• Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

Worn and examined via a number of peak professional riders, together with Mathieu van der Poel, Primož Roglič, Romain Bardet, and Lorena Wiebes, the Shimano S-PHYRE RC903 is the 3rd incarnation in their top-shelf avenue racing shoe. Gentle, stiff, and at ease are 3 options that make this probably the most perfect avenue biking sneakers we’ve observed.


Sure … I do know … those are pricey sneakers. However so are the among the best sneakers from each and every different shoe producer. If you need what the professionals trip, it prices. So if in case you have the $$$ and need to glance the section (whether or not you’ll trip the section is between you and your motorcycle), the brand new Shimano S-PHYRE RC903 is a kind of sneakers to position to your buying groceries checklist. To scouse borrow a word from the 90s used for a well-known basketball participant (arguably the GOAT), you’ll be like Mathieu.

As a substitute of being like Mike, you’ll be like Mathieu (take a look at to not be like Caleb!)

The RC903 is the following technology S-PHYRE. I prior to now reviewed the RC902 (because of this should you’re a cut price consumer, you might be able to to find the prior fashion discounted). One of the vital issues I wrote about them used to be that they “may well be probably the most at ease biking sneakers I’ve ever worn. Learn on for my take at the RC903s.

S-PHYRE RC903 Males’s – $450


Options in step with Shimano:

  • Light-weight and breathable microfiber leather-based higher supplies optimum have compatibility and awesome convenience during your trip
  • Top class-finish heel cup with anti-twist stabilization secures optimum foot positioning for intense acceleration
  • Graceful, low-profile crossover lacing development elegantly secures forefoot
  • 360º encompass wrapping higher creates a supremely engineered have compatibility for all riders
  • Twin low-profile BOA Li2 dials permit fast and actual micro-adjustments
  • Built-in seamless midsole and higher building set a brand new stage of have compatibility, balance and light-weight efficiency

Males’s to be had in 4 colours (white, blue, pink, black), sizes 40-48 (part sizes to be had 40-46.5), additionally extensive sizes 40-46

NOTE: As with any sneakers, take note of the producer’s sizing charts/guides. Each producer is other. Simply since you put on a selected dimension in a single emblem shoe doesn’t imply that you simply’ll put on the similar dimension in any other emblem. There’s no such factor as “same old sizing” on the subject of sneakers. There’s additionally a “misplaced in translation” issue to believe. I’m normally a US dimension 9 on the subject of boulevard or athletic sneakers, however the identical Euro sizing will also be other between other producers (I’ve worn as small as Euro 42 and as huge as Euro 43.5 from other producers). Shimano specifications Euro dimension 43 for my US dimension 9 ft and the have compatibility is spot on. As all the time, take a look at before you purchase is all the time a good suggestion.


In a case of “don’t repair what ain’t broke,” the RC903 makes use of the similar microfiber leather-based higher and 360º encompass wrapping (assume “burrito”) in order that as you tighten the shoe, it pulls extra lightly from each side for higher have compatibility/convenience. The end result is similar at ease have compatibility with the RC903 have compatibility that I’ve with the RC902: I will’t inform you that it pulls lightly from each side, however I will inform you that the wrapping impact could be very at ease. It seems like the higher surrounds your foot with even drive as you tighten down the BOA dials.

The seam that joins the 2 halves of the higher in combination

Every other side of the RC903’s 360º encompass design/building is that the carbon fiber sole isn’t totally uncovered like a large number of different sneakers

With the insole got rid of, you’ll see all of the black carbon fiber goodness

BOA dials are ubiquitous on avenue race sneakers (the RC903 makes use of the BOA Li2 dials), however what’s other from many different sneakers is that the RC903’s BOA dials pull the laces around the shoe in reverse instructions. This design characteristic is going hand-in-hand with the burrito building, pulling the shoe closed from each side in order that the shoe wraps extra lightly/conveniently round your foot.

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Should you’re new to BOA dials: push down to have interaction them, flip ahead (inexperienced arrow) to tighten (on both the left or proper shoe), flip backward (pink arrow) to loosen, and pull as much as fast unlock them

Additionally ubiquitous on avenue race sneakers is 3-hole cleat mounting. Shimano in reality has a cleat surroundings device, however it calls for a Brannock software (the item shoe retail outlets must measure shoe dimension and I don’t have one) to measure the diversities in heel-to-toe dimension and arch dimension to decide cleat placement. I used to be ready to get my foot situated the place I find it irresistible (with the ball of my foot simply ever so reasonably ahead of the pedal axle) via mounting my cleats (Wahoo Speedplays) way back to conceivable.

