This review should be filed under “extended road test.” My pair of black Shimano R151 road shoes have been with me since 2006 and they are still going strong. Since that time until now we’ve logged nearly 15,000 miles together. While road shoes don’t get a terrible amount of environmental strain here in Southern California the sunshine can be fierce at times and the smog even worse.
These have been my bread and butter shoes for about the last year. I use them to train in while I have another pair for racing, but for a long time these Shimano’s were my do everything shoe whether it was a group ride or a race. That was closer to the time I paid full price for them, but now I’m seeing some online retailers still selling this model and for much cheaper than what I paid. Now at about $99 a pair these are not just a value, but a serious bargain.
They come in a sensible black color easy to match with any color of sock in any season of the year. They are very breathable with added ventilation not only in the upper mesh toes, but a vent in the sole. I believe that added vent underneath helps keep my feet cool and dry on summer days. In the winter when the temperature got below 40 degrees I was still comfortable just by adding my Pearl Izumi Toe Covers.
Now this model is a little bit older and if you can find a pair in your size (and they come in half sizes) the R151s are worth considering because they have fashion-forward carbon soles that not only look great in the peloton but also enhance your pedal stroke by transferring power to the pedals more efficiently.
The closure system is three Velcro straps. I’ve put mine on countless times and of any pair of shoes in my stable, these strap as strong as the day I first rode them. Shimano molded the heel to work with the straps combining for a comfortable fit that keeps my feet feeling good even on a ride that passes the century mark.
After almost three years this is lightweight shoe that is rugged enough to keep it’s appearance while also performing as well as the day I bought them. Shimano shoes have this reputation, and this shoe is one of their road cycling benchmarks. If you are looking for a shoe that will last a longtime and keep performing day in and day out, these would be my first pick.