Shimano’s road shoes have generally been among the more comfortable ones I’ve worn, and for 2013 it looks like things are only getting better.
Across the range, all shoes will now use their new Dynalast fit system, which, they say, is all about improving fit and performance. It’s a combination of new lasts, cleat mounts and use of their in-store vacuum ovens for heat moldable models. Any Shimano dealer that’s equipped with their fitting set up and shoe oven are trained to get the shoes and cleats fit properly, and many include that service as part of the shoe purchase.
Details on the shoes, plus new options for Dura-Ace pedals and more below…
The new last is thinner and lighter, and it adds 11mm of fore/aft adjustment in addition to the cleat’s range. At first glance, the dual bolts in the back two mounts look like they’d prevent adjustment since there’s nowhere for them to slide. Actually, it’s simply providing two different mounting points, and the cleats have slots that slide back and forth for minute adjustments. The effect is an extra 11mm of range.
The new shape of the last claims to reduce foot and Achilles heel tension, which they say saves time and energy by smoothing the pedal stroke.
Not only are the uppers heat moldable, but higher end models also have heat moldable insoles for nearly full custom fit.
All shoes get the new Dynalast system, and the new blue cleats that came out with the new Dura-Ace pedals also factor into the wider fit and performance options by allowing a wider range of float options. 2013 Dura-Ace pedals are also now offered with a 4mm longer axle option. Only on new pedals for now, but Shimano may offer aftermarket spindles in the future.
The R320, shown here, is new top of the line model and is lighter than its predecessor. It’s not just a revamp, it’s a new-from-scratch shoe that has a larger heel cup that carries down farther into the last (visible in second photo). Retail is $380, which sounds like a lot until you a) compare it to other top-level shoes and b) factor in the custom fit available with purchase.
What do we like about Shimano’s shoes? Large toe-boxes and, at the high end, stiff soles make them very comfortable on long rides.