Has anybody used the shimano rp4 road shoe? (or comments on boa vs. ratchets?)


New Member
Sep 3, 2018
I am looking to purchase some road cycling shoes and REI has some awesome deals on Shimano shoes right now. I am considering the Shimano RP3 and RP4 shoes. I can't hardly find anything on the RP4s at all, though it seems the biggest difference between the RP3/RP4 is the inclusion of the BOA dial on the 4 vs the ratchet on the 3. Thank you for any input!
Well...you're in luck as I have RP3's and dual BOA's on some Louis Garneau Carbon Strike models available through Performance only.

I have two pairs of RP3's. I found the first pair a little narrow in the toe box and bought a second pair one size larger. It is still just a bit too narrow in the toe area for my feet. YMMV, of course as all foot / shoe fit issues can be wildly different among individual users.

Other than the fit issue, the RP3 is well constructed and I would suspect it will prove to be a durable shoe. The standard velcro straps and ratchet mech adjust the fit well. Like any ratchet there will always be the 'it's a smidge too loose or a smidge too tight' problem for some users. For me, the ratchet mech has worked perfectly, fit wise, on several brands of shoes.

On to the BOA mech...

Micro-adjust is very good! Small adjustments for that 'perfect' feel is awesome. How long they'll last is a question I can not answer as I think I only have a couple months use with the LG BOA shoes. They're really comfy shoes and despite user reviews saying they are 'hot' I've had no problem in the department and have ridden, repeatedly, in 90-95 degree temperatures.

Rebuild of the Boa mech is a bit tricky and you need a left and a right dedicated kit to rebuild if you pop a string or trash the BOA ratchet. The good news is that a rebuild kit is as cheap as $5 each side. The bad news is that that popping a string on the road may require a stop to get some duct tape to hold your shoe on until you get back home to rebuild it.

Bottom line, BOA sure is good if you need a very small adjustment step and with the well-padded tongue of the LG shoe I don't feel and string cutting into my instep.
I have the Pearl Izumi Pro Road II with BOA and a couple pairs of Sidi's with ratchet. Although I find the Sidi's comfortable I find the Pearls more comfortable. It's just a single BOA on the Pearls I have but the adjustment in fit that it offers is better than the ratcheting on the Sidi's.

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