Serving as a signal of Shimano’s deep commitment to the gravel riding community and building upon the recent release of GRX, Shimano today announced the RX8, a truly high performance, lightweight gravel racing shoe. Available in both men’s and women’s versions, the RX8 marries the top performance features of Shimano’s premium mountain bike and road racing footwear in a shoe that balances pedaling performance and off-the-bike capability. The result is a lightweight, stiff, walkable shoe that is ideal for gravel racers, gran fondo riders, and weekend warriors.
Many gravel riders and racers are currently underserved in terms of footwear options. While riders will benefit from features found in mountain bike shoes, those shoes are typically overbuilt and heavier. With many road cyclists exploring gravel, their tastes in footwear drift towards road shoes with ultra-stiff soles delivering maximum pedaling efficiency. Shimano’s RX8 is designed to meet all of these needs in a balanced shoe optimized for gravel.
The RX8 features a super-stiff and efficient full-length carbon outsole with a Shimano stiffness rating of 10 (out of 11). A precise fit is gained from a heel stabilizer, while minimal TPU lugs, micro toe armor, and an anti-slip pad create walkability and protection that is race-tuned for gravel. The cleat-pedal interface features a wider contact point that is optimized to fit with new XTR PD-M9100 pedals while stiff TPU lugs increase pedaling efficiency compared to rubber lugs. All of this comes in a lightweight package at 265g (size 42), significantly lighter than Shimano’s premium S-PHYRE XC9 mountain bike racing shoes.
Comfort is critical for ultra-endurance gravel racing events and the RX8 delivers a glove-like fit. The shoe utilizes a one-piece Surround Structure synthetic upper with perforated venting and secures the foot with a single Boa IP1 dual micro adjustment dial. Weight is reduced by utilizing a Velcro strap at the front of the shoe.
Pricing, colors and availability
The RX8 is available in Silver or Black and the RX8W women-specific version is available in Navy Blue. Wide options are available in the black colorway exclusively. It is best matched with the Shimano SPD M9100 or M8100 pedals. The RX8 will be available for $250 MSRP in August 2019.