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The R088s feature a fiberglass-reinforced polyamide outsole construction that strikes the ideal balance between rigidity and comfort. Now, we're all led to believe that stiffer is better, and in some cycling applications, this is absolutely true. However, it's crucial to remember that over the course of a century, that overly rigid shoe will degrade your circulation. So, to avoid the eventual numbing, Shimano developed what it calls its Dynalast technology. This outsole system delivers power to the pedal, while still allowing a calculated level of flex. This is possible due to the sole's variable stiffness and density that accommodates the movements of the arch.
Furthering this power transfer are the R088's securing straps. The shoes feature two hook-and-loop straps that allow you to control the shoes' internal volume. Shimano has given these a broad and offset design that makes them simple to grab and adjust while in the saddle, should you need to make any on-the-fly adjustments. Controlling the overall tightness and security is a Shimano micro-adjust, ratcheting buckle. This system allows you make incremental adjustments with an elongated ratchet fixture. And when examining all three straps, it becomes obvious that they all work in unison with the R088's anatomic last design.
For the uppers, Shimano used a stretch-resistant, synthetic leather for the support structure. This material is similar to other high-end synthetics in that it's more durable, lighter weight, and better to look at than traditional leather. To keep your feet cool, Shimano placed ultralight open mesh at the points of ventilation. Even better, in cooperation with the synthetic leather, this keeps the elasticity of the shoes extremely high, while providing the utmost in breathability and moisture management. More importantly, though, the uppers have been arranged around the Dynalast system. This design was the result of years of research and development that was hinged on pro-rider feedback. And the finished product is a last that adds an anatomic curve and the perfect amount of tension at the toe-spring section of the shoe. Accordingly, this design creates a smoother, more efficient upstroke, while promoting a wider range of motion for the legs.
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