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  1. #1
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    Shoe Durability?

    How long do you guys typically expect a pair of clipless all-mtn shoes to last?

    I got a pair of Bontrager RL's from the Trek store almost a year ago, and they're falling apart. Seams are tearing out, straps coming apart/broken, and generally just looking really beat up.

    I mostly rode XC-type riding for the first few months, getting into more aggressive riding when the bigger trails opened in the spring. I probably average two 12 mile rides per week. The shoes have gotten wet on two rides.

    In retrospect, these are probably not an all-mtn. shoe, but the Trek salesman told me they were. Seems like a $150 all-mtn shoe should last longer than a year.

    Should I feel guilty about trying to get them replaced?

  2. #2
    Armature speller
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    My Specialized Sports are 10 years old and the Velcro is starting to lose its grip...

  3. #3
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    Shoe Durability?

    You want something more like this if your trails are rugged. Look for a vibram or hard rubber sole. My switchbacks are still in great shape after lots of hike a bike. Also the giro terraduro look more traditional but have a rugged looking sole. I race in sidis but wouldn't use them everyday.




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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    My Specialized Sports are 10 years old and the Velcro is starting to lose its grip...
    10 years! That's insanely convenient! I can't get mine to last more that 3-4 years.
    Last edited by Max24; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:21 PM.

  5. #5
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    probably depends on what you do with them, and how often
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  6. #6
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    My wife's Bontragers fell apart very quickly. The main parts of the shoes lasted well, but the ratcheting buckles failed within a handful of months. They're very poorly designed, in my opinion. I wouldn't buy them ever again after her experience. I'd rather ride in birkenstocks with burlap socks.

    I use a set of Shimano AM45 shoes when I ride clipless. I've had them for 3 years, and they finally gave up the ghost a few months ago. No frills, but they worked extremely well, were very comfortable, and lasted 3 years. That's good enough for me.
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  7. #7
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    My first pair of sidi's lasted almost 10 years (and are still very rideable), my second are showing wear after 3 years.

    You should take them back. Not all shoes are as durable as Sidis, but 2 years should be a reasonable amount of time for a shoe you only wear 3 days a week for a couple hours at a time.
    195 lbs-6'4" Banshee Prime XL
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  8. #8
    Armature speller
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    Re: Shoe Durability?

    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    probably depends on what you do with them, and how often
    My SIDI's are in worse condition after half a season of XC racing.

    The Speccy's have done XC races, SuperD's, trail rides, CX racing and the occasional 10km hike back home with the bike over my shoulder. They are the most comfortable bike shoe I've used (out of SIDI, Lake, Diadora, Specialized and SIDI).

  9. #9
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    Sidi is the only shoe I have run and they hold up to just about everything. Ive used Sidi's for just about everything, from bmx, DH and all mountain.
    Best shoes ever in my opinion, and you can't bet the fit.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate all of the helpful replies. However, could we please try to stick to answering the questions:

    "How long should I expect a pair of all-mtn shoes to last? And...
    Should I feel guilty about returning my Bontrager shoes?"

    I've already done a ton of research on what my next pair of shoes will be, so shoe recommendations are not needed, unless it is to say "xxxx brand has lasted yyy long."

    Thanks! Just trying to keep things on topic and not have this turn into another shoe debate!

  11. #11
    two wheel whore
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    I would guess these types of shoes should a couple of years of hard riding and hab. My Sidis lasted half a season. But these were more xc, like your Bontragers.
    I've moved over to mostly flats, and the Five Tens look like they should last a good while.

    I wouldn't feel bad about returning them if they crapped out under normal use. If you were running marathons in them, that's another story.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I would at least try to return them with the receipt to show that they only lasted less than a year.
    Sidi shoes do last a long time so that's my recommendation for a new, long lasting shoe.

  13. #13
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    How long my shoes last should, I think, be related to the cost of them. I bought some Specialized S-works mountain shoes ($300ish) over 3 years ago and commuted on them daily for those three years, and have double-dutied them this year by starting to use them as actual mtb shoes. I've replaced the boa laces on each shoe, but hey, a few thousand miles of daily use kinda justifies $10.

    Had a pair of Specialized Comps that lasted 6k miles and I only had to replace the plastic buckles once, and they're now a steady backup/winter shoe.

    Flip side, I had some kind of Cannondale commuter/mountain shoe and within a few rides the snaps that hold the laces out of the way broke, so a lace got caught in my drivetrain. Ended up donating them to a newb classmate of mine.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    "How long should I expect a pair of all-mtn shoes to last? And...
    Should I feel guilty about returning my Bontrager shoes?"
    What does the warranty say? If theyíre still covered, then no, donít feel guilty. If not, it really doesnít matter how you feel - time to move on.

    You want to know how long you should expect a pair of all-mtn shoes to last - any pair, any manufacturer - but you donít want to get into a debate on the fact that certain manufacturers simply wonít perform like others. Iíve never owned anything but Sidis, so I guess I canít help you there.

  15. #15
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    My first Lake shoes lasted many years, although the stitching at the heel cup came loose after some years. I had that repaired twice by some shoe repair shop nearly doubling the time. My second set however shrunk a bit and only lasted one or two seasons. My Sidi's last for ages now however are only suitable as winter shoes as they are a bit large and need to be worn with thick socks and overshoes. I had Spec AM shoes for three seasons, but stitching came loose irrepairably at the back above the heel cup, which is a weak place because of their ankle height. A set of pretty cheap Mavics I use in summer now already last a while, only dry pretty slowly. My 5.10's did not hold up two well in the wet climate (they soak up a lot of water and dry even slower) and got damaged in a fall. The 5.10's freeriders are better (and better pedalling, but also transmitting more trail noise), but they now finished their first season, and I hope for a few more.

