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Qualities Of A Good Cycling Shoe(11 posts)

Qualities Of A Good Cycling ShoeRanierBeer
Apr 18, 2002 1:03 PM
I have been riding in tennis shoes with toe straps, and I want to get used to cycling shoes and clipless pedals before the AIDS ride. What should I look for in a pair of good cycling shoes and pedals.
a bit about shoesmr_spin
Apr 18, 2002 1:57 PM
A road bike shoe should be reasonably stiff on the sole for efficiency. If you have the bucks, you can get carbon soles that are incredibly stiff and on some people may actually hurt the foot.

A mountain bike shoe is going to be a trade off between stiff sole for efficiency and a walkable sole for times when you need to dismount and hoof it. Modern day MTB shoes end to be a lot stiffer than shoes made five years ago.

I mention both kinds because some people have both kinds of bikes but only want one pair of shoes. If this is you, get a decent pair of stiff MTB shoes, and use SPD pedals on both bikes. I'm sure others have other suggestions. I have two dedicated pairs of shoes.

Make sure there is enough strap leeway to adjust to any foot.

The rest is all about comfort and totally your personal preference. Some have mesh uppers, which are great for hot conditions. Some have full leather, which aren't so great for hot conditions. Choose wisely.

I've worn Sidi Genius 3, which were great. I switched to Northwave Evolution, which are also great. My MTB shoes were Nikes, but now are also Northwave.
a bit about shoesjtolleson
Apr 18, 2002 4:13 PM
For hobbyist, charity riding, and a tour like that, it is hard to beat a mt bike shoe with an SPD recessed cleat/pedal setup. There are even some carbon soled mt bike shoes now, with added lugs, so the old beef about shoe flex doesn't apply.

Sizing/last construction among models vary so much I hate to say "which shoe" to consider but I would encourage you to start with a mt bike shoe and either SPDs or Speedplay Frogs. Skip the 'net shopping for this purchase, you need an LBS to work with you and, if needed, take returns. Once you've gotten some experience, you may be able to shop online next time.

Just my two cents, o' course.
2d the mtb suggestiondjg
Apr 19, 2002 6:07 AM
Road shoes are ideal for road riding, but for a first pass at dedicated cycling shoes and a clipless pedal system you might really consider the mtb options as providing lots of the advantages of road shoes in what, for you, might be a more user-friendly package. They're much easier to walk in, for one thing, and they can be nearly as stiff as, and not much heavier than, road shoes, depending on what you get. That's not to say that proper road shoes are bad--they're all I use on my road bike, which is what I ride the vast majority of the time--just that mtb shoes might be a good transition from tennis shoes.

Try a bunch on and ask questions at a decent shop. Fit, as with all athletic shoes, is the biggest concern. Super loose old-tennis-shoe-comfy is no good, but neither is tight and uncomfortable.
re: Qualities Of A Good Cycling ShoeIcefrk13
Apr 18, 2002 2:43 PM
Make sure the fit do not buy them because a friend says that taht one is the best. Just like you bike if they do not fit they will hurt. (a lesson I learned in mountaineering boots). that said I have a pair of Northwave's for MTB and Shamino M221 for road. I like em both.
The variety of fits is broader than you really want to have tobill
Apr 18, 2002 2:59 PM
think about. You basically have to try them on. What someone else loves may be torture for you.
The rub, so to speak, also comes because people assure you that they are supposed to be tight. Well, you don't need as much room as with a walking shoe, but, I promise you, they are not supposed to be tight. Tight is torture. Don't go there. If you don't believe me, I've got some shoes, barely used, I'd love to sell you.
The cost determinants, as far as I can tell, involve the stiffness of the shoe, the lightness of the shoe, and then features, such as the closure systems. Some have two or three straps. Some have four. Sidi has got the microlock system instead of velcro (or, hook and loop systems to you trademark purists), which I think is great. Some differences I think involve how elaborately the shoe is put together; you know, little pads here and there, that sort of thing.
Try a bunch on. You tend to spend some time in them.
As far as pedal systems, hell, they all work. Some do a little more for you in this or that area than some others. Figure out what you are trying to accomplish -- if you are dedicated and you want something that lasts, buy something cool. There is a huge range of price differences. I have Record pro-fit, which I like quite a bit, but did you ever hear somebody say, after spending $100 more than somebody else, that he didn't think it was worth it? Take that sort of thing into consideration when listening to recommendations.
If you're doing the Aids RideMe Dot Org
Apr 18, 2002 6:06 PM
...and you decide to get Looks, beware: You do a lot of walking AFTER your ride every night (pitching your tent, etc.)

