Shoes, shoes, shoes. Help me find shoes.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shoes, shoes, shoes. Help me find shoes.

    Shoe replacement is now long overdue. The soles are tearing off on both shoes and the cleats are worn down to nubs (Time Atac XS). I was thinking our harsh New England winter would eventually show up and keep me off the trails, thereby delaying a purchase, but it doesn't look like that will happen this year (not complaining).

    My current shoes are $70 Shimano dealies (forget the model#) with the 3 velcro straps. They're were nothing special. I never really liked them but they got the job done. I got about 1.5 seasons out of them which is my average. The shoes I've ridden have always been in the $70 to $90 range. I've tried a few different Shimanos, Lakes, Diablo's. None of them really impressed me. I tried on the Sidi's a long time ago and they fit like a glove but they were big bucks and at the time had XC style soles that were hard as crap.

    I ride "All Mountain" style in New England so it's necessary to have a sticky sole and to have something that is very tough and can handle excessive moisture as well. I'd like it to be on the lighter more breathable side of things. Ideally I'd like to spend a bit more money this time and get something that fits real well and is really comfortable and would last a good bit longer that 1.5 seasons. Does this shoe exist? What shoes should I look for?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    lake lake lake

  3. #3
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    I switched from the shimano cheap-o's to the Specialized Body Geometry--the ones with a ratchet buckle. I think they're called BG Comp (not the ones with the carbon sole). They're about $110 and super comfy. Well ventilated, plenty stiff for pedaling, there's rubbery bits on the sole, and the shoe is pretty light. They supposedly have something on their insole that puts your knee in a more healthy position.

    I don't love the ratchet buckle--sometimes it's a pain to get off if little rocks get jammed in. But aside from that it's a great shoe. I'll replace my current ones with the same thing when they wear our.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  4. #4
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    Shimano's are great for the money, although if you want something nice look at the Sidi's. Although they are more expensive, Well worth the money!
    Ride hard or ride home alone

  5. #5
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    Specialized BG shoes are awesome...they have a couple models now that are a little more AM/FR than average bike shoes.

  6. #6
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    What he said up there.

    Lake Lake Lake.

    Mine need to be replaced after 3-4 years and I'm thinking another pair of Lake.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  7. #7
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    Any particular model? The one had was more like a cheap hiking boot. It was heavy and soaked up water like a sponge. This was 5 years ago so I'm sure they've made some improvements.

  8. #8
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    This model looks sweet. Has anybody tried it yet? http://www.lakecycling.com/ProductIn...roductid=MX190

  9. #9
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    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


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  10. #10
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    yes..

    that's the one I've been using for a while now. dont even know it's on. just does the job--and good to walk in too.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    This model looks sweet. Has anybody tried it yet? http://www.lakecycling.com/ProductIn...roductid=MX190

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    that's the one I've been using for a while now. dont even know it's on. just does the job--and good to walk in too.
    Those look like great shoes. How long have you had them and how have they held up? What others have you used and how do they compare?
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


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  12. #12
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    I had them shipped..

    from Hammerhead Bikes in Austin when I was stationed in Hawaii. So it's been about 3 years I guess. They are holding up great--then again I dont have the MTB miles each year that some passionites have. My lake road shoes saw even more traffic and are also in great shape.

    i've also used shimano type that almost looks like a tennis or hiking shoe. They are ok--the heel is finally separating; I still wear them when I use the trainer.

    outside of that i had some diadora jalapenos and some nike something or anothers neither one of which fit very well and I wasnt too fond of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Those look like great shoes. How long have you had them and how have they held up? What others have you used and how do they compare?

  13. #13
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    Where did you get it? When I Google it only Lake's site comes up. I don't like the idea of paying full retail ($140)

  14. #14
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    Many LBSs--

    Many LBSs can order from the Quality Bike Parts catalog. Some LBSs even have the catalog incorporated on their websites. This is how I got mine through hammerhead.
    I see Hammerhead no longer has the catalog on its site. But most any shop should be able to do it--but how much it will be below retail I dont know. I think back then I might have paid 100 or so and that included shipping.

