- - Shimano IC501 Indoor Cycling Shoes Reviewed

Shimano IC501 Indoor Cycling Shoes Reviewed

As an inveterate roadie who’s logged enough indoor trainer miles over the years to have traversed the galaxy, I’ve been pretty rigid in my choice of equipment, never straying from the same type of road shoe and pedal system as I use on the tarmac.

So, when Shimano asked me to review its latest IC501 indoor cycling shoe, my initial reaction was to pooh-pooh them as kicks aimed at yoga moms who want a pair of bike shoes they can perambulate the Ka’Chava isle at Whole Foods in after they’ve finished their whopping 10-minute spin class.

Well, the offer to also include the latest pair of Shimano’s top-of-the-line S-Phyre RC9 road shoes for a subsequent review, made for a less emasculating proposition.

The IC501 is the latest iteration of Shimano’s range of indoor-specific cycling shoes, featuring a new construction that not only comprises a stiffer sole and better closure system, but an innovative material called FUZE.

FUZE is an eco-friendly, non-toxic, chemical-free treatment that permanently adheres to surface of the IC501’s upper, which is designed to combat odor-causing bacteria, fungus and mildew, helping extend the life of the shoe.

Shimano also claims that FUZE is proven to speed the evaporation of sweat, a key concern when ventilation can be at a deficient while cycling indoors.

Other features that punctuate the IC501 include a full-length rubber outsole and a recessed cleat that sits flush, making them easier to walk in, particularly along fitness studios where perspiration from multiple riders can make for slick floors, as well as the addition of a new micro-adjustable BOA retention system.

So, tech aside, how did the IC501’s perform? Surprisingly well considering the bias I had going into the review. 

Indeed, the IC501 proved to be far more stable than I initially thought, providing a reasonably stiff platform that was adequate enough to handle big turns of the crank without creating the sensation that my feet were flexing over the pedals while transferring power.

Additionally, the BOA system made adjusting the shoes on-the-fly a cinch, while ventilation lived up to Shimano’s claims. And, on the chance that I had to dismount and make my way across the room for something, I must admit having the rubber outsole with a recessed cleat, for once made it easy. 

The only real downside to the experience, were the SPD pedals that had to be used in conjunction with the two-bolt cleat design of the IC501, finicking sods that were a pain in the arse to clip into until I got accustom to them.

What’s my final conclusion?

While, the IC501 and SPD pedals can in no way match the performance of a bonafide road shoe used with, say a set of Time, LOOK or Speedplay pedals, the set-up does provide a good option for individuals who aren’t interested in extracting every bit of performance out of their spin session, but rather a better solution than riding in clumsy sneakers and toe-clips. 

The IC501 is available in both men’s and women’s sizes ranging from 36 to 48, and in three colorways (Black, Wine and Gray) for $135.00.







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