“ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT DANCING SHOE BUILT TO WITHSTAND HOURS UPON HOURS ON THE PEDALS”
As an ultra-distance rider with a wider than normal foot, finding a shoe that accommodates my orthotic, conforms to my foot and doesn’t put pressure around the widened metatarsal of my small toe (bunionette caused from wearing shoes that are too tight) is incredibly difficult. In the past I’ve purchased shoes that are a designated wide fit and up to two sizes too big, just to accommodate the greater volume of my feet during hot days on the bike when they swell. Not only does this look ridiculous (clown feet,) the shoes haven’t supported my feet as they should (surely this explains my lack of watts…?)
That is until now. I won’t mention what shoes I’ve come from, but what I will say is that they’re a top tier racing shoe and although as stiff as anything, which provided fantastic power transfer, they ‘accommodated’ my feet, they did not ‘fit.’
As such, my quest for the past few years has been to find the perfect shoe. Luckily, just one week prior to my departure for Japan and another few thousand kilometres on two wheels, I found what, in my eyes, is close to the PERFECT shoe.
Low and behold, the Scott Road RC Lace. At 245g (US8.5) the RC lace is up there with some of the lightest shoes currently on the market. The HMX Carbon Sole is awarded a Stiffness Index of 9, while their top tier, RC SL Shoe is awarded a 10. In my eyes, unless you're one of the worlds sprinting greats, guys like Sagan, Kittel or Cavendish, I’m confident that the RC Lace is going to be plenty stiff enough for you.
The 3 bolt cleat holes allow for plenty of adjustment and the sole markings make it incredibly simple to set up your cleats. I am anal when it comes to cleat setup, but since setting my cleat’s on the RC Lace, haven’t touched/adjusted them once. For those that know me, this is unheard of…
Given the nature of riding I partake in, at the end of a two week adventure, my hands are as dexterous as a pair of boxing gloves. As such, I’ve always been wary of laces. Another worry with laces has been the inability to adjust the tightness of my shoes on the fly. I’ve been wearing the RC Lace for two months now and have logged close to 9,000km on the pedals. I’m pleased to report that it took just one ride to sort out how tight I needed the laces. Like walking and running shoes, once you find that sweet spot, it’s easy to replicate day after day.
At my local Scott dealership I also tried Scott’s Road RC Shoe, a very similar shoe that utilises a double boa closure system. As mentioned above, a little sceptical of the laces, I was keen for the Boa version to fit, however was pleasantly surprised that the Lace up version had a slightly more supple upper and as such, conformed to the shape of my foot much better. If you are blessed with a set of ‘normal’ feet, then I’m confident that either shoe will fit well.
Out on the road, the RC Lace is an absolute work horse. To be honest, for a shoe to prove itself, I almost have to forget that I’m wearing it. The RC Lace ticks this box. At no point have I found myself with hot spots or pressure points. Whether I’m out beating myself up over 10min efforts or in the hills dancing up the climbs (at 80kg I don’t dance up climbs, but heck, in these shoes it feels as though I am) I really do forget that I’m wearing shoes at all. Power transfer is brilliant and like ‘new bike syndrome’ I honestly do feel as though I’ve bought myself a few extra watts.
Scott currently offer the Road RC Lace in a matt/gloss black with fluoro yellow laces and sizes range from 38US to 48US (no half sizes.) The fluoro laces weren’t for me so I’ve swapped them out with the spare black laces that were supplied in the box. I can’t comment on the innersoles as I am a big advocate for orthotics, but in terms of appearance and structure, they are up there with the best. Scott also provides adjustable arch support inserts and so for those that don’t currently use orthotics, the arch support as provided in the box may provide the additional support that is required.
The RC Lace retails for $289 (AUD), and at this price point offers incredible value. In my experience, shoes of this quality often retail for close to twice the price.
My one tiny niggle with this shoe is the lack of colour options. Black is fantastic in winter, and I do actually like the contrast of black shoes against white socks, but I would love to see the RC Lace offered in white. When it comes to summer, nothing quite beats a fresh pair of white slippers and matching white socks.
I have longed for the perfect road shoe for close to two years. I can confidently say that I think I have found it in the Scott RC Lace. A serious set of road slippers that function flawlessly, look good and won’t break the bank.