I heard from the bike mechanics that a lot of Look cleats were getting clobbered after the 3rd or 4th day. If you get Looks make SURE you wear cleat covers when you're not riding.

I love Speedplay frogs. They are easy to walk around on, and the easiest cleat to engage/disengage. They are a little more expensive. A lot of people are happy with Looks and Shimanos, but I love my Speedplays.

If you are planning on doing the AIDS ride with clipless pedals, you should start practising NOW. Not only do you need to be very comfortable clipping and unclipping (you're going to be riding with a lot of people), but you don't want to find out clipless pedals are causing knee problems in the middle of the ride.

Best of luck!
re: Qualities Of A Good Cycling ShoeLen J
Apr 19, 2002 6:18 AM
I did AIDS Alaska last year & while I use Speedplays normally, I used MTB shoes with SPD clips for the AIDS ride. As someone else said, There is a lot of walking, Both at the rest stops & to & from the Bike Barn each day. Most of this is on gravel Or loose earth. If I were you I would Get MTB shoes, you don't give up too much stifness but they end up much easier to maintan & easier to get around ing.

Two other suggestions:

1.) Get them set up by a good fit specialist and make sure you do much of your training with them. If the clips are not mounted correctly on the shoes for your individual leg attributes, you can get some knee pain. You want to know this & have it fixed before a multi day tour.

2.) Buy an extra set of clips. I'm not sure which ride your doing, but you don't want to be in the middle of nowhere and lose a clip without a replacement.

Good luck

Must-have listDaThumb
Apr 19, 2002 6:32 AM
1. 5 straps minimum
2. Must be compatable with Look, Campy, Time, Speedplay, Keywin, Eggbeaters, Shimano, and Richey pedals, without the use of an adaptor.
3. Pig-iron sole stiffeners.
4. Mercury-filled, geosyncranous float sensor.
5. Computor controlled servo Q-factorization.
6. Weigh under 78 grams.
7. Must be the Buster Brown signature model.
re: Qualities Of A Good Cycling ShoeSintesi
Apr 19, 2002 8:13 AM
3 straps that are adjustable while riding. Velcro is good.

Make sure it securely holds the ankle. You don't want your ankle moving up in down in the shoe at all.

Room in the toebox. Feet swell when you ride. What was comfortable at the beginning of the ride will erase the feeling in the lower half of your foot by the end.

Stiff sole = efficient shoe. Also means hard surface for your foot to push off of. Leave room for inserts as in Dr. Scholls, orthotics, etc.... Number one thing that improved my Sidis was an arch support insert.

Breathability. Mesh is very kind in the summer, when it gets cooler buy a pair of shoe covers to keep the chill off.

Make sure you like the color. Italian shoes are notorious for making the rider look like a "dutch ferry."
Find a lightweight touring road shoeGeardaddy
Apr 19, 2002 9:51 AM
First of all, find a shoe that fits like a glove. If there are areas that are a bit snug, you will be sorry after the long rides. Also, if the shoe fits your foot well, then you don't have to have 3 or 5 or 29 straps to customize the fit.

I would suggest finding a lightweight touring road shoe with a recessed cleat that you could use an SPD/Ritchey/Speedplay style pedal. I don't think there really is such a thing as a LOOK style cleat that can be recessed.

I am very happy with the one strap touring road shoe for both road and mtb riding. It fits well, is lightweight, has a stiff sole, you can walk in them, and I can use the same shoe for road and mtb riding (I use Ritchey logics on both road and mtb). In general I found a lot of road shoes to be overpriced and overengineered for my needs, and I find a lot of mtb shoes to be heavy and overbuilt (who actually needs those big a$$ toe spikes?).