Had long postponed replacing my worn-out Shimano R088Ls purely due to dread of the process of buying shoes on-line (have limited shopping choices locally). Wanted to stick with Shimano brand as they have a wide toe box and (I hoped) consistent sizing across their model lines over the years (as needed for my existing custom orthotics to fit into the new shoes). I bought the same size as my old shoes and got a good fit with my orthotics. Being used to old style Velcro straps and ratchet latching systems I had doubts about the Boa system. First look at my new shoes didnâ€™t reduce these doubts as the Boa loops seemed so thin and delicate. Checking out the Boa website convinced me that the wire loops would be more than strong enough. After about 1000 miles of riding with these RC701s Iâ€™ve concluded that these are excellent shoes. Iâ€™m very happy with this purchase.
Constructed similarly to the S-Phyres, the RS701's are very well made, look extremely durable. Unfortunately I can't use them. As SteveB commented, putting them on is a problem. With the stock insoles, it isn't too bad, but thicker insoles or the orthotics I must use make getting them on extremely difficult. And you end up with your socks pulled tight against the ends of your toes, a real problem if you have hammertoes as I do. So I can't use them. Anybody planning/needing to use anything other than the stock inserts may have this problem.
This is not an issue with S-Phyres because they have two-piece uppers which wrap over each other; the RC701's have a three piece setup: Left, Right, and Tongue. Unfortunately the S-Phyres cost about twice as much as the RC701's.
I got these a half size bigger than normal as my feet seem to be swelling a bit more as I age. So, these are really great shoes right out of the box. I was a little concerned about the stiffness as the soles aren't 100% carbon. But they say they are a 10 on the Shimano scale. Whatever that actually means!
I do have to say that I like these BOA mechanisms far better than the ones that were on a pair of Specialized shoes I had. I think the technology has just evolved. The fine tuning is great and the way the second BOA wraps over the top of the foot ensure a really great fit. I love these shoes!
I am a dedicated (app 4000 mi/yr) older cyclist. These are the most expensive road shoes I have ever purchased, and the first time I wore them on the bike I could tell they are the best - the soles are quite stiff but comfortable and through their stiffness seem to give a boost to each pedal stroke. Once they are on my feet, they are a pleasure to wear on the bike, but getting them on my feet is harder than it should be. With the BOA-secured strap across the top of the shoe, there is not much of an opening to get your foot in, and it can be quite difficult to get hold of the tongue of the shoe and keep it from getting pushed into the shoe by the foot going in. The opening needs to be made larger or the tongue longer or both. A person has to wonder how much actual testing of the shoe was done before the design was finalized.
These shoes fit great and the upper is soft. The sole is plenty of stiff for aggressive riding. I wore them now for ~400mi and really like them.
I was unsure about sizing but I called the vendor and they gave me info about shimano's sizing variations.
Returns would have been easy (according to that conversation) but The shoes fit perfectly.
I have been waiting to buy these shoes, I had to wait for my Shimano SH-R171's which were a solid purchase to wear out before I deserved new shoes. I have had shoes from Sidi, Mavic, Garneau, Northwave, and Shimano. The Shimano shoes seem to be the best at combining comfort and power transition at the right price. More toe box space than the previously mentioned shoes and great overall feel. The Boa closures are really sweet and super easy to use, my Garneau' also has the Boa system but placed differently, the Rc7's placement is more comfortable and secure to me.
I also own a pair of the S-Phyre RC9's as well. The RC7 is not quite
as stiff but still a great shoe considering the price compared to the RC9. Adding the 2nd Boa makes this a better shoe than the previous option. Super comfortable right out of the box.
The shoes are stiff for power transfer, yet comfortable. They are thinner than other older models of cycling shoes, so be ready to wear shoe covers. I measure 225mm and got a size 42.5 since my feet are a little wide.
These are light, comfortable, stiff and really do the job. They might not be on the highest end of the shoe war but I doubt you'd notice much difference if any against the bigger dollar shoe. Super glad I pulled the trigger to buy them. You really cannot go wrong with them. I ended up with about 12 size larger for better fit.
I have a hard time finding shoes that fit. Shimano shoes are the best fitting shoes for me. These have a larger toe box, which is very important for me. The shoes are really stiff and still comfortable. I have noticed the positive difference in my pedal stroke. I love these shoes and will always buy shimanos with carbon soles going forward. I wish I would have bought these years ago.
Very nice looking riding shoe, which look great out of the box. Perfect summer shoe. Fit my foot really well. Downside is that the graphics start rubbing of the synthetic upper when you clip as you flick the pedal over to clip in.
Immediate impact on my performance. This shoe has a design that seems to promote proper technique while maintaining comfort. My average speed has increased by 1 mph. Love the design, the uppers are a little hard at first, but after a few rides the shoe breaks in nicely.