I've been wearing Shimano shoes since the 80's and have gone through multiple pairs of road, MTB, and gravel. Compared to other brands, Shimano's shoes have always provided a workable fit, providing just enough height/width in the toe box and up-front volume, while being narrow enough in the heel to hold. I have a 1 1/2 year-old pair of Sphyre road shoes (901) where the fit and stiffness are just right. Unfortunately, my recently purchased pair of Sphyre (902) became so painful to wear the two times I tried them that I had to cut both rides short, stopping to remove my shoes for awhile during the last try. When I got home I measured both with a micrometer. Surprisingly, the 902 measures 5mm narrower in front compared to the 901. While this may not sound like much, when you are at the fit limit for width on a road shoe, anything less than that can become intolerable in short order. Admittedly my feet are out of the norm and challenging to fit, but I had always found a workable solution with Shimano shoes. Why did Shimano need to change their shoes and now what are my options?
Having moved from S-Phyre RC900's in size EU46 to 901's in size EU46.5 as my feet got larger, they got even bigger and now it was time for EU47's. The reviews state that the shapes were revised, but I can't compare them because I needed different sizes. I can confirm that the 902's are at least as comfy as the earlier ones were. The previous S-Phyres were extremely durable, showing little wear after a lot of hard use, and the 902's appear to be just as durable.
A couple of minor things to know:
(1) the ratchets on the BOA's are finer in the tightening direction than they were in the 901's and seem louder in the reverse direction (not a problem)
(2) the footbed in the rear half of the shoe is much narrower than it was in the earlier versions. A problem if your feet need custom orthotics, because the orthotics that fit the 900's and 901's may not fit into the 902's and cutting them down may not be possible. But after several years it was time for updated orthotics anyway.
Price is daunting but they're worth it.
These shoes, don't just look swish, they are comfy, super stiff and hugely effective - you can almost feel the increase in power going through the pedals for the some input. They took a few good long rides to mould to my feet and it took a while to get used to the dualities boas - endless tweeting ad fiddling throughout the early rides, but, once you get used to it, the flexibility they provide is a definite plus in terms of comfort on long rides. I ummed and ahhhed about spending this much on a pair of shoes but, in all honesty, I can say I have absolutely no regrets, none.
I love to ride but I am not a racer nor a bike aficionado, I was upgrading from an inexpensive set of cleats that began their life on a spin bike. I choose this shoe mostly because it had great ratings for comfort though it is probably mostly known for its amazing performance qualities. This boot definitely did not disappoint. It grips my foot closely and firmly while it is still exceedingly comfortable. My longest ride in the boot has been 4 hours and I had no issues with comfort. I love that I can tighten and loosen the boot on the fly, though I can't recall ever actually loosening them up while on the bike. It is nice to know that I can do that if I need to without having to stop.
This shoe is amazing simply put. I have a "v" shaped foot so the narrow heel and wide toe box and the wrap around structure of the upper for low volume feet is everything that my feet require for both I might add. The stability that this shoe offer is the best I have tried. I would recommend this shoe to anyone to try.
I have always been a loyal MAVIC shoes customer. Mavic shoes are excellent overall, transfer rate, air ventilation, but these bad boys are clearly at a different level. They are light, sexy and have outstanding air ventilation. I have gotten tons of compliments on how they look. I would recommend them to anyone look for some exceptional road shoes. I have done 80-100 miles with them without any discomfort.
I have been riding in Shimano shoes for years, They fit perfectly, are super stiff and very comfortable. It's worth noting the toe box is a different shape in this generation, and might be a tight fit if your forefoot is wide.
I'm fortunate in that they JUST work for me.