Shimano RC1 cycling shoes review

Great shoes for indoor cycling for less than $100

Shimano RC1 review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Shimano)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Shimano RC1 shoes are a great pair of cycling shoes that fit your feet like a glove.


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    Compatible with Delta Cleats

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    Very comfortable while riding

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    Detailed instructions


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    Does not come with Delta Cleats

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The Shimano RC1 cycling shoes are made for entry-level performance-minded cyclists, and will be a great addition to your exercise bike. 

The Shimano RC1 shoes are breathable, comfortable, and easy to wear. During this Shimano RC 1 review, I found them very lightweight and easy to break in, but stiff enough to keep my feet in place while riding as the shoes itself fit like a glove. While there’s a few things we didn’t like, we think these are the best indoor cycling shoes if you have a Peloton or other exercise bike.

Shimano RC1 shoes review: Price and availability

The Shimano RC1 shoes, which cost $90.00 and only come in black, are cheaper than most well known cycling shoe brands such as Venzo and Tiem. These shoes are compatible with Delta cleats (the company also sells an SPD cleat adapter separately for $18.82 on Amazon).

Shimano RC1 review

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Unfortunately, they do not come with the cleats, so you’ll have to purchase them separately; cleats usually cost around $10-$15.

Shimano RC1 shoes review: What’s included

The RC1 shoes came wrapped in the shoe box along with a pamphlet of instructions on what cleats to purchase and how to attach them when you get them. What was nice about the pamphlet was that it translated to many different languages, not just English. 

As mentioned, Shimano makes SPD cleat adaptors, but this means that you must purchase the SPD adapter as well as the SPD cleats. Instead of going through this hassle, it’s probably easier to purchase shoes that are already compatible with SPD cleats; we recommend the Venzo shoes.

Shimano RC1 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You’ll also need a small screwdriver or Allen key to attach the cleats to the shoes. Once you’ve purchased and received your cleats, make sure you adjust your cleat properly before you tighten the screws.

Shimano RC1 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You can always unscrew them if it’s not comfortable for you. Using the pamphlet these shoes came with will also help guide you through the steps.

Shimano RC1 shoes review: Comfort

I tested the Shimano RC1 cycling shoes with Delta cleats for well over a month alongside several other pairs of cycling shoes, and Shimano’s came out on top. While I typically wear a women’s size 9 for my running shoes, I opted for a men’s size 7.5 or 41 (EU) since these only come in men’s. 

Shimano RC1 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

These shoes come with three adjustable hook-and-loop straps which made it really easy to dictate how tight I wanted my shoes to fit for my ride. They were also easy to put on and take off. While the tongue is not adjustable, I ended up liking this design since the tongue stayed put during all of my rides.

While riding, the shoes fit my feet like a glove. They were very breathable and leave my socks mainly dry after I take them off when the ride is complete. Lastly, they are easy to pedal in since they are lightweight and stiff.

Shimano RC1 shoes review: Verdict

In comparison to other shoe brands, I found the Shimano RC1s to be the most comfortable and practical for my cycling needs. They check every box when it comes to looking for the best shoes for my Peloton. At $90, they’re less expensive than many other brands, though you do have to purchase the Delta cleats separately. 

What I liked most about the Shimano RC1 is that I felt like my foot was molded into the shoe. They were lightweight, very breathable when I did long classes, and had easy wear and removal thanks to the three velcro straps. Those looking for the best indoor cycling shoes won’t be disappointed.