Home Made Shoes for Flats- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Home Made Shoes for Flats

    I am getting old. Real old and my knees have started to shred to the point that I can't do clip-ins any more. I've tried different brands and lots of experimenting but it all comes down to the fact that I need to move me feet around while riding so my knees don't get weird. This was confirmed after I bought a pair of 5-10's and Blackspire pedals. One good ride and no knee discomfort afterwards. As much as I like the 5-10s for their excellent performance I just don't like wearing flat sneakers and anything with laces. I'm too old for that crap and I missed the secure locked-in feeling I get with SPD type shoes that have straps and ratchets.
    So what I did was to take a pair of old shoes, grind down the inner lugs, remove the cleats and attach a super grippy Vibram sole with short depth lugs. This requires going to a smaller pedal but that does not bother me since it feels like a SPD/Time with respect to the concentrated pressure. I don't have many miles on them but so far I like this a lot. It works best for fast XC since I find that I can spin for speed like I do on SPD's but can't do as well as on the 5-10 flats where I tend to push more than rotate. I also have a 5-10 sole kit if I find that there is something I don't like about the Vibram. I also have a template for locating and replacing the front cleats but so far I have not needed them. This has worked much better for bike & hike than the 5-10's which are not good for portage in many New England conditions. For any real down-hilling I will stay with the flats since I like the stability and don't pedal much anyway.
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  2. #2
    see me rollin, they hatin
    Reputation: NicoleB's Avatar
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    i have 510s as well. my biggest issue is the lack of options for females, but i know what you mean about wanting smaller shoes with velcro. That looks like a good idea though.

  3. #3
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Nice mod! What did you use to glue the sole to the shoe? I would be interested in hearing how it holds up over time.

  4. #4
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    i'd like to know as well. when i used the glue that came with my resole kit, it fell off after a few rides
    then i used gorilla glue, which held, but anyone who's used that glue knows that it bubbles up everywhere.

  5. #5
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    I used Weldwood and I'm sure the fumes blew away a few million brain cells even with proper ventilation. I have had good luck with this in the past on similar applications but I'll see how this goes. I filled in the outside edges with black calk. The 5-10 resole kit came with some glue but I have not used that. I infilled the SPD cavity with a piece of plastic and some bondo, then made the base flat with a belt sander. I glued both sides, and put them together just before dry as described in the directions. I then wrapped the soles tight and let set overnight. I wanted to experiment with the Vibram material first because one thing that bothers me about the 5-10 dot material is that it fills up with dirt immediately and does not disperse. 5-10 has a sticky sole that they use on their Insight trail shoe with lugs that would be much better suited for mountain biking. I don't know why they don't use that. In the attached pic is the sole during an early prep stage prior to final sanding smooth. There is also a pic of the Vibram soles that I bought from a cobbler supply company. I smoothed down the whole sole including the cleat circles. Some shoes will lend themselves better to this than others depending on the design of the sole. I realize that this is all a bit crude but if it works out then I'll do a pair that will look much more professional. I brought this project to a few cobblers but they turned me away!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i'd like to know as well. when i used the glue that came with my resole kit, it fell off after a few rides
    then i used gorilla glue, which held, but anyone who's used that glue knows that it bubbles up everywhere.
    Freesole works best for nylon/plastic/carbon soled shoes and rubber.

    The difficulty of getting the normal contact cements to hold is why most cobblers will not work on cycling shoes. My local shoe repair suggested the Freesole adhesive/sealer.
    mtbtires.com
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  7. #7
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    Hey Nicole, try to find an outdoor store that carries 5-10 mountain gear and look at the Insight trail shoe. I think it makes a great MTB shoe; the sole is sticky and the lugs are better designed for mud disapersment. They also have a women's line. Its about $100.
    Good Luck!

  8. #8
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    i happen to have the guide Tennie. it has the same sole pattern that the karvers and other DH shoes have. they are working well so far, but i wish they were more stiff. The karvers are to huge and bulky. i saw those insight ones, but are the lugs really deep?

  9. #9
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    Let us know when the soles fall off.

  10. #10
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    The lugs don't seem that deep (or long), but definately more than the dot design;
    maybe 3/8".The Insite, like all, trail shoes, could be stiffer for biking purposes, but ultimatelty it's up to personal preference. Yesterday I rode about 18 brutal miles of roots and rocks on an expert trail. I was definately over my head and thankful that I was not clipped in because it would have been a real pain everytime I had to stop, which was often. Good luck.
    Last edited by jrsbike; 11-06-2011 at 06:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    I figure about 2 weeks. We'll see. When they do I'll try the 5-10 dot rubber.

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