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Thread: Your shoes

  1. #1
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    Your shoes

    I'm going to give clipless pedals a go. What shoes do you wear?

    I tried on, and like the fit of both the Specialized Riata (3 velcro straps), and the Nike Kato lll (laces, "stiff yet walkable support"). Although I ride mostly trails, I anticipate having to walk a bit on the trail from time-to-time until I get comfortable with the pedals. My concern with the Nike's is that they won't be stiff enough, and doesn't that just defeat the purpose of clipless? I find the women's specific shoes fit much better than men's, we just don't have that big a selection.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by boonah
    I'm going to give clipless pedals a go. What shoes do you wear?

    I tried on, and like the fit of both the Specialized Riata (3 velcro straps), and the Nike Kato lll (laces, "stiff yet walkable support"). Although I ride mostly trails, I anticipate having to walk a bit on the trail from time-to-time until I get comfortable with the pedals. My concern with the Nike's is that they won't be stiff enough, and doesn't that just defeat the purpose of clipless? I find the women's specific shoes fit much better than men's, we just don't have that big a selection.

    I LOVE my SIDI Dominators, but they are $$$$$$$$ expensive (>$200) for a first cycling-specific shoe. With that said, I started out on Cannondale lace-ups that were specifically for women. They weren't the cheapest Cannondale shoe, but the next one up. I think they were around $60. They look sort of like a hiking shoe, but have a place for a cleat. I thought they were great for recreational trail riding and hike-a-bike. They look alot like regular shoes, so that's also a plus. They are easy to walk in if you have to stop by the grocery on the way home. I got the Sidis because I got a good deal on them and the Cannondales were a bit heavy for racing. I still wear the Cannondales when I head for long mountain trips (non-race-related).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbjen
    I LOVE my SIDI Dominators, but they are $$$$$$$$ expensive (>$200) for a first cycling-specific shoe. With that said, I started out on Cannondale lace-ups that were specifically for women. They weren't the cheapest Cannondale shoe, but the next one up. I think they were around $60. They look sort of like a hiking shoe, but have a place for a cleat. I thought they were great for recreational trail riding and hike-a-bike. They look alot like regular shoes, so that's also a plus. They are easy to walk in if you have to stop by the grocery on the way home. I got the Sidis because I got a good deal on them and the Cannondales were a bit heavy for racing. I still wear the Cannondales when I head for long mountain trips (non-race-related).
    I secong the sidi dominators. I started with a lace-up shimano thingy, hated them (you really don't want any slippage with laces when you are clipped), then got a sidi that was a step or two below the dominator (had two velcro straps) and that was a lot better. But the dominator is the best - two velcro straps and a ratcheting buckle. The degree of adjustability, even while pedalling, and the security of not slipping at all makes this shoe a deal even though it is pricey. Also, it was comfortable on my foot pretty much out of the box. Rarely do I have any big problems hiking around in them, although of course I'd rather be riding and not walking, and I'm not sure any relaly good bike shoe is great for hiking.

    Recall that when you are clipped in, you are pulling up on the pedal as much as you are pushing on them. You will hate it if your foot is moving around in the shoe, and I think laces are not a good design. So I'd go for the 3 velcro strap design Riata. Or, if you know you are going to be biking for years, get the dominator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    Rarely do I have any big problems hiking around in them, although of course I'd rather be riding and not walking, and I'm not sure any relaly good bike shoe is great for hiking.
    I agree with this, it just depends on where you're riding and what the surface will be. I have a pair of Sidis which I was totally in love with.... until the first time we rode Slickrock. Sidi soles are hard plastic knobs and it's like being on ice. I wrecked once just putting a foot down because it kept going and going and going... And since that's where we ride a lot (and we like trails and such where we are continually challenging our technical skills vs. our cardio skills, there's always going to be some walking here and there), I bought a pair of AXO shoes that are the stiff hiking shoe type with both laces and velcro, but more importantly with sticky rubber soles that grip on the surfaces I ride on a lot.

    If you're riding more traditional XC or mostly dirt vs. rock - Sidis are the best you can get.

  5. #5
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie
    I agree with this, it just depends on where you're riding and what the surface will be. I have a pair of Sidis which I was totally in love with.... until the first time we rode Slickrock.
    If you're riding more traditional XC or mostly dirt vs. rock - Sidis are the best you can get.
    Good point. As I dont relaly ride on slick rock that much I didn't consider this.

