Following the high-profile coverage on our television screens this summer, cross-country (XC) racing is high-profile, and rightly so. Not only does XC racing demand athletes to have the aerobic capacity to match the world’s best road riders, but they need the handling skills and concentration to navigate obstacles, often in sub-optimal conditions, and normally whilst their heart rates are fully in the red zone.
In conditions like that, the slightest thing out of place can be an unwanted mental distraction. That’s why Shimano’s XC9 pro level racing shoe, or the XC7 and XC5 race-inspired shoes, provide advanced functions to keep your head in the game, whether that’s on the World Cup circuit, or your local loop of the woods.
The S-PHYRE XC9 shoe brings a no-compromise stance for cross-country and cyclocross racing with our lightest-ever structure, combined with our proprietary SHIMANO ULTREAD XC rubber outsole, technical tread pattern and optional talon-shaped metal spikes (included) for ultimate traction and racing grip.
The shoe features two BOA® Li2 low profile dials for quick and precise micro-adjustment with an adjustable powerzone lace guide to securely hold the foot. Plus a snug microfibre synthetic leather surround wrap with ventilation perforations to bring performance fitting for racing success.
Additional features such as carbon soles, external heel cups, function-specific zones, harder SPD contact blocks all help in the goal of maximum power transfer. And when you’re done with your ride, much like the previous XC9, Shimano's Silvadur anti-bacterial treatment on the insole returns to prevent odour. That's done via silver ions that activate when your feet start to sweat.
The new XC902 comes in White, Black or Blue, in standard fitting (sizes 36-48, half sizes from 39-47) or wide fitting versions (sizes 38-48, half sizes from 39-47), at a weight of 296g (based on size 42).
The new Shimano XC7 (SH-XC702) is a competition-level shoe that takes its DNA from the S-PHYRE SH-XC902, whereas the XC5 (SH-XC502) still delivers high performance with a focus on more all-round riding.
The XC7 brings that same surround-wrapping upper that fits like a glove, this time made from synthetic leather and lightweight mesh/TPU combination. Twin BOA L6 dials take care of the power zone lace fastening.
The proprietary ULTREAD XC rubber outsole, again with optional spikes (included) and carbon midsole, offers more flex than the S-PHYRE XC9, with a 9 out of 12 stiffness rating. The heel cup also differs from the XC9 with an internal heel stabilizer.
The new XC7 is available in Red, Black or White in standard fitting (sizes 38-50, half sizes from 39-47) or wide fitting versions (sizes 38-50, half sizes from 39-47), at a weight of 320g (based on size 42).
The XC5 features that ULTREAD XC outsole with optional spikes once more (purchased separately), but this time with just one BOA L6 dial on the instep strap and a Velcro strap for extra foot stability. A glass fibre midsole comes with a 7 out of 12 stiffness rating. This time the heel stabilizer has gone, which helps the XC5 keep a weight of just 300g (size 42).
The new XC5 is available in Moss Green, Black or Blue in standard fitting (sizes 38-50) or wide fitting versions (sizes 38-50), or a women’s specific version in grey and sea green (sizes 36-44).
All XC shoes are compatible with Shimano’s SPD pedals, such as PD-M9100 or PD-M8100 and are expected to be available in stores by winter 2021.
2. Product images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4wv0nvni3kupznr/AADVJcC0dqn42DrlMZS-NxHVa?dl=0
3. About Shimano Europe: Founded in 1921, Shimano is dedicated to helping its customers get closer to nature, supporting people to realize their dreams and create new lifestyles. That comes with the desire to create outstanding cycling products and apparel. With almost 100 years’ experience in creating internationally renowned bicycle components, Shimano is proud to have developed products that continue to take countless athletes to victory and provide the means for limitless global bicycle journeys. For more information see www.shimano.com.