    I just did a google search for you--Lake MX 165s from QBP catalog on Bokoo Bikes (Minnesota)--119 dollars plus shipping. That's the model I have not 190s--sorry--i think maybe 190s are newer?

    EDIT--and back when I got mine, Lake didnt afford you the opportunity to order direct from their site. I think this is your best bet. You will be hard pressed to find Lakes on sale unless sometimes Performance/Nashbar gets a model or two with the odd size. I remember this now from when I was looking for mine. Performance had em but not many sizes and about10 dollars less than QBP cat.
    Bro, just get em direct from Lake! That way you're getting the newest model that you're looking for as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    Where did you get it? When I Google it only Lake's site comes up. I don't like the idea of paying full retail ($140)

  15. #15
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    Yeah. I'm a cheap bastahd!

    How is the velcro system on your shoes? the velcro on my Shimanos sucked. The shoes loosen up after about 30 minutes. I have to keep on restrapping them throughout my ride.

    It looks like the 190 is the same as the 165 except it has a buckle. I'm not sure I'm willing to shell out an extra $30 for a buckle. Would you spring for the buckle yourself?

    How about the sizing. My buddy wears a 43 and he's a size 10. When I e-mailed Lake they said my size 9 foot should take a 43. What size are you running?

  16. #16

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    I'm amazed that no one has mentioned the highly subjective nature of shoe fit. A shoe that fits one person like a glove (to mix the metaphor...) Could absolutely not work with your feet. Things to consider are:

    Do you have a high or low arch? Do you pronate at all? Do you use orthotics or footbeds?

    Also measure your arch length as well as the overall length of your foot.

  17. #17
    jrm
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    Dude heres a great deal on dom 4s


  18. #18
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    Sidi's

    I'm sure there are other good shoes out there, but for a long time I would buy shimano or specialized shoes because that's all they had around here. They would last a year at best and be shot and it was back to the LBS to buy another $100 pair of shoes that would last a year.

    I got fed up with that did some research and carnac and sidi seemed to be the way to go, tried a pair of Sidi's dominators which lasted 4 seasons and then I only replaced them for giggles with another pair of dominators still going strong after 2 seasons. I have a set of sidi road shoes as well that have about 4 seasons on them and doing great. They may be more money, but they last way way longer than $100 shoes.

  19. #19
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    According to the guys at the running shoe store I have an amazingly average foot. No over/under pronations, average arch, no other issues. I'd love to try on all these recommended shoes but nobody carries them locally. That's why I've been stuck with the mediocre Shimano's, Pearl Izumi's, other bike brands.

  20. #20
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    Normally I'm a huge proponent of perfect shoe fit, but for cycling shoes it's really not that big of a deal. At least for the minor fit issues. Cycling shoes do not need to fit nearly as well as say hiking boots, mountaineering boots, climbing shoes etc.

    The reason for this is you are not walking/hiking/running in them, and you don't put nearly the stress on your feet that you do walking/hiking. If you do walk or hike in them non of them are comfortable or easy on your feet doing it. Certainly having a cycling shoe that is way too narrow or wide for your foot or one that isn't 2 sizes too big or small is not going to work, but I think you can easily get away with a cycling shoe a half size either way, or doesn't have the perfect arch for your foot etc, or is just a tiny bit narrow or wide. While those issues would be horrible for a hiking boot, for a cycling shoe it's just not a big deal, it's not going to cause blisters or pain on a ride. Most of them have very good heel cups and since they are most all very short like a running shoe heel slip and such are not major issues. Esp. since most have very good lacing adjustment.

    In fact my first two pair of sidi's were 45.0's and I never noticed them being too big, the only thing I noticed was that I had to ratchet the straps almost down to their limits, so the next pairs I got were 44.5's and they also fit fine I just don't have to crank down the straps as far. If I had to hike 10 miles in my sidi's I'm sure they would be a bit narrow and my feet would hurt like heck and have all sorts of blisters etc. but for riding they fit like a glove and are comfy.