  16. #16
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    Happy to get a season out of a pair of shoes here.

    I tend to run toe spikes in whatever I have, just to prevent the toe knobs from wearing out in 2-3 rides.

    Leaning more towards something like the new pearl izumi's which are supposedly more comfortable to HAB in.

  17. #17
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    I used to get about 3-5 years out of sidi shoes till about 8? years ago, now the last 4 pairs last on average about 1-2 years before the sole turns to jello and starts lose big chunks or the glue fails. This year I am testing out Bontrager ( which now sounds like a mistalke) and Shimano MH088 and 162. So far in 6months the m088 have hardly any wear, despite a lot of hikeabike .

  18. #18
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    Took the shoes back to the Trek store the other day. Turns out it was just a few days short of a year from when I bought them. Bontrager is going to replace them for me. The guy at the Trek store tried to get them to give me a tougher "all mtn." pair, but they wouldn't do an upgrade.

    So, guess I'll use these until they wear out again, at which point I'll try to get them replaced again, or get some real shoes.

    Thanks for the replies!

  19. #19
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    My Shimano M086's all but disintegrated after 6 months. The last completely separated from the sole, the stitching fell out, holes appeared where the ball of your foot causes shoe flex when walking. My Northwave Strikers are looking new other than being dirty with 2 years on them. YMMV

  20. #20
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    Similar situation with my Sidis (Dominator 5 Mega); glue failure on front of sole. I had the two pairs of Sidis I was rotating re-glued and got them to last another ~4 years, so ~8 years total. My local terrain is very rocky so both got shoe goo on the front as well when they started to wear at the toes. Given that the re-glue was not expensive at all and lasted a long time, the longevity has been OK for me. One problem for me is that the Sidi soles are terrible on the slick limestone rock surfaces we have locally. The second problem is that other manufacturers I have found don't seem to offer the wide toebox I need; I wear a Sidi size 47 Mega.

    I'm looking at the Giro Terraduro as a potential replacement for my Sidis for very rocky conditions, though I don't know if they run wide enough. Any other options I should be looking at with similar characteristics and have a WIDE toebox?

  21. #21
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    I just bought a pair of Specialized sports after owning a pair of comps that lasted 4 years perfectly find until a crash broke the binding in an unrepairable way (old style binding, the loop, where the plastic strap goes through the part of the shoe that goes over your foot, broke). I have a week of riding on them and the outsole is disintegrating.

    I went in to the shop to exchange them for some Rimes, and one employee almost had the transaction done when a manager stepped in and said they had too much signs of wear on them to be an obvious warranty claim. The dumb ***** seemed to not believe me that I had only ridden them for a week when she had just printed out a receipt that said I purchased them a week ago. I am beyond pissed. I read some similar reviews about the Rimes. I think Specialized shoes are not what they used to be.

    And to be clear, my comps, after 3 years of commuting/road riding, and 6 months of trail use, have zero chunks missing on the outsole.

  22. #22
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    UPDATE: Bontrager sent me the newest model of the same shoe as the replacement I mentioned above. The buckle was shaped differently, and a bit lower profile, which was promising; but it was still made of plastic. Everything else about the shoe looked pretty much the same.

    I was riding on them today, it was about 45F degrees out, I went to tighten the strap mid-ride, and the buckle lever snapped right off in my fingers!!

    Taking them back to Trek tomorrow and demanding a refund or replacement with another brand. Done with Bontrager shoes. (And tires for that matter.) (Screw it, done with Bontrager!)

  23. #23
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    yep, sounds like Bontrager. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Trek and its subsidiaries are definitely not what they used to be. Well, they kind of are a bit like they were when they came out with the first Y-frame carbon bikes. Very dark days for them.

    I second what some others said about getting some Mavic, Giro, or Sidi shoes. My brother is very hard on his stuff, and rides at least 70 miles per week in his Giros. They still look like they are in great shape after a year and a half.
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  24. #24
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    Sorry you are going through an ordeal with your Bontys! Hopefully they square you away! edit: sorry to bump such an old thread!

    I used some Specialized Comps which made it about 4 years under very light use, at least by my standards. A couple rides per month, very light commuting, and a race or two per year. Soles seperated, the uppers were torn in multiple spots, the soles were worn down to the point where the cleat was sticking out.

    Next was a cheap pair of Shimano commuter shoes. I was doing food delivery at the time and they went for about 4 months. Lots of walking wore the soles out and there was some separation from the uppers.

    Thinking that lots of money would equal long shoe life, I bought some Sidi Dominator 5s. I used these up in a little over a year point five delivering food. Soles separated completely with a few tears around the straps and the soles are well worn out past the cleats. Pretty impressive considering the abuse I was giving them which included commuting, delivering, and heavy mountain biking.

    Then a pair of Mavic Rush xc shoes found their way onto my feet by means of some sale. They went for over two years of heavy commuting and heavy trail riding with some racing (no more delivering!) The soles are starting to separate, there are many tears in the uppers, and the soles are worn down past the cleats.

    I am looking forward to my next pair, the Giro Terraduro, which has some beefy Vibram soles. I am hoping they out last the Mavics, since the soles look to be more heavy duty. I am by no means a gentle rider, my feet sweat buckets, I ride a whole lot daily, racing is a must, and I like to jump off my bike when things get hairy...so ymmv.

  25. #25
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    My Sidi's have 5,000+ miles on them and they look brand new besides being a little dirty and some scuffs on the bottom from hike a bike. I use SPD's on my road bike so a fair amount of those miles are road, but still.

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