Shoes are hugely important to any cyclist, but I confess to being quite particular about what I put on my feet which probably arises from my previous life as a shoe salesman. Having been trained in how to correctly fit kids’ shoes by a well-known high street chain has given rise to some slightly obsessive behaviour when purchasing new shoes for myself.
One of the things that is immediately attractive about the R087 is the range of sizes and fittings that Shimano offer. For someone like me, whose ‘plates-of-meat’ are substantial slabs; the wide fitting option on these shoes makes them very attractive and avoids the inevitable purchase of a larger size that is longer than necessary. Twinned with the adoption of European sizing (which I understand confuses many of us) means that the right shoe is available in this model for just about anyone. Incidentally, if you are unsure of the appropriate euro-size equivalent for your feet then there is a published Shimano sizing chart to help out. It is unusual enough for me to find a comfortable wide fitting size 9½ work shoe, let alone get the right fit for my cleats. The R087 offers just what I am looking for in a cycling shoe.
Clearly, many will be concerned about weight, which on these comes in at 361g per shoe including SPD-SL cleats (660g per pair without). While this is not going to lead the lightweight shoe market it is nevertheless competitive and in some cases likely to outstrip carbon competitors. The R087 doesn’t occupy the same rarefied air as the leading carbon soled contenders, but then it commands a fraction of the retail price and you could be spending an extra £250 to save yourself 120g. The vented sole is constructed from a glass fibre reinforced polyamide which is incredibly rigid and comes equipped with fixtures for both SPD (two screw) & SPD-SL (three screw) cleats.
In terms of other features the triple closure offered by the micro-adjust buckle and dual off-set straps adds to the already excellent fit of the shoe by ensuring that the shoe is tight to the riders foot. The uppers use a stretch resistant synthetic leather which is surprisingly supple making a comfy fit. Combine this with the nylon mesh inserts to facilitate breathability and you have a solid performer all-round.
The issue facing this shoe is performance in poor weather as the venting and lightweight fabrics will result in cold wet feet if you are not wearing overshoes.
Overall, if you are in the market for a really solid performing shoe that delivers excellent fit without compromising too much on weight, you could do a lot worse than the Shimano R087. And if you pick them up for anything under £70 you have probably netted yourself a real bargain.