Shimano RX8 gravel race shoes get an update

Plus there's now a more affordable RX6 and a rowdier RX8R.

by Dave Rome


Released in 2019, Shimano’s RX8 was a shoe that merged the SPD compatibility and walkability of a mountain bike shoe with the low weight and efficiency of a road shoe. Shimano has today announced a few tweaks to this popular shoe and a new rally/rowdy version. 

The RX801 

The new RX801 doesn’t stray too far from the original RX8. According to Shimano, the new model features a more perforated upper for better ventilation. The toe box is wider and refined in shape, not unlike what was done with the new S-Phyre RC903 road shoe. And there’s a new Boa Li2 dial which offers a lower profile than the previous IP1 dial. 

Otherwise, it’s the same shoe we reviewed back in 2020. The full carbon sole and tread are unchanged; the same goes for the materials used in the upper. 

Shimano has added half-size options to the regular fit versions between EU41-46 sizes, although only select markets will carry those extra options. Otherwise, the regular and wide-fit whole sizes continue. Shimano will produce the RX801 in black, silver, and a special “tropical leaves” (pictured up top) colourway. Expect to pay US$275 / AU$350 for these. 

The silver version of the new RX8.

The RX8R 

Hate it when a little pebble finds its way into your shoe and it becomes all you can think about? Shimano’s new RX8R is designed specifically to avoid this, with a built-in gaitor around the top of the shoe. 

This stretchy knitted sock is a feature most commonly seen in winter cycling shoes and merely aims to keep the outside elements on the outside of your shoes. The dark colour of the knitted sock also discourages you from wearing white socks when riding gravel. 

Hard to see in this photo, but a built-in gaitor covers the ankle.

Beyond that, the RX8R is much the same shoe as the new RX801. At a claimed 580 g a pair (size EU42), the protective sock concept adds approximately 44 grams over a pair of RX8s. Similarly, you can expect to pay a little more, with the R8XR priced at US$300 / AU$NA. 

Size options are the same as the RX8. However, there’s only a single “Metallic Orange” colour. 

The RX600 

Announced earlier in the year at Eurobike, the RX600 is a more affordable version of the RX8. The most notable difference is seen at the sole which moves to a more flexible nylon material with a reinforcing carbon fibre shank. The RX600 also features a simpler Boa L6K dial, and like on the RX8, that single Boa dial is accompanied by a velcro strap. The RX600 retails for US$160 / AU$280. 

The new RX6 (RX600) is available in this colour or a simpler black.

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