Scott Road RC shoes

September 2016 Product Picks — Ritchey, WickWërks, Topeak, Scott, MilKit, and Sako7

by James Huang

September 19, 2016

September signals the start of autumn for CyclingTips readers in the northern hemisphere, but on the flip side — literally — it ushers in the beginning of spring for those south of the equator. In either case, it’s also time for some of the best riding conditions of the year.

In this edition of Product Picks, CyclingTips U.S. technical editor James Huang reviews a few items to check out before you head out on the road — a set of super wide-range chainrings from WickWërks, some higher-end alloy clincher wheels from Ritchey, Topeak’s cleverly compact torque wrench, Scott’s racing-focused RC road shoes, a novel approach to tubeless valve stems by MilKit, and last but not least, hard-to-miss socks from Sako7.

Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:

Scott Road RC shoes

Scott Road RC shoes

by James Huang

Scott’s racing-oriented Road RC shoes feature a standard formula for high-end road shoes, using a molded carbon fiber outsole and a bonded synthetic leather upper. Each shoe is secured by two Boa IP1 cable closures, which feature handy dual-direction micro-adjustments, a single-motion pull-to-release function for faster egress, and the option for doubling up the cable around the forefoot to help fine-tune the fit.

Mesh panels are littered throughout the upper, along with plenty of ventilation holes, and the sole features a mesh panel underneath the toe box, too. Generously sized treads adorn each end of the shoe for walking stability, and the three-bolt cleat inserts provide 10mm of fore-aft adjustment. Inside the shoes are Scott’s ErgoLogic footbeds with removable arch and metatarsal inserts.

Scott Road RC shoes

The two-zone Boa closure system allows for some tunability, and the cable can also be routed through an extra loop to fine-tune the fit even further.

Actual weight for my size 42 samples was 274g each.

Our Take:

Virtually every high-end carbon-soled road shoe is “stiff” and “applies every watt to the pedals,” and in that respect, the Scott Road RC is perfectly average. As expected, there’s no noticeable give underfoot, even while climbing and sprinting, and heel fit is excellent with no lift whatsoever. The stark black-and-white color scheme is all business, too.

When it comes to shoes, though, what matters is the fit.

Scott Road RC shoes

Scott equips the Road RC shoes with its stiffest carbon fiber plate.

Scott has adopted a very traditional last for the Road RC, which I found to be quite narrow and low-volume, and with a highly tapered toe box shape. Riders who gravitate toward Italian brands will probably feel right at home here, but anyone with even moderately wide feet will want to look elsewhere. As usual, the Boa IP1 dials performed admirably with a rock-solid hold and an easy-to-live-with design.

Even if the fit is spot-on for your particular feet, I couldn’t help but be bothered by a few things.

Scott Road RC shoes

Numerous perforations and fairly large mesh panels suggest good ventilation, but these actually felt unusually hot.

Although the shoes appear well ventilated, they feel curiously hot even on modestly warm days with little perceptible air movement and seemingly minimal breathability from the shiny synthetic upper materials. It doesn’t help, either, that the sole vent is completely obscured by the lasting board inside the shoe; air literally goes nowhere.

It’s also nice that the insole can be customized somewhat to suit your particular foot shape. However, there are no additional arch or metatarsal cookies included with the shoes.

Scott Road RC shoes

Although the treads aren’t replaceable, they’re generous sized for stable walking. The three-bolt cleat inserts can slide fore and aft 10mm.

Finally, cycling shoes should always be tried on in person before making a purchase, but that goes doubly for these. In addition to the narrow fit, they’re also oddly oversized. I consistently wear a 43-44, depending on the brand, but had to size down to a 42 in these.

Price: US$350 / AU$TBC / £TBC / €TBC