If you glance at the starting line of a World Cup cyclocross or cross-country race, you'll most likely notice the electric green or bright blue Shimano SH-XC9 Cycling Shoes on the rider's feet, eagerly waiting to clip in when the whistle blows and head to the front to string the field out. It's for good reason too, because if you've ever gotten a pair of these shoes in your hands, or better yet, on your feet, you'll experience that world-class fit, low weight, and efficiency that the pros count on to earn a paycheck. No doubt, these shoes are designed to help you pedal at your best to get you across the finish line faster, however it means nothing if your feet are in agony. Shimano shoes are perennial favorites here in the office and these XC9s receive some light updates since Shimano first launched its S-Phyre lineup notably a more perforated upper that improves the fit and breathability and beefier armor at the toe box. Shimano constructs the XC9 with a one-piece upper using a Teijin synthetic material that handles water resistance, while the more numerous perforations allow the feet to breathe. Dialing in the fit comes courtesy of the dual Boa IP1 dials, offering independent and micro-adjustable tension across the top of the foot. Shimano believes that the fit's so refined that it didn't bestow the XC9 with the Custom Fit heat and vacuum system we have come to expect on its high-end shoes over the past decade. We'd have to agree that indeed the Boa and the soft upper simple melds the shoe around our foot and we're not sure if a better or more comfortable fit is achievable. On the rear of the shoe, Shimano uses an external cup that covers the carbon sole and the back of the heel. This design supports the heel, preventing twisting and rolling, stabilizing it for more efficiency. Inside the shoe at the heel a cat tongue-like gripping fabric further bolsters the foothold, providing a solid foundation for dishing out the big watts at the race start and on the ped...
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Shimano SH-XC9 S-PHYRE Cycling Shoe - Men's
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