Shimano R088 Shoes

Shimano R088 Shoes


Shimano R088 Shoes


By Duncan Moore


Review of the Shimano R088 Road Cycling Shoes


Having spent many years riding mountain bikes I’m no stranger to cycling but I am a relatively recent convert to the world of road cycling. The problem this creates for me is how can I justify spending vast amounts of money on a second set of cycling kit? Because of this I’ve been looking at affordable yet capable equipment to fulfill my needs on the road.


One of the first things to address was the shoe conundrum. When I got my first serious road bike, it was supplied complete with Look Delta pedals. That meant I had to get a set of road cleat specific shoes. The first pair came via ebay and did what was required of them for a while. However, I soon felt the need to upgrade but still being conscious of how much I was spending I had to look for sensibly priced option; so no Sidi shoes then…


At £84.99 the Shimano R088 shoes certainly tick the box marked ‘price’ but do they tick all the other boxes? Well to begin with the soles accept any three bolt road cleat, and with a suitable adapter (SM-SH40) can mount SPD style cleats. The sole itself is made from fibreglass reinforced-polyamide and to me it feels stiff; enough to be capable of being used as a race shoe. Named Dynalast by Shimano, the shoe’s sole is said to place the wearer’s foot in the correct ergonomic position for the most efficient upstroke. Without access to computer analysis of my riding style I can’t say if this is the case or not, but the shoe feels supportive enough.


Shimano R088 Shoes
Shimano R088 Shoes


Staying with the underside of the R088 for a moment longer, the soles feature mesh covered vents below the toes and under the foot’s arch. In order to put this venting, and that on the shoe’s upper to test, I went out for a ride without any over shoes on. After less than 10 minutes I had to stop and put my overshoes on, my feet were that cold, so I’m confident the venting will make the shoes comfortable in the summer months.


The upper itself is made from stretch resistant, synthetic leather; good news if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, and also easy to keep clean. I went for the white option, to match my bike, but there is also the choice of black for those wanting a more stealth look.


Relatively simple the uppers close via three straps, two Velcro and one running a micro ratchet system. The lower two straps feature the Velcro and are offset. The offset is the positioning of the loop the strap passes through and by doing this pressure points on the top of the foot are reduced. I’ve always avoided ratchet closure systems on cycling shoes in the past for fear of mud and dirt destroying them, but given that I’m only using these shoes on the road that shouldn’t be an issue. In use the ratchets are easy to use and snug the uppers around my feet nicely. They release easily when it’s time to take the shoes off.


Offset straps on the Shimano R088 Shoes
Offset straps on the Shimano R088 Shoes


One important point to note about the Shimano R088 is the sizing. Normally I take a size 9, and that works for me with lots of mountain bike shoes, but with these I had to go up a size to be comfortable. It was not that the 9 was too small, more just a case of too snug to be wearable for any length of time.


I’ll be back to talk more about the R088 shoes once I’ve put some more miles in while wearing them; though having said that, my initial impressions are favourable. I’ve experienced no pinching or hot spots, the cleats are staying in place and none of the straps have worked loose while I’ve been riding. If in the long-term they remain good then it will be hard for me to justify a more expensive pair of shoes in the future.


Shimano R088 Shoes RRP £84.99


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Shimano Website


Shimano UK (Madison)


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