Lunch Ride Review: Bontrager RXL Shoes

Bontrager offers every cycling accessory under the sun. From hard parts like wheels, stems and saddles to soft goods like clothing, helmets and socks, Bontrager makes it all. Over the past few years, Bontrager has invested heavily in its line of footwear, and the range has been updated for 2015. Bontrager sent us a pair of their RXL road shoes, which retail for $284.99 and are the third priciest option in Bontrager’s catalog of road shoes. Here’s a quick look at the RXL road shoes, along with our first ride impressions.

With a stiffness rating of 12, the RXL road shoe is among Bontrager’s stiffest.
The RXL shoes feature a replaceable heel tread.
Two Velcro straps and a ratcheting buckle make up the RXL’s closure system.
“InForm” is the term that Bontrager uses for its proprietary last (foot shape) utilized in all of its high-end footwear.
The RXL comes with a relatively thin insole, but one that offers a bit more arch support that many other stock insoles we’ve come across. The insole is also customizable, meaning that the light grey portion along the arch and metatarsal button is attached with Velcro and can be swapped with a different version.
The instep of the RXL features quite a few ventilation ports for extra breathability.
The RXL heel cups feature metal support structures for a more secure fit.

The RXL offer a relatively narrow fit from the heel through the midfoot, but then the fit opens up in the toe box area. In fact, we’d consider the RXL’s tow box to be quite roomy overall. The twin Velcro straps and ratcheting buckle system is quite common among cycling shoes, and it continues to work well. The RXL’s straps are just the right length to help even wider feet gain a secure fit. And the ratcheting buckle features not one but two release levers, which means that there are twice the number of micro-adjustment “clicks” that you can utilize to dial in your preferred level of tightness compared to a shoe with a single release mechanism. The stock insole has a good deal more arch support than most other standard insoles we’ve come across, and it’s customizable, too. Overall, we were happy on our first lunch ride with the RXL shoes and look forward to giving them a long-term test. The synthetic upper material is quite thin and supple, so we’ll particularly be keeping an eye on durability.

Price: $284.99
Weight: 515 grams (size 41)

Lunch Ride ReviewBontragerShoes