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  1. #1
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    Sizing MTB Shoes

    Going to get some MTB shoes (likely Specialized S-Works) to match up with the new Epic. Any suggestions on how a properly fit pair of shoes should feel. I'll be wearing a summer sock with these. I know rock-climbing shoes should fit tight. Runners need some toe room. How should MTB shoes feel?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    A Guy Who is Going Places
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    Don't match them to the epic, match them to your feet.

    In general, and leaving aside for the moment any footbed considerations, a cycling shoe should fit well, but not too snugly across the arch. (The medial longitudinal arch, your foot has two other arches aside from this one)

    Over the course of a decent ride your feet will swell slightly, so some extra room isn't necessarily a bad thing, just make sure your feet aren't sloshing around too much.

    In a stiff soled cycling shoe, you will experience a bit of heel slip if you try to walk around. Again, just make sure this isn't excessive. A bit won't hurt you because pedaling isn't a heel-to-to action.

    Make sure you set up the cleats properly.

    And do consider a footbed. The human foot has spent the last several million years evolving into a very efficient springy lever that allows us to do amazing things like run down prey or mates, and escape from all manner of snaggle toothed beasties. But only in the last few years have we hit upon the idea of asking this springy lever to function as a part of a mechanical drivetrain. And in fact, to serve as our only biomechanical interface with the bicycle.
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  3. #3
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    footbeds

    any suggestions on some footbeds? Are the off the shelf ones any good - i.e. superfeet etc?

    robin
    if you're gonna be dumb - you'd better be tough

  4. #4
    A Guy Who is Going Places
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinb
    any suggestions on some footbeds? Are the off the shelf ones any good - i.e. superfeet etc?

    robin
    Off the shelf ones can be good, but unfortunately there is no way of knowing unless you experiment or you have a really good understanding of your foot structure. You have 26 bones and 33 joints on your foot, and this fact, combined with individual differences ensures that every foot will be different. Often one's left foot is different from the right. Arch height, forefoot structure, and how loose or tight your ligaments are can all affect how the foot needs to be stabilized.

    The Specialized footbeds offer three different arch heights, as well as some ability for customizing the adjustment of the forefoot (varus/valgus) The company line is that the majority of the population has a varus forefoot, but Specialized doesn't neutralize the forefoot before this assesment. I have seen that once the forefoot is neutralized, more individuals exhibit a neutral or valgus forefoot structure. Also the Specialized footbeds have a vestigial metatarsal bump. (which can be greatly enhanced by the judicious application of some RTV to the underside concavity of the met. bump)

    The difference between even the adjustable Specialized footbed and a custom setup, like Esoles is significant.
    http://www.anthonysloan.com

    Isaiah 15:5

    There are many good bike companies out there, and I work for one of them.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: robinb's Avatar
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    footbeds

    thanks for the info anthony - you clearly have a knowledge of feet far beyond me. I own specialized mtb shoes and haven't had any foot problems, I have however experienced some very discomforting hot foot from my road shoes (shimano carbon soles 8+ yrs old) on long hot rides. I've just bought some specialized road shoes and am in the process of setting them up.

    Any insight into how a footbed can help hotfoot? I have heard to put the cleat back more to get the ball of the foot a little off the pressure of the pedal axel.

    robin
    if you're gonna be dumb - you'd better be tough

  6. #6
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    I tried on several different brands of shoes but the only ones that fit and felt great were the Specialized. I also found that sizing varied wildly across brands. A 45 in a Sidi is not the same size as a 45 in a Specialized.
    My shoes fit perfectly with Smartwool socks. The toe box should have enough room to wiggle your toes but not enough that it feels like a cavern. With two pairs of socks on, for winter riding, my shoes were too tight. I purchased another set of Specialized one size larger to wear in the winter.

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