Shimano doesn’t make a Speedplay-specific shoe, so 3-holes approach I wished to make use of adapters for my 4-hole Speedplay cleats

Shimano says they used 3-D knowledge to raised know how riders observe drive during the pedal stroke and optimized the brand new RC903 form and fabrics to maximise energy switch whilst keeping up convenience. There’s no manner for me to research/assess this. Which means, I will’t say that energy switch is maximized relative to the RC902 or some other biking shoe. However I will say the RC903’s carbon sole is masses stiff for placing down energy and that doesn’t come on the expense of convenience.

Spinal Faucet can be proud that Shimano’s stiff carbon sole is going all of the manner as much as twelve!

Shimano additionally says the brand new RC903’s higher building is extra inflexible towards the rear of the shoe to carry the foot securely in position, however extra versatile and elastic fabrics are used up entrance to extend convenience. Once more, I haven’t any approach to measure how inflexible the rear of the shoe is or versatile the entrance is and examine that to the RC902 or some other biking shoe. However I will say that my heel suits conveniently and securely (no slip or elevate). My forefoot is held firmly, however conveniently, in position. And the toebox is roomy sufficient such that my feet aren’t squished in combination and feature room to unfold out as I observe drive to the pedals, however no longer so roomy that my feet are swimming in it.

The heel cup is a brand new safe, anti-twist design/building

The replaceable heel pad is screwed in position from the interior

Something that’s noticeably other/new at the S-PHYRE RC903 is the forefoot lacing. According to my overview of the RC902: One attention-grabbing characteristic of the BOA device at the S-PHYRE RC902s is the Powerzone lace information within the forefoot, which lets you necessarily double the lace pull to create further lace pull if you need a tighter have compatibility. Shimano selected to delete this option within the RC903. As a substitute the lacing runs in a determine 8 development and isn’t adjustable. Shimano claims the result’s advanced flexibility of the shoe’s higher and decreased chance of scorching spots. If this variation is meant to make the RC903 “higher” than the RC902, I in truth can’t say that my ft felt any noticeable variations between the 2. Put otherwise: my ft have been simply as glad within the RC903s because the RC902s.

The RC903 does away with the RC902’s Powerzone lace information (inset)

Toe “bumpers” up entrance

I’m penning this within the lifeless of wintry weather, however there’s no mistaking that the Shimano S-PHYRE RC903 is a heat/scorching climate shoe with all of its air flow options.

That’s an entire lotta holes!

The insole has air flow holes

Entrance consumption

Rear exhaust

As it’s wintry weather, I’ve controlled a couple of out of doors rides however maximum of my driving within the Shimano S-PHYRE RC903s has been indoors. However indoor driving is an attractive just right check of brogues as a result of even brief stints at the sensible strainer contain consistent pedaling having to position down energy and not using a freewheeling. Any uncomfortable-ness goes to present itself early and continuously. Now not a subject for me with the RC903s.

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The opposite factor that indoor driving makes recognized lovely temporarily is what I name “carbon sole fatigue” (as a result of there’s by no means any let up at the pedals to conquer the resistance load imposed via a sensible instructor). You wish to have a carbon sole must be stiff for environment friendly energy switch, but when it’s too stiff it will probably “chase away” and motive discomfort with drive issues or scorching spots at the backside of your foot. Once more, no longer a subject for me with the RC903s.

Strike a pose … trend

The Shimano S-PHYRE RC903 is a full-on race shoe with all of the bells and whistles, however the phrases I stay coming again to are “convenience” and “at ease.” For me, with the ability to put down energy doesn’t do me a lot just right if my ft aren’t at ease in my sneakers to stay pedaling (particularly on lengthy rides). So should you’re keen/ready to drop 4 C-notes plus trade on a brand new pair of biking sneakers, the Shimano S-PHYRE RC903 may well be that pair of brogues that unearths that ever elusive candy spot that maximizes each convenience and stiffness.

Heat wintry weather climate within the SC lowcountry

S-PHYRE RC903W Ladies’s – $450

Ladies’s in white, sizes 36-44 complete sizes


That Shimano is providing a girls’s shoe on par with its perfect males’s shoe is essential. There’s no explanation why girls shouldn’t have the similar high quality apparatus. Biking has been a male ruled game, however the hole between female and male cyclists is narrowing:

  • Of the 103 million individuals who rode a motorbike in 2020, 26% have been girls and about 39% have been males, consistent with a survey carried out via the PeopleforBikes Basis
  • 60% of bicycle house owners between the ages of 17 and 28 are girls, consistent with an August 2013 file via the League of American Bicyclists (LAB)


Additionally, in a marketplace estimated to develop to $34.6 billion via 2027, biking firms can be remiss to forget about the truth that girls keep watch over or affect 85% of client spending (US and international) and buy over 50% of conventional male merchandise (in the United States). And girls are the most important a part of the sports activities and carrying items marketplace. For instance, girls make 60 % of the purchases within the working marketplace.


