Review: Shimano RC5 Road Shoe

The new Shimano RC5 shoes are a mid-range offering that promises comfort and performance — but do they deliver?


The new RC5 is a high-performance, lightweight road shoe sitting in the mid-range price point. The upper structure is designed to wrap around your foot with no overlapping layers. Shimano makes use of three different materials on the uppers to boost comfort levels. A micro-adjust BOA dial and single strap take care of fastening duties. The RC5 has Shimano’s Dynalast toe-spring, a reduced stack height and a little more carbon in the sole to improve efficiency.

Shimano RC5

  • Carbon reinforced nylon sole
  • Seamless midsole construction
  • Colours: White, Black or Blue
  • Sizes: 36 to 50
  • Stiffness Index: 8 out of 12
  • 255grams actual, w/o cleats
  • +/- R2 600
  • Distributor coolheat


The RC5 bears resemblance to the glamourous and range-topping S-Phyre RC9 and they only carry around 20grams extra weight, – per shoe. Scoring an 8 out of 12 on the Shimano rating system, they are not the stiffest but depending on your preference and what you are seeking from your shoe, that is not a negative. The seamless midsole construction is a feature that lowers the stack height and therefore improves power transfer. Another benefit of this design is a reduction in material overlaps that results in a better fit for all.

Shimano wanted a ‘glove-like’ fit, so they opted for the BOA L6 custom dial with wire guiding to improve the range and sensitivity of tension across the top of the foot. The fore-foot area is tension adjustable with straps. Dynalast or the ‘kick’ in the toe area, puts less pressure on the plantar and enables a more natural and comfortable pedal stroke. At first, the fit of these RC5’s is marginally more snug than other shoes but they did settle in nicely. If you are in-between sizes then consider going up a size.

Nine small air vents that sit in front of the cleats channel air into the toe area. The inner sole has 24 smaller holes around the mid-foot area which also contributes to air circulation. All in all, these shoes are well-ventilated. For wet and cold weather, a little duct tape over the ventilation holes will keep things dry and warm. The inner sole has a ribbed design which creates a secure bind with the sole.


It is not news that shoes are an essential part of your kit and can significantly impact your comfort and performance. I have been using these RC5 shoes for about six months now and am very impressed with them. For starters, there is very little wear and tear on them, even after a rather festive occasion at the CTCT beer tent. The BOA dial has been faultless too. I would say the ‘kick’ in the shoe feels very similar to the Specialized, Giro and Bontrager options I have lately.

What I really like about these RC5’s is the snug fit. Without over-tightening either of the fasteners, the fit is exceptional in that there is virtually zero twisting or moving of my feet. I like to throw in a few random sprints out on the road and with these shoes, the fit is so good that I never felt the need to nip up the tension before sprinting. The ankle area, or cup, is pretty grippy too. VERDICT: The RC5 is an affordable and stylish looking shoe that delivers comfort during long days in the saddle and performance during short bursts on your local roll.

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin |

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