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  1. #1
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    Stiffer MTB Shoes - Any DIfference????

    Since I started riding, I've always used Pearl Izumi X-alp shoes (x-road, endure, elite) because I like the hike-a-bike functionality of them. I used platform/clip style pedals like Mallets and Time Z. I have since moved to a smaller pedals (Time XS Carbon) and I am running 1x9 setup with 34T (34T rear) chainring. I do like the stand and pedal about 40% of the time too on climbs.

    So, my question is, will I notice a big difference difference if I move to stiffer MTB shoes, perhaps carbon soles. I know they are probably lighter, but focusing on stiffness/performance. My shoes now seem to work well, I feel a little flex here and there, but I've never ridden any other type of shoe shoe I have nothing to compare to. I don't want to drop a 100+ dollars on some shoes when it won't make a huge difference.

    I've been thinking about shoes like the Specialized Elite, Northwave Rebel SBS, or some Pearl Izumi.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I know some people like the x-alps, but I had a pair and thought they were extremely flexy, to the point that I could often feel the cleat under the ball of my foot. It wasn't so apparent when they were new, but they seemed to get flexier the more I rode with them. So, yes, a good pair of mtb shoes isn't just a little stiffer, but a whole 'nother world of stiffness, and, for me, comfort. (I've had good luck with Lake and Shimano shoes.)

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Albeant. Could you tell me which X-alp you had? I think some of them are more flex than others.

  4. #4
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    Big difference from carbon to an Xalp, unless you have the carbon xalp that is discontinued. My experience matches yours, they are good with full platform clipless pedals, but flexy otherwise.

    The new xalp elite has a different sole, but the only review I have seen of it said it was flexy. Carbon sucks to walk in, so you decide what your priorities are.

  5. #5
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    Sorry man, I don't remember the model. I was a fairly early adopter, thinking that they'd be perfect for the steep hike-a-bikes here in southern cal. I do remember that they had laces, had some orange on them somewhere, and were the first pair of riding shoes I've thrown into the trash in disgust. Good to read they've offered some other models that might be better. The old Lake mx165 with the vibram sole pretty much became my shoe of choice before I switched to platforms: plenty of tread for hiking, stiff sole, and no buckles to fail.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info folks. I may just give the carbon shoes a try and save my x-alp for the days I know I'll be walking some.

  7. #7
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    I've found the stiffer the better.

  8. #8
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    I like the stiffer shoes for everything but trail maintenance days. I've done a few endurance races where I spent at least a few miles walking in carbon sole shoes (Diadora), and I honestly didn't notice. Might have just been due to the fact that the rest of my body was in complete agony...

    One pair of shoes I really enjoyed that seemed to fit the perfect blend of stiffness and flexibility were my Mavic Razor shoes. Man, those things were comfy.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the replies...I ended up just investing a little more and getting the Specialized Pro MTB with Blue Footbeds for them.

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