The $449 Scott MTB RC Ultimate Shoes are Ready to Race, but Miss some Marks [Review]

We spent a few months in the $450 Scott RC Ultimate cross-country mountain bike shoes. They are top shelf, but not perfect.
The Scott MTB RC Ultimate shoes. Photos: Matt Miller

While most mountain bikers will get by just fine on their everyday rides and races with your average pair of shoes, they just won’t do for the dedicated cross-country mountain bike athlete. Weight, stiffness, and power transfer become absolutely necessary rather than simply welcome attributes.

We received Scott’s latest all-out cross-country shoe in the summer for testing. The Scott MTB RC Ultimate shoes are a top-shelf, carbon-soled clipless shoe designed for high-performance. Here’s what you should know about the shoe.

Scott MTB RC Ultimate Key Specs

  • 10/10 Stiffness index
  • HMX carbon sole and Carbitex upper
  • BOA Fit System Li2 dials
  • Sticki Rubber compound
  • Adjustable ErgoLogic insole
  • Available sizes: 38-48
  • Weight: 680g per pair
  • MSRP: $449

It’s helpful to know what some of the trademarked terms in the specs mean, as Scott throws words like “Sticki,” “Carbitex,” and “ErgoLogic” around quite heavily in the product description.

The upper of the shoe is made from Carbitex, a carbon fiber textile which “harnesses the high tensile strength and no-stretch characteristics of carbon fiber in an exceptionally flexible and lightweight form.”

The Carbitex material on the Scott MTB RC Ultimate shoes have a carbon fiber weave.

Just like you’d want a tight and efficient sole for power transfer from your foot to the pedal, you don’t want to lose power in the shoe’s upper and have something that is shifting and sliding around in another area. The Carbitex material makes a tough but flexible upper that wraps tightly around your foot.

While the sole of the MTB RC Ultimate is not nearly as knobby as other bike shoes, there are some “Sticki” spikes on the toe and the sole provides decent grip. But because of the stiffness of the sole, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have traction in hike-a-bike situations. Folks should understand this when reviewing this model. It’s an XC racing shoe, and you shouldn’t really find yourself off of the bike regularly.

Ergologic is Scott’s “adjustable” insole system. This allows users to swap pieces of the insole out for different densities.

The aluminum BOA dials have a nice, sturdy feel.

Mounted up

I’ve had the Scott MTB RC Ultimate shoes for three to four months and they have held up admirably, as they should considering the price tag.

I requested a size 41, as I do on all my bike shoes. The Scotts have a very slim fit through the foot and fit a little long. There was also more room in the toes than I would have liked and I experienced heel slippage, despite the “cat tongue” material in the heel.

Around the ankle and over the top of the foot though, the shoes feel very snug and secure and I enjoy the Carbitex material. It does what it says it will and provides a comfortable but secure fit.

Sticki rubber, toe spikes, and carbon mid-sole on the Scott shoes.

These shoes might look hot since they are all black, but they have excellent ventilation and a lot of channels through the lower portion.

Also holding up its promise, the Scott RC Ultimates are among the stiffest mountain bike shoes I’ve worn and feel like a direct competitor to Shimano’s racey S-Phyre cross-country mountain bike shoes.

You can feel the power delivery from the shoes to the pedals and if you’re looking for efficiency, they don’t disappoint.

Inversely, they don’t make great shoes for hike-a-biking, especially with the heel slippage. The Sticki rubber compound is nice and soft though, aside from the plastic toe spikes.

I didn’t have any issues with the BOA Fit System. The Li2 dials have a nice feel to them and are easy to ratchet down or loosen slightly if needed.

The Scott RC Ultimates have some integrated protection on the heel cup and the toes. But on the inner foot, the top of my big toe is vulnerable and almost all of my pinky toe is vulnerable before it meets the toe protection. This feels like a pretty big miss on Scott’s part.

Pros and cons of the Scott MTB RC Ultimate mountain bike shoes


  • Stiff shoe for XC racing
  • Well ventilated
  • Good looks


  • Vulnerable toes
  • Fits a little long
  • Heel slippage

Bottom line

The Scott MTB RC Ultimate mountain bike shoes promise on several aspects, like stiffness, efficiency, ventilation and weight but miss a few marks in the areas of toe protection and fit.