This pair of shoes features Shimano's offset velcro strap system, which means the strap buckle is more or less in the middle, Shimano claims this 'relieves pressure points'- it's not a gimmick I find it really does make for a comfortable pair of shoes that can be tightened up snuggly. The buckle system is great, allowing precise adjustability for optimum comfort and quite frankly I love the clicky noise when you do them up.
The sole is made from a carbon fiber composite plate, so although there is no noticeable raw carbon fibre finish to show off to your mates, they are very stiff, which means you can push on the pedals without power loss through flex in the shoe, a problem I have had with the R088s. On a side note: The sole's material is prone to taking very small dents when walking over gravel but this only affects the aesthetics.
A 3 hole cleat mounting system allows for fitting of shimano SPD-SL cleats as well as Look/Keo cleats and if you use a plate adapter Speedplay pedals. There are markers on the sole of the shoe where the cleats are fitted to allow for precision fitting, furthermore the surface is rougher to help prevent the cleats slipping from their position when you fit them.
Fit wise- I went a size up on the european shoe size chart after having a previous pair of Shimano shoes (the R088), which I chose in the normal size I would normally get. General forum advice on internet forums as well as my advice would is to go one size up- if this doesn't work out, be patient and send them back for a different size, this shouldn't take more than a week.
On the sole of the shoe at the top of the shoe there is a hole for breathability as well as on the top of the shoe there is a more breathable fabric along with other strips around the shoe. In addition there are holes along the side of the shoe as well as on the heels (see image below) meaning I haven't had any problem with my feet overheating in these shoes. These shoes by design then are probably more inclined towards use in summer weather rather than in a cold winter.
These shoes are largely made from a stretch resistant synthetic leather, the heels are made from carbon reinforced Nylon.
These shoes feature Shimano's 'Dynalast Technology' for better comfort and power transmission... all I can say is it must work! For more info look here on their website.
In summary- I really love these shoes and I can't think of any way to fault them!
Available on Wiggle for £104.99 here.