As gravel riding and racing continues to grow, more gravel-specific equipment will follow. In the lead-up to Dirty Kanza, Shimano has released a new RX8 shoe designed specifically for gravel.
So what does a gravel shoe look like?
While a lot of gravel gear tends to be beefed up roadie stuff, Shimano took the opposite approach, slimming down the S-Phyre XC9 cross country shoe. Shimano lightened the shoe by eliminating unnecessary bulk without sacrificing power transfer or comfort. Most notably, the abrasion-resistant TPU lugs are pared-down and there’s a smaller heel cup. Additionally, one of the Boa IP1 dials has been replaced with a Velcro strap.
The shoe still gets a full-length carbon composite sole plate and Shimano used its Silvadur stay-fresh technology in the insoles to keep bacteria and smell at bay.
The RX8 is available in black and silver at select retailers. Men’s shoes in sizes 40-50, and women-specific sizes 36-43. Pricing is $249.