoes, and the Dynalast system is a great example. Shimano breaks this out into unisex and women's specific, with the latter having a narrower, slightly lower volume fit overall. This foot last has a natural ergonomic shape for holding and supporting the foot while riding to best transfer power, reduce arch and forefoot fatigue, and reduce hot spots from friction. It is perhaps best known for it's "toe-spring" section, but that is a function of the overall design from heel to toe. This is complemented by their adaptable cup removable insole, standard heel cup design, and consistent width and length construction. Shimano has added their expanded SPD-SL cleat mounting range design to the RC500, with a full 22mm of fore-aft adjustment, which allows better cleat position optimization for those with more variable foot shape or personal preferences.
- Lightweight, performance road cycling women's shoe with great fit, price
- Many design and tech features carried down from S-Phyre line
- Low stack height sole helps stabilize foot, maximizes power transfer and efficiency
- Surround wrapping upper structure reduces overlap, provides glove-like fit
- Mesh/TPU/Synthetic leather composite upper provides comfortable fit and better breathability
- Boa® L6 dial for quick and precise micro-adjustment
- Light carbon fiber reinforced nylon sole for power transfer
- Shimano women's Dynalast shape and last design
- Rated 8 on Shimano's stiffness scale
- Expanded 22mm SPD-SL cleat adjustment range
- Sizes: 36-42 in whole sizes
- Colors: Navy, White
- Weight: 237g (per shoe, 39)