Shimano RC3 street footwear assessment

Trickle-down know-how is the secret in immediately’s biking business. From bikes to helmets and even footwear; know-how and supplies that commanded high greenback just a few years in the past will finally work their manner down into extra budget-friendly choices and on this case, yesterday’s finest biking footwear develop into immediately’s sensible discount choices. 

The Shimano RC3 footwear are the prime instance of exactly this idea, packaging numerous Shimano’s shoe know-how right into a wallet-friendly bundle.

Right now’s finest Shimano RC3 street footwear offers

Shimano Males’s RC3 Street…

Design and aesthetics

The RC3 are primarily based round Shimano’s Dynalast idea (Picture credit score: Colin Levitch)

At the beginning RC3 would not appear like a finances shoe; with the offset BOA dial and wrap-around design, at first look, these footwear appear like they’re fairly a bit costlier than they’re on the register. 

Positioned one degree up from the bottom mannequin in Shimano’s street footwear line up, the RC3s are constructed across the identical Shimano Dynalast idea because the top-end S-Phyre footwear. Dynalast refers back to the contouring of the only real itself and leads to much less toe spring (how a lot the entrance of the shoe curves upwards) than related choices from different manufacturers like Specialised and Giro. Shimano says this takes a number of the rigidity off your calves and hamstrings to create a extra environment friendly pedal stroke, leaving you with extra power in your legs. 

The only real is produced from glass fibre-reinforced nylon and is rated a 6/12 on Shimano’s personal stiffness scale. For context, the RC1 can also be rated six, whereas the RC5 jumps as much as an eight.

No paper lasting board hiding underneath the footbed (Picture credit score: Colin Levitch)

For the previous few generations of footwear, Shimano has been telling us the way it’s diminished the stack top. A method the model has achieved that is by removing the paper-lasting board that types the inspiration of nearly all of footwear, biking or in any other case, related to both aspect of the higher earlier than the only real is glued on to the underside. The RC3, just like the S-Phyre, sees the higher bonded on to the only real, shaving off just a few millimetres, bringing your foot nearer to the pedal axle.  

The heel and toe bumpers are moulded TPU, providing a steady platform for strolling, and the footwear function a sliding three-hole cleat mount, permitting for a rearward cleat place.

Shimano has introduced the Encompass higher design from its high-end S-Phyre street shoe all the way down to the RC3 with some slight modifications. As a substitute of the normal two sides and tongue within the center, the higher wraps round your total foot a bit like a shoe burrito. The within part that types the ‘tongue’ is anchored to the skin of the shoe, and the opposite aspect just under your arch. When the Single L6 BOA dial is tightened, it wraps the higher additional round your foot, which provides stability to the shoe and supplies even strain.

The BOA L6 dial is positioned effectively down the higher (Picture credit score: Colin Levitch)

Talking of the BOA, the L6 dial is offset down the skin of your foot to stop hotspots. It solely spins one path and permits for micro-adjustments when tightening, and a pop launch to let loose the cable. 

The higher itself is produced from artificial leather-based and is sort of completely seamless. Perforations throughout the toe field present a little bit of airflow, as does a large vent within the sole, which additionally permits rainwater to empty from the underside. The RC3s weigh 269g per shoe in dimension 45.

Journey expertise

From the second I slipped the Shimano RC3s onto my ft, I used to be impressed. Very often, finances footwear provide a vastly much less refined match than their flagship counterparts. This is because of a number of elements; value is an enormous one, and meant use is one other. The ultra-aggressive race reduce and assist of many race footwear would not go well with fairly as many ft, and is commonly too unforgiving for the newbie or leisure rider. Shimano has performed effectively to calm down sure points of the shoe with out watering down the important components that outline the match. 

The toe field and forefoot are roomier than a few of Shimano’s higher-end footwear, however to not the purpose it leaves your ft swimming inside. The midfoot tapers again into the heel cup, and did go away my arch wanting extra assist, however it’ll positively go well with these with decrease insteps. 

The microfiber higher is smooth and supple conforming round your foot for a comparable match as you reel within the BOA dial. Contemplating the worth of those footwear, the fabric is head and shoulders above the artificial supplies used to type lots of finances footwear. These supplies are sometimes overly stiff to supply construction for the shoe, or so smooth it appears like you’re using with mashed potatoes strapped to your ft. The fabric Shimano has opted for is dynamic, matching the contours of your ft whereas additionally offering some extent of construction.

The higher is made up of two sides that wrap round your foot (Picture credit score: Colin Levitch)

With the wrap-around higher, the shoe reduce is comparatively low, not fairly as a lot because the model’s extra performance-oriented kicks, however set the limbo bar low sufficient that if you drop your heel, the higher would not push up in opposition to your ankle bone or limit the vary of movement. 

One space particularly that entry-level footwear usually go away one thing to be desired is within the heel cup, fortunately the RC3 bucks this development. Whereas it’s not externally supported by laborious plastic, the design seems to be pulled from the RP9 endurance footwear which have since disappeared from the model’s catalogue. When these had been revamped in 2017, a Shimano consultant on the time informed me they’d nicknamed it ‘the suction cup’ due to the maintain on provide, a declare which it effectively and actually lived as much as. 

The heel cup on the RC3 isn’t fairly as sculpted as these explicit footwear, however the padding and end of the material are fairly related and so is the heel maintain. Even when reefing on the again grinding up a steep climb out of the saddle, my heel stayed firmly planted within the RC3.

The heel is noticeably extra contoured than most footwear at this value level, leading to implausible foot maintain (Picture credit score: Colin Levitch)

Because the RC3 is rated 6/12 on Shimano’s stiffness scale, it’s not a shock the only real is not as unyielding as its carbon counterparts. If you actually punch the pedals, sure there’s a tiny little bit of flex, however these aren’t race footwear and they also don’t must have that very same degree of snap. As you’re pedalling alongside, and even making an attempt to hold onto the again of a espresso trip the only real supplies a steady pedalling platform freed from scorching spots. Additionally they do effectively to dampen street vibrations, and don’t go away your ft feeling overly fatigued both. 

My solely actual criticism is that they really feel a bit quick. I’ve worn a dimension EU45 in Shimano footwear for a while, nevertheless, I may simply really feel the tip with my massive toe. The dimensions label says they’re 28.5cm lengthy, simply because it does on all the opposite Shimano footwear I’ve readily available, so I can’t actually clarify it. Finest to attempt them on before you purchase. 


Priced at $120.00 / £89.00 / AU$199.00, for the cash I do not know that I’ve ridden in a greater shoe. The relaxed match will go well with numerous ft, but it surely’s not so relaxed that it’s important to crank down the BOA and nonetheless end up swimming within the shoe. I’m stoked to see Shimano go for a extra contoured heel cup than is discovered on many footwear at this value level because it supplies the inspiration for the remainder of the shoe to construct upon.

For riders simply beginning out, or those that could also be on the lookout for a commuter shoe, the RC3 gained’t disappoint. 

Tech specs: Shimano RC3

  • Worth: $120.00 / £89.00 / AU$199.00
  • Weight with out cleats: 538g (precise, dimension EU45)
  • Outsole: Glass fibre-reinforced nylon
  • Stiffness index: 6/12
  • Retention: BOA
  • Colors: Black, White, Pink

Right now’s finest Shimano RC3 street footwear offers

Shimano Males’s RC3 Street…

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