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Though it’s been a while since we last looked at a brand new tri shoe, there have been some excellent road shoes with tri-related features coming out, just like Shimano’s S-Phyre RC-902 or Giro’s Imperials from last year. While it doesn’t bear the true tri tag, this is a high-end shoe that would be a good choice for almost any triathlete, particularly a long-course one, who wants a super enveloping fit, a stiff sole, light weight (even with dials), and some venting/drainage that looks purpose-made for tri. In terms of power transfer from any direction—lateral, torsional, etc., there’s not much out there that would top the RC-902 in leg-to-wheel connection with its new heel cup design. This is also a shoe for triathletes who want to stand out in transition or on their group ride (especially in the ruby red color).
Shimano S-Phyre RC-902: $425; competitivecyclist.com
What I Like About The Shimano S-Phyre RC-902
- Crazy light weight, but still uses BOA dials for a snug, adjustable-on-the-fly fit
- 360 wrap design means less movement in the shoe, more power transfer, and less fatigue as you head out onto the run
- Ventilation in the forefoot upper and two drainage/vent ports in the bottom
What Makes Me Worried About The Shimano S-Phyre RC-902
- The price
- Lack of a replaceable heel or toe
- As a big proponent of high-end road shoes for training and racing, these have some of those low-key tri features that could make the RC-902 a good choice for both.
- Though the torsional power transfer feature on these shoes’ heel cup is more likely a good fit for those who put out tons of watts (think climbers or sprinters), it certainly can’t hurt to make sure every bit of energy makes it to the road.
- Aside from the price tag, everything from the construction to the dials to the weight checks all of the boxes.