From a technical viewpoint, the ladies’s model of the RC903 is equal to the lads’s. That suggests the similar artificial leather-based higher, 360° “burrito” building, stiff carbon fiber sole, and BOA Li2 micro-click 2-way adjustable dials. In different phrases, all of the essential stuff that makes the RC903 a top-shelf shoe.

Identical carbon fiber sole, wrap round building, and BOA Li2 dials as the lads’s RC903

There are two primary variations between the ladies’s RC903W and the lads’s RC903. The primary is visible. The lads’s white RC903 is mainly all white (with black S-PHYRE graphics). The ladies’s shoe may be white (and is best to be had in white) however transitions to a pearlescent/iridescent-like silver development behind the shoe (and the S-PHYRE graphics are silver). As an apart, IMHO it’s refreshing to peer a producer no longer resorting to red to tell apart a girls’s product.

The white to pearlescent/iridescent fade at the girls’s RC903W (backside) units it with the exception of the extra “undeniable” males’s RC903 (peak)

Utterly flash

The second one distinction is invisible: the RC903W girls’s fashion remaining form is designed in particular for girls with a decrease quantity and narrower have compatibility. In fact, sneakers have compatibility everybody’s ft another way (as a result of everybody’s ft are other) so take a look at before you purchase is all the time beneficial.



Are compatible-wise, when my spouse first attempted at the RC903W she discovered the heel cup held her heel firmly and not using a slip and the higher used to be at ease round her midfoot with the BOA dials cinched up snugly, however the toebox used to be slightly tight. My spouse has a moderately prime arch and that used to be with the usual yellow arch helps. After swapping out the yellow for the pink (upper arch) helps, her ft have compatibility advantageous all of the manner round. Simply an instance that main points topic and one more reason why take a look at before you purchase is all the time a good suggestion.

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If in case you have a better arch, you’ll most certainly need the pink arch helps

Convenience-wise, my spouse discovered the S-PHYRE RC903Ws to be very at ease. In her phrases, “a shoe that feels such as you don’t have it on.” That’s prime reward, certainly. However for complete disclosure: no longer as at ease as her cherished Carnacs from the 90s.

Trip-wise, my spouse’s RC903Ws did what they’re meant to do, i.e., switch energy without delay to the pedals. And pedaling used to be at ease (there’s that phrase once more) for her — no drive issues or scorching spots.

NOTE: My spouse did have one “criticism.” She loves my blue S-PHYRE RC902s and desires Shimano made the ladies’s RC903Ws in blue.


After I reviewed the Shimano S-PHYRE RC902s, I wrote: “if all you’re doing is shorter distance rides, it may well be exhausting to justify the price.” However my spouse’s enjoy with the RC903W has me re-thinking that. She doesn’t trip as many miles or as critically as she used to (there used to be a time when I used to be coming again to biking after a fifteen yr hiatus off the motorcycle that she used to be driving extra miles than me and there have been occasions once I needed to paintings to stick on her wheel). Her driving now isn’t about efficiency in step with se and has a tendency to be extra “informal” (generally espresso rides with me), but if she does trip she needs technical package that’s fashionable and at ease. Whilst the RC903W is undoubtedly a efficiency shoe, it’s additionally (for my spouse) an excessively at ease shoe (and keep in mind what I wrote in regards to the prior technology RC902: “may well be probably the most at ease biking sneakers I’ve ever worn. ) So even though you’re no longer driving a ton of miles, convenience remains to be essential and at a top class — and that may well be price the price (plus some added incentive/motivation to trip). Meals for idea.

My spouse sought after blue, however Shimano best makes the RC903W in white

You don’t must be as speedy as Lorena Wiebes (the present Ecu Highway Race champion) to trip the Shimano S-PHYRE RC903W. You simply must need to trip in a couple of very at ease (and classy IMHO) sneakers.

All within the circle of relatives

I do know this can be too adorable, however …

Hubby-wifey completely matchy-matchy

• See extra on the Shimano site right here.

• Purchase Those sneakers on AMAZON right here

Be aware: If in case you have different reports with equipment or one thing so as to add, drop us a line. We don’t declare to grasp the entirety (we simply suggest it now and then). Give us a pat at the again should you just like the opinions or a slap within the head if you are feeling the desire!

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