Shimano Cycling & Triathlon Shoe Review – R087 & TR31
As we move into the new season, it is about this time that triathletes start trawling through the web for that new bit of kit that could gain that extra couple of seconds, conformability or style. One piece of kit that extends to all three of these elements is your cycling shoes. There is a vast array of different types in the market, but the RMT Team have focused their minds on two offering from Shimano, one tri shoe and one standard road bike shoe. We are also a great fan of the cleats that Shimano make, which are a huge aspect of the power transfer from shoe to bike:
One up from the standard entry level road shoe, the R087s are a great looking piece of kit. They look very stylish with a great balance of black/white and breathing holes.
Instead of the entry level, three strapped Velcro shoe, the R087s use a micro adjust buckle which when in direct comparison with a standard strap really comes out top. It feels like it makes the shoes wrap round your feet with a snug fit. The dual off-set feature gives another opportunity to make the fit as best as possible and reduce any pressure points. It gives you the option to subtly adjust the tightness of the shoe instead of re-strapping your Velcro endlessly meaning your feet stay firmly in place, so important on those big hills. It the cheapest shoe around that includes this great feature which is always a plus! Being able to adjust your shoe easily on the move saves so much time.
One key element of a good road shoe is whether they get too hot after a long ride. Vent holes at the bottom of the shoes mean your feat will not sweat during the summer season. The upper part of the shoe features a mesh to help provide a snug, breathable and comfortable fit. The synthetic leather upper is stretch resistant, tough and durable. The sole feels sturdy due to lightweight glass fibre reinforced-polyamide material.
Overall these shoes have some great features and will look good. A very great option if you are starting to get serious about triathlon but don’t want to break the bank.
The TR31s are one of the cheapest offering in the market for a Triathlon type shoe. With only one single strap, the shoe comes off and on very easily. The front large strap allows you to tighten and adjusts the pressure enough around the whole foot. When opening the straps, your foot almost pops out of the shoe, ready to change into your running trainers. This shoe is also no-socks friendly (non-chaffing) although more expensive products would be the best option if you were planning a 100km+ rides. The single loop on the back of the shoes means you won’t really get a shoe that you can take off faster than the TR31. A quick comparison in a mock transition with the R087 was no contest!
The shoes feel tough and sturdy, which your can instantly feel when you clip on and get out on the bike. Fibreglass reinforced nylon outer soles give an excellent stiffness providing effective peddling. There is also tough rubber protection on the heel which looks as it if will make this product last for many seasons. The reverse strap is also a clever feature meaning it won’t ever get caught up in the chain during rapid transitions.
On the sweat font, this tri shoe does not have as many vents as a lot of tri shoes but has plenty of mesh panels on the sides ensure there is no issue here.
Overall, the RMT team are great fans of Tri shoes and the TR31 is a very good option for a small price, designed for fast performance.