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  1. #1
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    New question here. Please Help Me With Shoes

    I have finally made the decision to go clipless. They come highly recomended for XC riding. After taking a few spinning classes with the toe clips, I realised how much extra power you can get from the up-stroke.

    As for pedals I am pretty much decided on Shimano SPD's. Looking at Shimano m520, m540, m959. Will likely go with the m520's or m540's as the price of the m959's is a bit steep for a first set. I have a cupon for a local shop, but they only have 520 and 959 in stock. I'll find out about ordering the m540's.

    Anyway, what I really want to ask about is shoes. I have no clue what to look for in a shoe. I wear a size ll-ll.5 running shoe and I have narrow feet. I don't want to spend a lot. We'll say about $100-140 Canadian, so about $70-100 American. At LBS prices. I definitely will want to try it on before I buy. There are two main styles I see to consider: An all purpose shoe such as the Shimano SH-M038

    or something more racy like the SH-M120

    I am just using these shoes for the sake of examples.

    They are for my mountain bike, but obviously I will have to walk in them a bit, whether it just in the parking lot or walking into the corner store to get milk. I would assume the multipurpose shoe would be much better for walking. How walkable are MTB shoes?

    So if you could, please guide me a little in terms of what to look for and consider when shopping for a MTB shoe.
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  2. #2
    XC Racing Daddy
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    I personally would do the 120's. They are great fitting shoes and arent too stiff (like the new 220's). The stiffness translates to the bike, and they are comfortable.

  3. #3
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    If the main use of the shoes is XC mountain biking I'd go with something like the M120's. Much better for serious biking and still very walkable. Like bikes, though, fit is everything. A good fitting pair of M038's would be better than a poor fitting pair of M120's. Try on lots of pairs before you settle on the right shoe because sore tired dawgs makes everything else much harder to stomach.

  4. #4
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    I do realise that fit is very important. There is likely several models that will fit well, so I just need a few more key points to look for.

    Specialized has BodyGeometry in there shoes which seems to be a somewhat radical approach. A little bit of love/hate associated with some of the reviews.

    How important is ventalation? I would really like to make an informed decision, and not have to replace my shoes before they wear out.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


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  5. #5
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    Walkability

    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    They are for my mountain bike, but obviously I will have to walk in them a bit, whether it just in the parking lot or walking into the corner store to get milk. I would assume the multipurpose shoe would be much better for walking. How walkable are MTB shoes?

    So if you could, please guide me a little in terms of what to look for and consider when shopping for a MTB shoe.
    I have the M038s and a pair of Trek shoes similar to the M120s. Either one is similar to walk in. They have pretty stiff soles, so I wouldn't want to hike for miles in them.

    OTOH, I forgot to check my stash of clothing I leave at work, and ended up working in my bike clothing. The MTB bike shoes were just fine, but I now have the nickname "Flash".

    The main thing is that the sole of the shoe is deep enough to prevent you from putting weight on the cleats. Road bike shoes are really nasty to walk in.

    Walt

  6. #6
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    I also have a narrow foot and wear Specialized Comps. They fit me well, espcially in the heel, but I couldn't wear their insoles. They didn't fit the contour of the sole of my foot at all. Fortunately they were easily removed and replaced with my Superfeet insoles and all is well.

    Ventilation can be good and bad. If you ride in rain/mud and cool/cold weather ventilation is not your friend. If most of your riding is in warm, dry weather then it's pretty important. If you buy ventilated shoes and wear them in wet weather make sure theres a drain hole in the sole, otherwise you could be riding in a bathtub.

  7. #7
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    I have had the M120's and M520 pedals since last May and I use them on my road and mountain bikes. My road bike is a fixie, which I believe puts a lot more stress on the shoe and they've held up pretty well. I also wear them for commuting to class, which means I walk around in them a lot and they're pretty comfortable. The soles are getting a little too worn now, so there's a lot of crunching walking across pavement, but the cleats are holding up well. I've never ridden anything stiffer, but I can tell you that it's a good deal better than boots and toe clips, which is my winter commuting setup. I've had no issues with ventilation either. They get damn cold in the Michigan winter if I ride through puddles and snow and things, but any shoe will because most of that is being conducted in through the cleat, and I never noticed any uncomfortable warmth or anything mountain biking in the California summer.

    With regard to pedals, I ride M520's because that's what came with my Jekyll, but I liked them and bought another set to put on my SS Rockhopper, and they eventually got transferred to my roadie/commuter fixie for when I'm at school. They seem to take quite the beating, and I've never pulled out of them. I have noticed that since I clip out on the right a lot more than on the left, the release on the right pedal is getting a little soft. They've begun to squeak too, but I've been told that can be fixed easily with a little silicone lube. I'm pretty sure the 520, 540 and 959 are all the exact same pedal except with different materials, so you're paying for grams.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    I have finally made the decision to go clipless. They come highly recomended for XC riding. After taking a few spinning classes with the toe clips, I realised how much extra power you can get from the up-stroke.

    As for pedals I am pretty much decided on Shimano SPD's. Looking at Shimano m520, m540, m959. Will likely go with the m520's or m540's as the price of the m959's is a bit steep for a first set. I have a cupon for a local shop, but they only have 520 and 959 in stock. I'll find out about ordering the m540's.