    What I would do is call some online cycling stores and ask them if you can order a sidi/carnac/lake etc. in 2-3 sizes, and return the ones that don't fit right. If you don't wear them outside or beat them up this should be no problem. With most of the stores having a liberal return policy I don't think this would be a problem.

  21. #21
    jrm
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    Key 4 me was using superfeet

    it improved the fit so much.

  22. #22
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    i have to look...

    i'm a 10 and a half. I think 44 or 45. I'll try and check when I get back home from work. I've had no problem with the velcro at all. And yes I'd forgo a fancy buckle. Ive heard people that have sidi complain about buckle woes.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyak
    Yeah. I'm a cheap bastahd!

    How is the velcro system on your shoes? the velcro on my Shimanos sucked. The shoes loosen up after about 30 minutes. I have to keep on restrapping them throughout my ride.

    It looks like the 190 is the same as the 165 except it has a buckle. I'm not sure I'm willing to shell out an extra $30 for a buckle. Would you spring for the buckle yourself?

    How about the sizing. My buddy wears a 43 and he's a size 10. When I e-mailed Lake they said my size 9 foot should take a 43. What size are you running?

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM
    Normally I'm a huge proponent of perfect shoe fit, but for cycling shoes it's really not that big of a deal. At least for the minor fit issues. Cycling shoes do not need to fit nearly as well as say hiking boots, mountaineering boots, climbing shoes etc.

    The reason for this is you are not walking/hiking/running in them, and you don't put nearly the stress on your feet that you do walking/hiking.

    With respect, I disagree. In cycling, the one and only biomechanical interface we have with the bike is through the foot. And in this process we are asking these 26 bones that evolved as a springy lever to become a rigid lever, a part of the drivetrain. Additionally, we need to stabilize all three of the foot's arches, medial, lateral and transverse. In effect we are demanding that the foot hide all of it's sins. If the foot pronates at all, it will effect knee tracking and saddle height and cleat position and can also lead into functional leg length discrepancies. If the arch collapses at all, the same issues arise.


    In my mind, proper shoe fit is of paramount importance.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    i'm a 10 and a half. I think 44 or 45. I'll try and check when I get back home from work. I've had no problem with the velcro at all. And yes I'd forgo a fancy buckle. Ive heard people that have sidi complain about buckle woes.
    I've only had 2 pairs of shoes over just over 3 years of clipless riding. Both had ratcheting buckles.

    My first was a pair of Pearl Izumis. They fit great and worked really well. For some reason, when I went to replace them, they had changed the design and I didn;t like the fit. They've changed the design back to the way it was and they fit again. Didn't buy a new pair anyway. Don't know what the model name is but they have one ratchet and 2 velcro straps.

    Since the PI's weren't available when I needed a new pair, I splurged on the Sidi Dom 4's. They fit great and I attribute some of the fit to the ratcheting buckle. Unlike the PI's that I didn't have any "buckle woes" the Sidi's sometimes have to be cleaned out with a screwdriver to clear tall grass and dirt out of the mechanism to get them off.

    I may not buy another pair of Sidi's for that and other reasons: 1) the soles are very hard and trying to walk on rock or pavement can be a tricky matter because they make it more slippery; 2) the buckle release issue; 3) too cold in the winter; 4) cost.

