Gravel is still an emerging segment, some riders find themselves struggling with footwear choices—especially for racing. Mountain bike shoes offer great walkability, but are often too heavy and overbuilt. This leads many riders opting for lightweight road shoes with ultra-stiff soles that boost pedaling efficiency, but the lack of tread is not ideal for the inevitable hike-a-bike sections found in gravel race events and adventurous rides. Shimano addresses these problems by combining the best characteristics of their high-end road and mountain footwear into one shoe that's specifically designed for gravel racing. Lightweight and stiff, but with grippy outsoles and just enough toe flex to be comfortable to walk in, the RX8 might just be the best option out there for dedicated gravel enthusiasts.