  6. #6
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    I'm reading this with interest: My Sidi rampas are about at the end of thier useful life, I think I can squeak this season out of them. I know the "slickrock....wheeee...." phenomenon that Connie speaks of, yet dealing with laces doesn't inspire me. I have a really low volume foot that's hard to fit, on top of it all.

    formica

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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    I'm reading this with interest: My Sidi rampas are about at the end of thier useful life, I think I can squeak this season out of them. I know the "slickrock....wheeee...." phenomenon that Connie speaks of, yet dealing with laces doesn't inspire me. I have a really low volume foot that's hard to fit, on top of it all.

    formica
    Personally, I just wish Sidi would make some models that have the hard plastic sole and something the same quality that's a little more grippy. I know the hard plastic = durability that lasts forever, but it would be nice as an option to have something rubbery. In lieu of that - I go with the Sidis for XC rides and the AXO's for Moab or DH riding.

  8. #8
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    Formica, how about custom shoes?

    This is more in response to Formica, than to the original post. A new rider would probably want to try some stock stuff first, in order to develop a sense for what she likes in a shoe:

    I opened Pandora's box and got Rocket 7 road shoes for reasons similar to what is described in the posts above. Essentially, I liked the fit of most women's shoes, but the women's fit rarely came in the highest-end model. The men's models, while made from nicer materials, rarely came in half sizes below 39, and I wear a 38.5 in most men's shoes. There are a few companies that make high-end shoes in small half sizes (Time, Carnac, Vittoria, Sidi, etc), but I didn't like the fit of those shoes (for example, Sidi's toe box was a bit pointy for me.

    The upside: R7s fit better than I knew was possible. Heel cup, foot bed, strap length & shoe volume are all based on my feet (formica, this would address your issues).

    The soles are stiff. I really hadn't realized how much energy I was losing, particularly on climbs, until I wasn't losing it any more. It was surprising how much my climbing improved, particularly on the steep hard stuff.

    Additionally, I have found that the R7s are really durable - I did an entire road season in them (something that typically wears a shoe out for me) and they fit as well as they did when I first got them. Oh, and they are extremely, ridiculously, freakishly, laugh-when-you-pick-them-up light. Almost exactly half the weight of my old Time shoes: saved A POUND over my old shoes-with cleats (I did actually weigh them).

    The downside: they are EXPENSIVE. Retail for a pair of the "semi-custom" shoes is $559 - isn't that close to the cost of really nice ski boots? I wear my bike shoes almost every day... but it does hurt the wallet a bit.

    So anyway, I am saving my pennies for a pair of R7 MTB shoes. I have all the same problems with my Shimano MTB shoes that I had with my old road shoes, and am confident that custom will solve them. I know that I would gladly spend $559 on a bike frame that is A POUND lighter, and if it makes me more efficient at the same time, yeay! As far as walking in them goes, I don't know yet, but Kabush and others race cross in them...

    So, does anyone else out there have them in ATB form? How are they working for you?

    C

  9. #9
    brg
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    hmmm...rocket 7s

    never heard of them until your post -so I checked them out. they are super cool!

    maybe something to think about next year...Of course I "really" don't need any more shoes considering I have 4 pair of mtn bike shoes (2 pair sidi dominators and 2 pair of shimanos)

  10. #10
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    you know the place on the bottom of the Sidi's in the front where you can screw in a cleat? My shoes came with like metel stud cleats to screw in the front.

    Go to a soccer place and get a rubberized screw in studd cleat. Helps some with the slide factor of the Sidi's.

  11. #11
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    I've got the Specialized Women's comps. Love 'em. They lasted 2 seasons (doesn't sound like much, but trust me, with what I do to them... slogging through mud and water, and lots of hike-a-bike). They're walkable but still stiff. I freakin' love them. Buying another pair this week. And they're the only shoes (road or mountain) I've used where I don't get those numb spots in my feet.

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    Thanks all, that was a huge help. Strictly dirt trails 'round these parts. Abandoned the laces idea and ended up getting a pair of Specialized Comps. Neoprene inner is great because I'm also between sizes.

    Now, if it would only stop raining...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by boonah
    Thanks all, that was a huge help. Strictly dirt trails 'round these parts. Abandoned the laces idea and ended up getting a pair of Specialized Comps. Neoprene inner is great because I'm also between sizes.

    Now, if it would only stop raining...
    Yeah, I think I have the higher end, or the Comps. Wonderful shoes after you break them in. It took a few rides before my feet stopped hurting, and now they're wonderful!

    I've had three pair of Shimanos, but the last pair just didn't fit me right. I tried on more Shimanos, the SIDIs, and the Specialized. The Specialized were the only ones that fit.

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