1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    NOOB Shoe Questions

    So, I'm looking for some shoes for biking that are better than generic sneakers but still allow you to have a life and walk around in a fairly normal manner off the bike. I'm just getting back into biking on a 12 year old Trek so I'm trying to resist going hog wild buying high end stuff until I'm sure I will stick with it. My bike has clipless platform pedals (hopefully I got that terminology right.)

    I spent 30 minutes at REI with a very enthusiastic salesman who had me trying on a pair from Pearl Izumi (Apex IV or something like that) and some from Shimano. He stressed how the shoes should be VERY snug for efficiency in transferring pedalling energy to the pedals but I've got to tell you, they were killing me!

    I've got an arthritic bone spur on the top of my big toe that acts up with certain shoes and it was really screaming at me with both pair of shoes I tried.

    Should I try a slightly larger size and stress comfort over technique? Should I look at more of a casual style? Do these type of shoes break in over time and get more comfortable? Should I just stick with good cross-training type shoes for awhile? Any specific shoes that a lot of folks really like?

    Thanks for everyone's input.

  2. #2
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    Are you sure the pedals are both platform and clipless? Pearl Izumis and Shimano shoes tend to run narrow. Maybe that's why it was uncomfortable? If the pedals are platforms, I would just wear a pair of gym shoes.

  3. #3
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    I had some Nike clipless shoes I wore for years and my foot would start to go numb after 15 miles or so. They tend to run a bit narrow in my experience. I only were Shimano shoes now and they have a larger toe box and fit me well. I wear a casual type with deep tread and are great for those hike-a-bike moments. As for wearing in....only a little. You won't be jumping off the bike at the local park and play some pick up b-ball games in them. The shoe should be comfortable when you try them on and probably won't get better with time. If you are unsure if you are going to keep up with riding then I would think hard about fronting the cost of pedals and shoes.

    Just looked at my shoes, Shimano SH-M037. I don't believe they make them anymore but I picked up two pair a few years ago for less than 50 bucks on an online auction. I retired the first pair and now onto my second pair. I love them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by husonfirst View Post
    Are you sure the pedals are both platform and clipless? Pearl Izumis and Shimano shoes tend to run narrow. Maybe that's why it was uncomfortable? If the pedals are platforms, I would just wear a pair of gym shoes.
    I have "regular" pedals that I removed the toe cage and narrow strap from so the REI guy described that as clipless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drbo View Post
    I had some Nike clipless shoes I wore for years and my foot would start to go numb after 15 miles or so. They tend to run a bit narrow in my experience. I only were Shimano shoes now and they have a larger toe box and fit me well. I wear a casual type with deep tread and are great for those hike-a-bike moments. As for wearing in....only a little. You won't be jumping off the bike at the local park and play some pick up b-ball games in them. The shoe should be comfortable when you try them on and probably won't get better with time. If you are unsure if you are going to keep up with riding then I would think hard about fronting the cost of pedals and shoes.
    I have no intention of engaging in anything other than some casual walking around when I get off the bike for a bit. They definitely will be primarily used for riding the bike.

  5. #5
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    Clipless platform pedals. So do you mean no cleats on the shoes?

    I strongly recommend 5 10 shoes. Very "sticky" on the pedals and walk like sneakers.

    I have the Sam hill model.
    Apparel > Shoes and Footwear > Mountain Bike Shoes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    Not inexpensive but well worth it.

    If you mean clipless as in shoes with cleats i use Shimano which are very comfortable but not quite sneaker like.

    BTW: 5 10 does make a clipless (cleat) version.

  6. #6
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    Skate shoes work well,Etnies,Vans. Five 10 Freerides are good.

    If your looking for wide clipless, any Shimano up from the Sports can be ordered wide.
    Last edited by Metalhack; 03-05-2013 at 07:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    drjay:

    Correct - no cleats on the shoes and nice, normal pedals like on our bikes 40 years ago!

    I've heard of and seen the 5 10's at my LBS. I'll have to go back and give them a good look.

  8. #8
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    Platforms have pins. The diameter and height of the pins can be different. Sharp small diameter pins(like set screws) with 7mm or more of height tear the soles of trailrunners and tennis shoes. 5.10s work with those. Fatter rounded pins or short pins or even cheap cast pins work with trailrunners, etc.
    The technique to stay on the pedals is to ride with low heels when on the pedals over bumps.
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
    drjay:

    Correct - no cleats on the shoes and nice, normal pedals like on our bikes 40 years ago!

    I've heard of and seen the 5 10's at my LBS. I'll have to go back and give them a good look.
    I really cannot recommend 5 10 enough. I shuddered at the thought of drooping over 100 for a pair of "sneakers". However glad I did. I had ridden with Vans, Reebocks etc.

    Just cannot describe how the 5 10 grip the pins.

    5 10 originally designed rock climbing shoes.

    As for pedals i went a bit insane.

    Spank Spike Pedals > Components > Pedals, Cleats, Toe Clips, Straps > Pedals | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    If you go this route or any other platform with pins make sure you use blue locktite on the threads.

    The combo of the 5 10 and the Spanks is great. You just cannot slip. To reposition your feet you MUST lift your foot off the pedal.

    Best of luck

    Dr. J

  10. #10
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    First, the little cages you took off are called toe-clips. They are crap, so good job removing them. Contrary to logic, you do not have clipless pedals. Clipless pedals actually involve a cleat on the bottom of your shoe which engages into the pedal. You can then twist and release your foot.

    So, what you now have is some form of platform pedals. A decent platform pedal will have some pegs on them to grip the sole of your shoe. You can spend all kinds of $$$ on any of these types of pedals. I am betting that any pedal that started with toe clips is a crappy platform pedal. So, you may want to look at Wellgos or some of the other recommendations already made.

    If you go with platforms then you are looking for a shoe that those pegs will get some traction on so your foot is not slipping all over the place. The recommendations for 5 10 are pretty poplular. From what I know of them they have a nice spongy bottom. Also, a decent trail/hiking shoe may have some pretty good tread that may similarly play well with those pegs on the platform pedal. If you have a pair of those already that are comfortable and don't irritate your bone spur, you may want to try that for awhile. That also addresses your ability to walk around town (or the park) when not on the bike.

    FWIW - I am both a platform rider and a clipless rider. I convert to platform for winter riding since I can't affort the pricey winter riding boots. So, my winter solution is a decent pair of Wellgo's and hiking boots...no more cold feet.

    Hope this helps a little.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    First, the little cages you took off are called toe-clips. They are crap, so good job removing them. Contrary to logic, you do not have clipless pedals. Clipless pedals actually involve a cleat on the bottom of your shoe which engages into the pedal. You can then twist and release your foot.

    So, what you now have is some form of platform pedals. A decent platform pedal will have some pegs on them to grip the sole of your shoe. You can spend all kinds of $$$ on any of these types of pedals. I am betting that any pedal that started with toe clips is a crappy platform pedal. So, you may want to look at Wellgos or some of the other recommendations already made.

    If you go with platforms then you are looking for a shoe that those pegs will get some traction on so your foot is not slipping all over the place. The recommendations for 5 10 are pretty poplular. From what I know of them they have a nice spongy bottom. Also, a decent trail/hiking shoe may have some pretty good tread that may similarly play well with those pegs on the platform pedal. If you have a pair of those already that are comfortable and don't irritate your bone spur, you may want to try that for awhile. That also addresses your ability to walk around town (or the park) when not on the bike.

    FWIW - I am both a platform rider and a clipless rider. I convert to platform for winter riding since I can't affort the pricey winter riding boots. So, my winter solution is a decent pair of Wellgo's and hiking boots...no more cold feet.

    Hope this helps a little.
    No, it actually helped a TON! Thanks for the terminology lesson and the advice.

  12. #12
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    I ride VP Platforms and Teva Links Shoes which are made to be pedal shoes

    I also wear my links several days a week as a casual shoe. They are pretty much the same as skate shoes with bottoms made for biking. IMO they look better than the 5Tens which is why I went for them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
    drjay:

    Correct - no cleats on the shoes and nice, normal pedals like on our bikes 40 years ago!

    I've heard of and seen the 5 10's at my LBS. I'll have to go back and give them a good look.
    Five Tens are great shoes but can be pricey.

    I actually wear an old pair of Puma Brushspikes (trail running shoe) that I didn't care if I tore them up anymore. Can't get them anymore so I am a little sad as they do fantastic for pedaling and for the hike-a-bike portions too.

    However, I would look more in to upgrading your pedals before worrying much about the shoes. Some will tell you to go clipless and that is fine but I prefer flats.
    I have Wellgo MG-1's on my hard tail which are a good pedal for the price. However on my full suspension, I have the VP-001's and they grip like crazy glue.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
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    Pricepoint has 5.10 Freeriders on sale for $79 or $69 on Amazon....well worth it
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