    Anyway, what I really want to ask about is shoes. I have no clue what to look for in a shoe. I wear a size ll-ll.5 running shoe and I have narrow feet. I don't want to spend a lot. We'll say about $100-140 Canadian, so about $70-100 American. At LBS prices. I definitely will want to try it on before I buy. There are two main styles I see to consider: An all purpose shoe such as the Shimano SH-M038

    or something more racy like the SH-M120

    I am just using these shoes for the sake of examples.

    They are for my mountain bike, but obviously I will have to walk in them a bit, whether it just in the parking lot or walking into the corner store to get milk. I would assume the multipurpose shoe would be much better for walking. How walkable are MTB shoes?

    So if you could, please guide me a little in terms of what to look for and consider when shopping for a MTB shoe.
    I'll add my $.02 as well. My first pair of MTB shoes were Shimano's that were much like the 120's but older. They worked and fit very well but what I didn't like about them was that the sole didn't feel like it was stiff enough to transfer most all of the energy to the pedal. Granted I didn't notice that in the beginning though. The other thing I didn't like was the laces and the strap. It was kind of a pain when putting the shoes on.

    I recently retired those shoes and bought a pair of Sidi's with velcro straps. They are very stiff which is what I was looking for but I have some unexpected cons as well. Unlike the Shimano's they are very difficult to walk in both because they are very stiff and because the sole's are vary narrow. They are prone to slipping under my ankles. They are not walking shoes. They are hardcore biking shoes made for maximum power transfer and only very occasional walking.

    So, my advice is to weigh the differences in what you want. Do you want a comfortable shoe to bike and hike in or do you want a shoe that will give the maximum power transfer to the pedals but suck to walk in? If I had it to do over, I would go back to laces and the strap for a more comfortable shoe. As it is, its ok, I don't walk much anyway but I hate having to watch every step as if my shoes are going to slip under me.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    I have a pair of Nikes. Not sure what style number, but they fit amazing. I have real narrow feet, and they fit great. They aren't the best to walk in, but on the bike they work good.

  10. #10
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    Good job!

    I bought a pair of '04 M038s this winter for 70 bucks CDN. I don't ride clipless, but so far I like them. No problem walking around when getting ready before a ride.
    2008 Trek Fuel EX 8
    Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    I have finally made the decision to go clipless. They come highly recomended for XC riding. After taking a few spinning classes with the toe clips, I realised how much extra power you can get from the up-stroke.
    Shoes - go with the M120s. I used a pair of those for 2 years. Great shoe. Better traction than the SIDI dominators I am using now - I slip and bust my A$$ at least once a month.

    I do have a pair of the M038-style shoes (M-058) and they are good shoes, but why would you try for the performance enhancement of clipless, then neuter the effects by getting a heavy shoe? I only use mine while riding with the girlfriend, where I end up standing around and walking as much as riding.

    I ride the M959 pedals as well. For the price, I would go one model lower. Same technology, half the price, and only a few grams difference.

  12. #12
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    I use the M038's. The best thing is that they have laces so the forces can be distributed across the foot. I tried a strap shoe, but it put the most pressure just where my foot couldn't take it, too painful. My 2 cents.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    Shoes - go with the M120s. I used a pair of those for 2 years. Great shoe. Better traction than the SIDI dominators I am using now - I slip and bust my A$$ at least once a month.

    I do have a pair of the M038-style shoes (M-058) and they are good shoes, but why would you try for the performance enhancement of clipless, then neuter the effects by getting a heavy shoe? I only use mine while riding with the girlfriend, where I end up standing around and walking as much as riding.

    I ride the M959 pedals as well. For the price, I would go one model lower. Same technology, half the price, and only a few grams difference.
    good info. I see what you are saying about offseting the benifits. If I wanted shoes where walking around was my priority, i would stick with flats and runners. what i am looking for is something that is for riding. although walkability is a great bounus, i guess i don't want to take away from riding performance too much.

    As for pedals, I think I am almost sold on the 520's. Reveiws are great, and so is the price.

    Keep the info coming
    Last edited by rkj__; 04-15-2005 at 05:27 PM.
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  14. #14
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    FYI:
    I have been wearing the 38's since Nov. and they seem to be wearing out quickly. The velcro strap is wearing out right at the buckle from rubbing against the crankarm, although that could just be my set up - I just can't seem to get it to stop.

  15. #15
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    Fit, fit and fit.

    It's all about fit if you want comfort and performance. Forget about brand and get one of a type suitable that fits your particular feet the best. You don't want a poorly fitting bike shoe for several hours of action just like you probably don't want to hike miles in a shoe that fits poorly.

    Good luck.

  16. #16
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    Update.

    I just purchased the Shimano SH-MA80 shoes to go with my PD-M520's. I think they should make a good combo. Seem pretty comfortable. I'll have to take 'em for a ride and find out. I just tried the stuff for 2 minutes in my driveway after instalation. I am real glad that the pedals have adjustable tension. Seems to be much more forgiving for a first timer. I will need practice, that's for sure. Wish me luck
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  17. #17
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    Really like my Lakes. Got their next to cheapest models in both road and mountain. I did have the diadoras and pretty much wore them out. With european sizing often times it is better to go 1 size larger---my road diadoras used to cause me numb toes.

    For multi-purpose most "racer" style shoes aren't what you want. Get something w/ a nice semi-flexible sole. The Lake, many Shimanos and the Diadora Jalapeno I believe all will fit that bill.

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