Shimano launches Unbound Gravel special edition RX8 and RX6 gravel shoes

Gravel rider wearing the special edition Unbound RX8 shoe
The RX6 and RX8 special editions are a tribute to the big boss of gravel racing (Image credit: Shimano)

With Unbound Gravel just around the corner, Shimano has launched special edition versions of its best gravel shoes in the RX8 and RX6 as a tribute to the 'big boss' of gravel racing which attracts riders from all over the world every year to participate in the event held in Emporia, Kansas, USA.

Unbound is considered to be the best gravel event in the USA, if not the world, and is now in its 15th year, it's grown from a startline of just 34 riders back in 2006 to over 4,000 riders lining up in 2022, alongside World Tour roadies, gravel privateers, and professional mountain bikers for what is renowned as a 200-mile, hilly, tire-shredding, sun-baked gravel grinder around the famous Flint Hills of Kansas.

Gravel riders in the Unbound gravel race

Unbound attracts riders from all over the world (Image credit: Unbound)

Unbound prides itself on retaining the ‘grassroots’ feel and promises a life-enriching experience beyond just the best gravel bike race. To mark the fast-approaching race that this year takes place on the 3rd of June, Shimano has dropped its special edition shoes named RX8 Twilight, RX6 Moonlight and the female-specific RX6 Sunrise. Shimano says these gravel shoes represent the early mornings and late nights that riders endure while competing and pushing their limits in the true test of endurance that Unbound brings. We had a look at the models available and some of the details of each version.

Side view of the Unbound RX6 special edition shoe from Shimano

Shimano has launched these special shoes to celebrate the Unbound Gravel race (Image credit: Shimano)

RX8 Twilight

Side view of the Shimano RX8 special Unbound gravel shoe

The RX8 has a special pink-to-purple fade with the Unbound course profile (Image credit: Shimano)

The Shimano RX8 Twilight has the same performance and comfort of the highly rated standard Shimano RX8 gravel shoe in a special pink-to-purple fade to celebrate the purple evening glow of the Kanas prairie, with the elevation profile of Unbound featured along the side of the shoe. The RX8 combines pedaling performance and off-the-bike walking capability for the modern gravel rider, with a Boa Li2 dial, a leather upper and a carbon composite sole. US sizes are from 38-46 including half sizes, they are priced at $275.

RX6 Moonlight

Side view of the color scheme on the Shimano RX6 gravel shoe

The Shimano RX6 Moonlight is a more budget-friendly shoe (Image credit: Shimano)

The Shimano RX6 Moonlight is again the same more budget-friendly shoe as the standard Shimano RX6 which looks the same as the RX8 but with a carbon-reinforced nylon sole and uses a Boa L6 dial. The artwork on the Moonlight shows off a blue and green fade, showcasing the sky’s transformation from day to night, and the adventure ahead for riders ready to tackle the challenge of the evening darkness. The RX6 Moonlight also has a turn-by-turn map of the course along the shoe, celebrating the Unbound journey. Again they are sized from US 38-46 including half sizes, they are priced at $180.

RX6 Sunrise women's edition

Female Shimano RX6 Sunrise edition

The RX6W comes in a female friendly fit but no half sizes (Image credit: Shimano)

Finally, the Shimano RX6 Sunrise women's edition features a blue and pink fade that take their cue from the glowing Kansas fields at sunrise, as it transitions to day. With the turn-by-turn course map artwork crossing the shoe. The RX6W has all the same performance features as the RX6 with a female-specific fit for a long-lasting comfort. The RX6W balances stiffness for pedaling efficiency and walkability. Priced at $180 sized from 37-43 with no half sizes.

All the shoes are available now at Shimano.com and selected dealers.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm