Shimano has updated its gravel shoe with two new versions, the updated RX801 and a new RX8R, which features an ankle sock to keep grit and pebbles out.
Aimed at the racier end of the gravel segment, Shimano's RX8 gravel shoes are a firm favorite of ours and some of the best gravel bike shoes on the market due to the combination of low weight, stiff soles, and excellent fit.
They weren't perfect though, while the narrow tread gave them excellent stability on the pedals, it made them a bit precarious off the bike. Shimano appears to have taken the criticism on board and has widened the tread footprint, both under the forefoot and at the heel, to add more walking stability.
Visually not much has changed with the RX801 and they have a very similar look to the old RX8s and cheaper RX600s. It's unclear if there have been any changes made to the shoes' last, however, the RX801 will be available in half sizes between EU 39 and EU 48. Shimano will still offer a wide fit as well, with sizing between EU 38 and EU 48.
The wrap-around closure remains the same as the old RX8, however, the new shoe features a new low-profile BOA Li2 dial, rather than the IP1 previously used.
Shimano kept the RX8 fresh by releasing a range of bold colors, this continues as the RX801 will be available in a Tropica Vivid inkjet printed graphic shown below. Black and silver options will be available too.
The new RX8R, the R stands for Rally, is essentially the same as the RX801, but it features an integrated gaiter. This creates a close fit around the ankle to keep water, dust, and debris from getting inside the shoes. While this isn't something we have particularly had a problem with, your experience may differ. The RX8Rs are only available in a Metallic Orange colorway.
The shoes are claimed to weigh 268g (EU42) per shoe and the gaiter version adds an extra 20g. The RX801 will retail for $275 / €229 / £229.99 and the RX8R is priced at $300 / €274.95 / £269.99.