This shoe is a decent mid level shoe. Stiff, stylish and fairly breathable. The only thing I don't love is the tongue. If you are in a rush to get them on (like in a tri) you might have issues cause it's thin and could bunch up. Last little issue is with the boa. You can only tighten. If you over tighten you will need to pop it and start all over. The higher level shimano allows you to adjust in both directions but you will pay a lot more for that luxury.
I started with the cheap shoes because I wasn't sure how much I'd ride. Bumped up to what I thought were mid grade Shimano and really wasn't that impressed over my "cheap" shoes. They were better, but not that much better. Finally decided to upgrade to carbon and decided on these bc of the price point. Great decision for me. They are a huge improvement in feeling and being able to tighten them down. Someday I'll probably get risky and try the high end stuff but for now these are great over the cheap stuff and still reasonably priced.
Had long postponed replacing my worn-out Shimano R088Ls purely due to dread of the process of buying shoes on-line (have limited shopping choices locally). Wanted to stick with Shimano brand as they have a wide toe box and (I hoped) consistent sizing across their model lines over the years (as needed for my existing custom orthotics to fit into the new shoes). I bought the same size as my old shoes and got a good fit with my orthotics. Being used to old style Velcro straps and ratchet latching systems I had doubts about the Boa system. First look at my new shoes didnâ€™t reduce these doubts as the Boa loops seemed so thin and delicate. Checking out the Boa website convinced me that the wire loops would be more than strong enough. After about 1000 miles of riding with these RC701s Iâ€™ve concluded that these are excellent shoes. Iâ€™m very happy with this purchase.
Constructed similarly to the S-Phyres, the RS701's are very well made, look extremely durable. Unfortunately I can't use them. As SteveB commented, putting them on is a problem. With the stock insoles, it isn't too bad, but thicker insoles or the orthotics I must use make getting them on extremely difficult. And you end up with your socks pulled tight against the ends of your toes, a real problem if you have hammertoes as I do. So I can't use them. Anybody planning/needing to use anything other than the stock inserts may have this problem.
This is not an issue with S-Phyres because they have two-piece uppers which wrap over each other; the RC701's have a three piece setup: Left, Right, and Tongue. Unfortunately the S-Phyres cost about twice as much as the RC701's.
I purchased these Shimano RC701's to replace an earlier model Shimano R171's with Velcro and ratchet strap. I went with these Shimano 701's because I assumed the fit would be similar because I tried in several different brands and models years ago and selected the 171's. Luckily the fit is virtually the same. The BOA adjusters allow infinite amount of adjustment. The sole is very stiff to allow power to the pedals. Very satisfied with my purchase.
The only disappointing thing about these is that the Boas loosen after about 15-20 minutes--sooner on rougher roads or gravel. At first I thought maybe I just under-tightened the Boas when I started out but this happens consistently on every ride. They don't loosen to the point of falling off, but the point of a cycling shoe is to hold tight and transfer force through the whole pedal cycle and these Boas loosen to the point where that is compromised.
I got these a half size bigger than normal as my feet seem to be swelling a bit more as I age. So, these are really great shoes right out of the box. I was a little concerned about the stiffness as the soles aren't 100% carbon. But they say they are a 10 on the Shimano scale. Whatever that actually means!
I do have to say that I like these BOA mechanisms far better than the ones that were on a pair of Specialized shoes I had. I think the technology has just evolved. The fine tuning is great and the way the second BOA wraps over the top of the foot ensure a really great fit. I love these shoes!
I am a dedicated (app 4000 mi/yr) older cyclist. These are the most expensive road shoes I have ever purchased, and the first time I wore them on the bike I could tell they are the best - the soles are quite stiff but comfortable and through their stiffness seem to give a boost to each pedal stroke. Once they are on my feet, they are a pleasure to wear on the bike, but getting them on my feet is harder than it should be. With the BOA-secured strap across the top of the shoe, there is not much of an opening to get your foot in, and it can be quite difficult to get hold of the tongue of the shoe and keep it from getting pushed into the shoe by the foot going in. The opening needs to be made larger or the tongue longer or both. A person has to wonder how much actual testing of the shoe was done before the design was finalized.
My previous shoes (Shimano R171s) which I loved, were damaged in a cycling accident and needed replacement. Doing some research, it seemed like the RC701 was the logical replacement. I love these shoes. Comfortable, stylish, and Boas instead of Velcro, and a great price point. While the Boas cannot be turned the other direction to loosen them, I find that is not an issue for me. I usually keep them a little loose to start my ride and give them a little twist if I need to later. The soles are quite stiff and I really haven't noticed any difference riding from my old beloved R171s. It you don't want to spent S-Phyre money for a great shoe, the RC701is a great choice.
ive struggled to find cycling shoes that are comfortable on longer rides. every other shoe ive tried started giving me hot spots around mile 20 and ive just had to deal with the discomfort. i decided to try these out and boy am i glad i did. the toe box is generous and comfortable. i did a 50+ mile ride the day after i got these and at mile 50 my feet felt great. no hot spots at all. easy to adjust on the fly if need be as well which is nice. overall im very happy with these so far.
also the shimano size chart is different from your standard EU to US sizing. i got a 48 based on shimanos chart (usually i wear a 46-47EU, 12US) and they fit perfectly for my size 12US feet.
I upgraded to these shoes when they were on sale, from almost 20-year-old lace-up Lake shoes. The boa system makes it so much quicker and easier to put on and remove the shoes. I am still getting used to how to fine tune the tightness of the two boas. The action is so smooth that it is easy to over tighten the lower adjuster. I find that I need to leave the tightness less than what I thought was needed and make small changes to optimize the fit.
The ventilation is good as advertised. I can feel the air move through the shoe when it is hot out.
These shoes fit great and the upper is soft. The sole is plenty of stiff for aggressive riding. I wore them now for ~400mi and really like them.
I was unsure about sizing but I called the vendor and they gave me info about shimano's sizing variations.
Returns would have been easy (according to that conversation) but The shoes fit perfectly.
I have been waiting to buy these shoes, I had to wait for my Shimano SH-R171's which were a solid purchase to wear out before I deserved new shoes. I have had shoes from Sidi, Mavic, Garneau, Northwave, and Shimano. The Shimano shoes seem to be the best at combining comfort and power transition at the right price. More toe box space than the previously mentioned shoes and great overall feel. The Boa closures are really sweet and super easy to use, my Garneau' also has the Boa system but placed differently, the Rc7's placement is more comfortable and secure to me.
The shoe is really stiff and responsive, power transfer felt spot on. The aeration is so good specially this hot and humid weather. I had some long rides a couple of times and never felt any pressure spots. The boa dials are great in spreading the tension and provides good fitting. The best thing on this is that I got it on a discounted price.
I've always worn Shimano cycling shoes because they offer a nice size toe box for me, not that I have big toes but they have always been roomier than say SIDI for example. The RC7's are spot on, plus they seem well ventilated for those hot summer rides coming up. Not the stiffest sole I've experienced, but great for me. Lightweight carbon sole and of very comfortable. I love the twin BOA dials for getting a snug fit. The shoe last seems to be the same as previous models so I bought my usual size (46) without any worry.
These are my first try of a shoe with the BOA dial system. My other shoes are entry level with velcro closures- not bad but was wondering what the improvement in a nicer shoe would bring to the riding experience.
There are definite differences. The new shoes feel a bit lighter than the old, I like the BOA and the snugness of the fit, the soles are very stiff and it feels like an actual improvement in power transfer, especially out of the saddle.
The cons it's difficult to get them on, and they chafe a bit above the heel the back of the shoe. I'm thinking this will improve as they break in with use.
I I haven't done any long rides yet but so far on the shorter rides, 30 minutes, on the trainer these are really comfortable. With the short tongue and BOA system they are a little harder to put on