After seeing the likes of Tom Pidcock top the Olympic podium and cross country gaining some serious traction in the eyes of the public Shimano has released a new range of cross country shoes with the aims of giving top riders all of the features they need.
At the very top of the range is the S-PHYRE XC9 and it's designed to bring a no-compromise stance for cross country and cyclocross racing with Shimano's lightest ever structure. Just like the brand's new gravity-based lineup, the S-PHYRE XC9 uses Shimano's new Ultread rubber compound but in an XC format along with a technical tread pattern and there are option talon shaped spikes included in the box.
The new shoe features a pair of BOA Li2 low-profile dials for fast micro-adjustment and a powerzone lace guide that secures the shoe to your feet. Then, there's a microfibre synthetic leather surround wrap with ventilation perforations.
There's more, as the S-PHYRE XC9 shoes get carbon soles, external heel cups, function-specific zones, harder SPD contact blocks all in the name of power transfer.
The S-PHYRE XC9 comes in sizes from 38-48 EU and half sizes from 39-47 EU. The shoe is claimed to weigh in at 296g.
Along with the range-topping XC9, there's an XC7 and XC5 shoe with the former benefitting from many of the cool things we get on the XC9 but at a lower price point.
The XC7 gets that same microfibre wrap but it's made with synthetic leather and a lightweight mesh/TPU construction and there are a pair of BOA L6 dials. Setting the XC7 apart is a flexier carbon shank and there's an internal heel stabilizer, instead of the external heel cup.
Also different from the XC9 is that the XC7 is available in EU 38-50 and is claimed to weigh in at 320g.
Finally, the XC5 gets the Ultread XC outsole but the toe spikes aren't included in the box here. On this shoe, there's one BOA L6 dial on the instep strap and there's a Velcro strap to add some stability. The XC5 comes with a fibre glass midsole that comes in at 7 out of 12 on Shimano's stiffness index and the heel stabiliser is gone.
The XC5 is available in all of the sizes that you get with the XC7 and all Shimano SPD shoes are compatible with Shimano SPD pedals.
Prices for Shimano's new XC range start at £140 for the XC5s, go to £190 for the XC7 and top out at £320 for the S-PHYRE XC9 shoes.
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