What’s in Kansas, the so-called Wheat State? I’m from there, and I’m here to tell you: not much. Except for Unbound Gravel, and wide-open skies.
Luckily, Unbound is exactly what Shimano had in mind with the release of its new gravel shoes. Three entries of the Flint Hills Edition RX8 and RX6 riff on the sunrise, sunset, and moonlight that blanket Kansas when the Unbound gravel race descends on it each June.
The shoes, Shimano said, “celebrate the early mornings and late nights that riders undertake while pushing their limits in Kansas each summer.”
Cyclists have spun on Shimano’s RX race platform for years. In the words of BikeRumor’s Cory Benson, the RX8 was “Shimano getting serious about gravel from a proper race perspective” back in 2019.
But you could never get a pair until now in “Twilight” — or the more moderate-spec RX6 in either “Sunrise” or “Moonlight.”
The designs mostly speak for themselves, in their gradient color palettes. The course maps on Sunrise and Moonlight are a cool touch. Meanwhile, “Twilight” brings the focus on the course in tighter: You’ll notice detail that resembles rolling hills on its pink and purple, perforated upper.
In a decisive departure from the shoes’ Kansas theme, Shimano has given each one its own haiku.
“Twilight,” by Shimano.
If it’s your thing, the RX6 variants also have their own poems — of whatever merit. (They appear to be confined to Shimano’s press release, so I’ll liberate them here):
What you can’t do, as of this writing, is get any shoe except the Sunrise in women’s sizes.
Find all specs at Shimano’s website. A pair of Flint Hills Edition RX8’s will set you back $275, and the two RX6 versions check in at $180 MSRP. Cleats are sold separately.