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Shimano introduces "rowdy" RX8 and RX8R gravel shoes

Race-performance meets rugged gravel riding with lightweight, breathable construction and enhanced fit, claims Shimano

Shimano's RX8 all-terrain range aims to "blend" the brand's top performance features of mountain bike and road racing footwear. The new RX801 model claims to balance pedalling performance and off-the-bike capability with a more breathable design and super stiff and efficient carbon outsole. Shimano says the new RX8 and RX8R (Rally) models have been "optimised for gravel racers, gran fondo riders, and weekend warriors alike."

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes logo

The new RX8 gravel shoes are available in two forms and a plethora of new "rowdy" colour schemes. The standard RX8 version (shown above) is very similar in appearance to the very popular previous Shimano RX8 gravel shoe model that was released just over three years ago, scoring an impressive 9/10 on

Shimano has also released an all-new RX8R shoe (shown below). The "Rally" version has a knitted ankle cuff which claims to boost protection and comfort.

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes RX8R Rally

Shimano RX8 (£229.99)

The new standard version of the RX8s may look similar to the outgoing model on the surface, but there are some key changes. Shimano says a revised toe box fit, wider contact area and built-in heel stabiliser "increase control while the Surround Wrapping Upper construction hugs the foot for optimal fit."

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes black hero

Also new for the RX801 model is a range of half sizes. Shimano says this is so "more riders can experience the snug, secure, and seamless fit." 

> Best gravel bike shoes 2022

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes heel cup

There are also new colours to choose from: black, silver and this rather out-there 'Tropical Leaves'. The upper is made of a lightweight and breathable synthetic leather with inkjet printed graphics, and we found these to be hard-wearing on the previous generation.

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes green toe closeup

The BOA dial has also been switched out, with both the RX8s and the RX8Rs getting low-profile Li2 dials with rubber grips to deliver "quick and precise micro-adjustments so you can easily dial in your preferred fit along the way".

> Are poorly fitting shoes robbing you of power and comfort?

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes boa dial

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  • MSRP: £229.99, $275, €229
  • Weight: 268 grams (size 42)
  • Colours: Black, Silver, Tropical Leaves
  • Regular sizes: 38, 39 - 47 (half sizes available 39.5 - 47.5), 48
  • Wide sizes: 38 - 48

Shimano RX8R (£269.99)

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes front RX8R Rally

Shimano says the new RX801R shoe "delivers all the performance features of the RX801 shoes you crave, but with a snug-fitting knitted ankle cuff that boosts protection from sand, grit, and pebbles. 

"The integrated gaiter eliminates the space between the foot and shoe for protection from the elements and provides unparalleled long-distance comfort. Ready for wherever the road takes you, the stretch-knit ankle cuff is designed to keep water, dust, and debris out of your shoes so you can focus on the road ahead."

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes heel tread

> 8 tips to get started with gravel riding

The RX8R features the same carbon composite sole and "scratch-resistant" TPU outsole as the RX8, which Shimano says "enhances every pedal stroke for a smooth, powerful riding performance."

Shimano says that its Dynalast technology ensures the foot is securely held in place, but unlike the RX8s the RX8Rs are only available in one colour option: Metallic Orange.

2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes worn

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When paired with black socks like above, would you notice the RX8Rs ankle cuffs?

  • MSRP: £269.99, $300, €274.95
  • Weight: 290g (size 42)
  • Colours: Metallic Orange
  • Regular sizes: 38, 39, 40, 41-46 (half sizes available 41.5 - 46.5), 47, 48
  • Wide sizes: 40 - 48
2023 Shimano RX8 gravel shoes lifestyle

Both pairs of shoes are available at launch and we've requested some to review, so look out for our full verdicts in the coming months...

Which pair of the new shoes would you go for? Let us know in the comments section below...

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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