I received an anonymous comment on my post about my now not-so-new Shimano R300 shoes; and so I figured I'd post my reply here as well as in the comments field as I'm sure "Anonymous" is not the only one wondering about how a pair of $350 shoes hold up. My reply is as follows:
Matt Magee said...
Good question. Thanks for asking.
The shoes are great. I took a good hard ride just last Saturday and did a great deal of climbing (West on Skyline Rd. past Cornelius Pass for those who know the area...) and still hold to every comment I made in my original review. Stiff, stable, comfortable.
The only unexpected thing that I've noticed is - due to the near-perfect fit - the shoes are somewhat unforgiving when it comes to cleat positioning. I've had to pay closer attention to putting my cleats in the right place. But - if your original fitting with these shoes is done by an experienced professional and you also pay for a cleat fitting (great use of your time and money) you shouldn't have any trouble. If you do, the pro should be willing to fix it for you.
My cleat issues stem from two conditions: 1) I do all my cleat adjustments myself and 2) My Speedplay Zero cleats are set for no float - also a very unforgiving setting; but rewarding and comfortable when set properly. I've been tracking down a slight amount of left-knee pain due to a slight mal-adjustment of my cleat rotation which would not exist if I used float on the Zero cleats. However, after the ride Saturday, the pain was gone.
The construction of the shoes is top-notch. After several months of riding, a very limited amount of walking, putting on and removing shoe covers and toe covers, and abuse by a two-year old (he loves daddy's shiny shoes) they're holding up great. The clear-coat has cracked and peeled off the toe and heel bumpers on the soles; but that's to be expected, really and hasn't spread to the rest of the carbon composite sole. I'm still quite satisfied.
I still say to not wait if you're considering these shoes. Shimano will produce the current version at least through the 2008 season and may not change it for 2009. They are broadening the line with a lower-cost version which only has a moldable heel-cup; but is still a top-tier shoe if $350 is a little rich for your blood (like it usually is for me...)
Keep the questions and comments coming! Thanks for reading.