    If the PI's are available when I next go to buy a pair, they are probably the ones. I will definately try on the Lakes also.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    With respect, I disagree. In cycling, the one and only biomechanical interface we have with the bike is through the foot. And in this process we are asking these 26 bones that evolved as a springy lever to become a rigid lever, a part of the drivetrain. Additionally, we need to stabilize all three of the foot's arches, medial, lateral and transverse. In effect we are demanding that the foot hide all of it's sins. If the foot pronates at all, it will effect knee tracking and saddle height and cleat position and can also lead into functional leg length discrepancies. If the arch collapses at all, the same issues arise.
    Certainly you know much more about the foot mechanics and bicycle interface than I do. While I agree that good shoe fit is a factor in cycling I don't feel it's a paramount factor. To me the foot does not see anywhere near the shock load or pressure load pedaling that it does hiking or walking. And the pressures it does see when cycling are exerted over a much larger time frame. In addition the foot is nearly static in it's position with a good pedal stroke.

    I do agree that perfect shoe fit probably increases the power transfer efficiency slightly I'd be willing to bet it's a tiny tiny factor. I'd also bet that the extra cushioning of a custom fit insole probably absorbs that increased power transfer and the total system breaks even.

    Also the only way to get the kind of fit and stabilization you speak of in a cycling shoe would be custom made insoles in a cycling shoe designed with enough extra volume to hold them. Some of the self molded insoles may help, and they are great for taking up extra volume if you have low volume feet. If you really want to anger a podiatrist show him a cycling shoe sometime, they are simply not built to be nice to your feet in any way. As to the tracking of the knee I would also be willing to bet that cleat angle and cleat fore aft position and seat fore aft position which many cyclists have wrong are much more detrimental to their knees and power transfer than if their arch is slightly collapsed or foot slightly pronated in their cycling shoe.

    I won't argue with your conclusion that having a good fitting shoe does effect power transfer and could be a factor in knee tracking and positioning, however I think it's a tiny part of the equation that many cyclists have much larger factors wrong already.

    I guess my thought was I can send 10 guys out for a 5 mile hike with boots that are even slightly too big or too small or too wide or narrow, and every one will come back with blisters and sore feet. Yet I could probably send 10 cyclists out for a 50 mile ride with a shoe that's a half size either way, and or a bit too wide or narrow and none would come back complaining about foot pain, knee pain, or blisters. In fact the only case I've seen of cycling shoe blisters in 15 years of riding is when someone has left their socks at home and had to ride in their shoes barefoot.

  26. #26
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    I just picked up a pair of Specialized Taho's and love them! The sole is all once piece so fragments of it wont be breaking/tearing off like my old Specialized Sports did. The sole is not too stiff, nor not too soft and if you have to hike-a-bike they offer excellent traction. They were only $70.00 at my LBS. I ride TIME pedals as well.

  27. #27
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    FWIW, I have always worn Sidi (street) motorcycle boots,size 43. They have served me, and fit me, so well that I would never seriously consider a different boot. When I first got into mtbing though I was on a crazy tight budget ad ended up with some 661 shoes that are great for the price.
    So recently I had some cash in my pocket and I went out to get some Sidi shoes. Grabbed 43s off the shelf and wtf... too small. Grabbed the 44s, argh, way too big. I went home deppressed and with no new shoes. Bummer.

  28. #28
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    it's 45. On the Lake shoe it says 10.5-11 US, 45 EURO


    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    i'm a 10 and a half. I think 44 or 45. I'll try and check when I get back home from work. I've had no problem with the velcro at all. And yes I'd forgo a fancy buckle. Ive heard people that have sidi complain about buckle woes.

  29. #29

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    Again, with respect, I disagree on a few points.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM
    To me the foot does not see anywhere near the shock load or pressure load pedaling that it does hiking or walking.
    Shock, no, pressure, yes. Cycling does remove impact from the equation, but the pressure is still very much there.

    And the pressures it does see when cycling are exerted over a much larger time frame. In addition the foot is nearly static in it's position with a good pedal stroke.
    But in what state is the foot static? Is it statically held in a natural or pronated/collapsed position? If the foot isn't supported, and is allowed to flop around at will, all sorts of issues can arise, such as neuromas and the like.

