Shimano RT82 SPD shoe  £89.99

8/10

Not as flashy looking as the RT81 it replaces but more robust. An excellent shoe for non racers

Weight 720g   Contact  www.madison.co.uk

by rob_simmonds   August 24, 2013  

These RT82 touring shoes are an updated version of the RT81s that I tested, and raved about, three years ago.

I loved my RT81s. They looked fantastic and were incredibly comfortable but after three years they started to fall apart. In fairness I should point out that I'm hard on shoes and gave them a pretty sound thrashing in that time. The RT82s look a little more clumpy, although still smart, but they rectify the weakness of the RT81, which was the mesh gap between the toebox (which eventually ripped open) and the silvery faux leather covering (which rubbed off). The RT82s have a toebox which is better integrated into the whole of the show and the upper has a more robust finish. It feels a bit odd, slightly rubbery, but it should out last it's predecessor.

The RT82 retains the built up sole of the RT81 - it works brilliantly and is very reassuring to walk in. Of course you can only use two bolt cleats, but that's hardly a problem for tourists, audaxers and commuters.

The closure system is almost the same as the RT81:- two velcro straps and a ratchet. The straps have been moved slightly further across the top of the shoe and are offset, the middle strap is about 2cm further to the outside of the foot than the other. To be honest I can't say I noticed any real difference.

The biggest test of any shoe, of course, is how comfy they are on the bike. Every time I put the shoes on I was aware of a very slight rubbing on the inside of my foot, just where it bulges out below the big toe. I would guess that the more robust upper has less give than that of the RT81. At first I was concerned that it was going to be an issue, but in practice I barely noticed it once I actually started to pedal. The ultimate test came when I took the shoes on LEL. In 1400km of riding, spread over just 5 days, my feet were one of the few bits of me that didn't suffer. I also spotted quite a few pairs of these piled up outside various controls, so I'm not the only one who recognises their value.

The RT82s may not be the prettiest shoes, but they are superbly practical, comfortable and excellent value. If you don't race, you'll struggle to find anything better.

Verdict

Not as flashy looking as the RT81 it replaces but more robust. An excellent shoe for non racers.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Shimano RT82 SPD shoe

Size tested: Black, Size 43

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Blurb says - "A lightweight, road style shoe for high mileage touring applications"

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Supple synthetic leather and mesh upper

Micro adjust buckle

Dual offset straps

Flexible insole

Volume + Last shape with an accommodating toe box

Recessed cleat

Rubber outsole

Glass fibre reinforced polyamide midsole plate

2 bolt cleat fitting

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

A distinct improvement on the RT81 it replaces. Those were fine, but with hard use the faux leather and mesh upper eventually failed. The RT82 uses a more robust upper which should last longer.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

I rode LEL in these shoes. That's 1400k in five days and my feet felt fine. You can't get much better that that.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

I managed to kill my RT81s after three hard years. I'd expect these RT81s to last longer.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Hardly heavy and really, it's only skinny weight weenies who fret over an extra gramme of shoe.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

They don't quite have the slipper like comfort of their predecessors, but I rode LEL wearing these shoes and didn't have a moment of discomfort.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

RRP is the same as the RT81s I tested three years ago and you can get these online for just over £70.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Excellent.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfort and practicality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Really, nothing of any substance. The RT81s were better looking though.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

For non-racers, this is all the shoe you'll ever need.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa  My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides

 

9 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Had mine for about a year now and can concur with the findings above but would ad the following:

Had to go for 1 size larger than my normal as I found the toe box a little tight, also, don't expect these to be totally waterproof because they are not, however they have coped well with general moist weather conditions, albeit inside an overshoe.

Generally a very comfortable and practical shoe that is not intended to be raced down the road. It's a touring / commuting shoe and does the job perfectly well for what it is designed for. Smile

posted by sendgridover [21 posts]
24th August 2013 - 13:34

42 Likes

Been using these shoes for just under a year for commuting as well as longer rides, it does the job well.

posted by eurotrash [82 posts]
24th August 2013 - 16:24

49 Likes

sendgridover wrote:
Had mine for about a year now and can concur with the findings above but would ad the following:

Had to go for 1 size larger than my normal as I found the toe box a little tight, also, don't expect these to be totally waterproof because they are not, however they have coped well with general moist weather conditions, albeit inside an overshoe.

Generally a very comfortable and practical shoe that is not intended to be raced down the road. It's a touring / commuting shoe and does the job perfectly well for what it is designed for. Smile

I don't think any road shoe is waterproof. The RT81s had a bit more mesh than the 82s, but even so, rain = wet feet.

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
24th August 2013 - 19:21

43 Likes

No reason you can't use these for racing too if you prefer SPDs. These are very similar to the R087 which I also have and I've noticed no difference between the two in terms of performance (or lack of in my case!) - I just wish they come in a size 46.5 wide fit.

thegibdog's picture

posted by thegibdog [86 posts]
26th August 2013 - 15:43

41 Likes

thegibdog wrote:
No reason you can't use these for racing too if you prefer SPDs. These are very similar to the R087 which I also have and I've noticed no difference between the two in terms of performance (or lack of in my case!) - I just wish they come in a size 46.5 wide fit.

I agree, but the sole isn't quite as stiff as one made from crabon and really darling, two bolt cleats? SO not pro... Rolling Eyes

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
26th August 2013 - 20:07

38 Likes

Any other shoe manufacturers who make something similar?

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
30th August 2013 - 13:26

43 Likes

^ Bontrager and Specialized. Though from my experience for this type of shoe Shimano is best for those with erm.. less fat feet...

posted by rootes [43 posts]
30th August 2013 - 20:52

43 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
Any other shoe manufacturers who make something similar?

Northwave make something similar. I tested a pair a few years ago - they were ok, but not as good as the Shimanos.

http://road.cc/content/review/39477-northwave-touring-shoes

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 19:30

40 Likes

I've had a pair for 15 months. Absolutely excellent, though if you race you'll find the sole a bit flexible. For everyone else, these are the business.

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [417 posts]
5th September 2013 - 21:24

41 Likes

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