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Shimano RW80 SPD-SL Winter Shoe Review


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
I already have a pair of summer training shoes by Shimano (RD86) and I was very happy with the cost and quality of this product. We are lucky enough here in Japan to be able to continue riding throughout the winter but it gets cold, very cold, so I was in the market for a pair of winter/foul weather road shoes.

After reading and debating about many shoes I decided that as they would only be used I would go for the cheapest option. In this case the Shimano RW60's.

Now compared to summer shoes these are ugly, seriously they look like 1940's football boots, but don't be put off by the look. These things are 100% function and sporting Gore-Tex uppers, DURATHER liners, Glass fiber soles and water resistant cuffs these will keep your feet not only warm but also dry.

One thing that annoys me about a lot of shoes on the market is that they lack center lines for setting up the cleats on the shoes. Some have them but aren't big enough to be seen once the cleat is attached. My summer training shoes suffered from this and it looks like Shimano have addressed the issue on the RW80's, with nice big lines showing you the alignment angles even with large cleats such as the TIME iClick or Speed Plays.

Now before I write any review I like to put some mileage in to a product as you never know what might happen. So after about 400km I can talk about the fit and feel of the shoes.

First off the shoes come up slightly smaller than my Shimano RD86's, I take a 46 in these and the RW80's feel more like a 45.5. It's not super tight or uncomfortable but it's worth knowing if you are only just fitting in to your current Shimano shoes. But I have to say they are very comfortable and perfect for long slow distance training as they offer a lot of support.

The soles being glass fiber are stiff and light but if my RD86 shoes are anything to go by then they will start to lose some of their stiffness after a few thousand kilometers. The soles are the exact same mould as the RD86's.

Insulation on these is excellent and I was able to ride in temperatures of around -3c wind chill with just a pair of summer socks on under my bib tights. They seem to keep an ambient temperature as I found that my feet weren't getting sweaty, which often happens with neoprene booties.

One feature I love is the reinforced toe and heels, not only do these cut the wind-chill but also protect the most exposed are of the shoe giving them a longer life span.

One thing I'm not happy with is that the heel and toe rubbers are not replaceable and will require you to take them to a cobbler to have new pads attached. Leaving it to long will result in there not being enough sole left to nail in new pads so you'll need to keep an eye on them.

I have to say I'm very pleased with the shoes and they are perfect for winter training, the breathable uppers keep your feet sweat free but also nice and warm in the harshest of conditions. I haven't tested these in the wet yet but as soon as I do I'll let you know the outcome.


  • Amazing price for a feature packed winter shoe. (If bought online)
  • Keeps feet warm and dry in very cold conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Hardwearing uppers
  • No need for booties
  • Lots of support and comfortable even after many hours in the saddle

  • Non-replaceable heel and toe rubbers
  • No colour variations – Black only
  • Not the most attractive shoe on the market.

+1 for everything he said for the SPD shoes.

-3c wind chill with just a pair of summer socks on under my bib tights
Oh! A pair, or just one? ;)

My only real (very small) problem is getting them on. I have learnt to do so sitting down now, as I kept falling over trying to grapple with the straps and neoprene cuffs :confused:
That would be a British pair.... ie just two socks, one on each foot.

Snoogly, I agree they are best put on while seated and the the neoprene cuff velcro has a tendency to stick to your socks when putting the feet in, but to be honest its not really a con worth mentioning.

Bit embarassing saying you have difficulty putting on some velcro shoes. LOL.
I was implying the Red Hot Chilli Peppers way of wearing a single sock!

You are right, of course, an inability to cope with velcro is a problem on my part, not the shoes.

I do find them very comfy to walk in, after covering the cleats with rubber caps. In fact it is hard to find any real faults with them.
snoogly i was implying WE have a problem wearing velcro shoes ;)

But agree very hard to find fault, but the jury is still out until the really crappy weather hits.
Did Tomin no Mori today and it was rather cold first thing in the morning, but the shoes definitely didn't let me down. I'm very happy with mine! And yes they are slightly tricky to don, but it gets easier the more you do it and start figuring it out. Also, I definitely haven't any issues whatsoever with my feet overheating, sweating or getting wet in any way.

As you said James, regarding the soles, it remains to be seen if they will soften over time, but given that they will almostly exclusively be used in cold weather, I think that will help prevent them from flex much in the first place and therefore will extend their life in that regard. That's my theory anway! :D
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