    I do agree that perfect shoe fit probably increases the power transfer efficiency slightly I'd be willing to bet it's a tiny tiny factor. I'd also bet that the extra cushioning of a custom fit insole probably absorbs that increased power transfer and the total system breaks even.
    The power transfer difeerence can be dramatic. And a good custom orthotic will not absorb any energy. It will cradle the foot in it's natural positon, with the arches supported correctly. Also, good orthotics are not at all soft and spongy. I had a set of custom orthotics made for my road shoes and I was immediately able to install fixed, no float cleats.

    Also the only way to get the kind of fit and stabilization you speak of in a cycling shoe would be custom made insoles in a cycling shoe designed with enough extra volume to hold them. Some of the self molded insoles may help, and they are great for taking up extra volume if you have low volume feet.
    This is true, but starting out with a cycling shoe that properly addresses your foot structure is not a bad idea. Sidis are revered for their supple sythetic leather and their essential Italian nature, but they are very low volume shoes that offer precious little in the way of arch support. The newer Shimanos have gone to a reshaped last and still offer a good amount of room in the toe box. Specialized shoes do a good job of providing arch support, but they also build into the shoe 1.5 mm of varus wedging in the forefoot. Great if you need it, not so great if your fore foot is relatively neutral or (more rarely) valgus. The Specialized BG footbeds are a good and relatively inexpensive way to move towards proper foot support, provided you have someone that can help you asess your foot.

    If you really want to anger a podiatrist show him a cycling shoe sometime, they are simply not built to be nice to your feet in any way.
    Some are and some aren't. And agin, it all depends on how your personal foot meshes with a particular shoe. a cycling shoe certainly should not be like a ski boot, wherein the best part of your day is when you pry the damned thing off.

    As to the tracking of the knee I would also be willing to bet that cleat angle and cleat fore aft position and seat fore aft position which many cyclists have wrong are much more detrimental to their knees and power transfer than if their arch is slightly collapsed or foot slightly pronated in their cycling shoe.
    Cleat angle, yes you betcha. Saddle fore aft positioning won't have much effect on knee tracking. Fore aft cleat positoning will have more to do with power transfer or long distance foot comfort and less with any knee angle issue, also shifting the fore aft cleat positions on each shoe can be a way to adjust for a structural leg length discrepancy or an uncorrected functional leg length discrepancy.

    Overall, the feet have much much more to do with the entire lower body structure than many people give them credit for. A quick do it yourself test is to stand in your bare feet with your legs about shoulder width apart. Lift one leg and do a knee bend. Usually two things happen to most people. On is they lose their balance and the other is that the more they bend their knee, the more inboard it drives. This assesment is a decent approximation of what an unsupported foot does through every power stroke. Which on an average 2 hour ride happens about 4600 times to each knee.


    I won't argue with your conclusion that having a good fitting shoe does effect power transfer and could be a factor in knee tracking and positioning, however I think it's a tiny part of the equation that many cyclists have much larger factors wrong already.
    I agree that there are many, many factors at work, all related. My point is that proper shoe fit should not be discounted. And that shoe fit is subjective. One person's recommendation may well not work for another for fit reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM
    I guess my thought was I can send 10 guys out for a 5 mile hike with boots that are even slightly too big or too small or too wide or narrow, and every one will come back with blisters and sore feet. Yet I could probably send 10 cyclists out for a 50 mile ride with a shoe that's a half size either way, and or a bit too wide or narrow and none would come back complaining about foot pain, knee pain, or blisters.
    I've seen many cyclists suffer from knee pain due to improper shoe fit, and I have seen this emerge within 15 minutes of spinning on a trainer.

    I'm not trying to call you out or anything, I spend a lot of time with cyclists and their feet in my profession and I've seen a lot of people benefit substantially from taking even rudimentary steps to supporting their foot with the right shoe.

  30. #30
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    Don't know the exact model. They've got laces, though, and don't have that lumpy profile like many mtb shoes. Makes me sad to replace 'em.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    it improved the fit so much.

    Me too, I have them in all my biking shoes.
    Love, Impy

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