The things they don't tell you about their shoes...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The things they don't tell you about their shoes...

    Specialized Comp MTB shoes, anyone??

    I'm at the end of my rope. I've tried everything to make these shoes work and I think I'm going to have to through in the towel.

    I had been riding with Nike's YVR shoe and loving them except for the fact that they somehow pinched a nerve on my littlest toe and by the time I'd come back from a ride it'd be numb. The numbness would hang around for a week or so if I stopped riding.

    So, of to the local Specialized dealer to find a pair of shoes. Every review I've ever read about the Body Geometry shoes has given them nothing but glowing reveiws. In fact, they usually win the comparo. So, I tried on a pair of 06 Comp MTB shoes and they fit my abnormally wide foot perfectly, held my heal more snuggly than my Nikes, and seemed to be an all-around better fit and performer. It hasn't turned out to be the case however because ever since I started using these shoes my knees and all the tendons, ligaments, and muscles heads surrounding them have been aching. My knee caps don't track right anymore and they have a nice catch and pop that they didn't have before. I'm only 24 yrs old so it can't be my age. I haven't changed my riding habits or any of my other equipment. And I've never had any knee injuries. I've taken them back to the shop and had them fit me with various wedges to change the canting, used my old Nike foot beds, and played around with various positions of the clip-ins.

    NOTHING HAS WORKED!!!!! And I'm affraid if I keep on like this I'll actually cause my knees physical damage. I never expected anything like this. There was no hint that something like this was even remotely possible.

    Have any of you had experiences like this? Any suggestions? Anyone want a pair of Specialized 06 Comp MTB shoes?

  2. #2
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    i had a pair of 04 comps. they were perfect until the rubber fell off them( i only ride 30 times a year, moslty ride road) So i got the big S to warrenty my shoes (kudos to them).
    What I can tell you is the 04 shoe and the 06 shoe is completely different. While not bad they dont fit the same!

    Specialized is really big into promoting their insert technology. And to be honest there is some truth to it. But if you are having this much trouble with your knees and you know your bike fits you properliy try the inserts. they have acutally helped my on the mt. bike but did not like them on the road. so go figure. My gf also likes them.

  3. #3
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    Which inserts

    Which inserts are you talking about? My local shop has been great about trying to get these shoes to fit. They've given me the wedges to adjust the canting of the sole of the shoe. It seemed to help some but not much. Is that what you're talking about or is there something else? Please, if there is something else please let me know, I'm desperate.

    What frustrates me is that these shoes weren't cheap. On top of that, if it wasn't for my local shop being so cool, I'd have to spend another $50 or $60 bucks just to "correct" the shoe and make "normal." I feel like a sap for buying into this whole Body Geometry thing now, when all I want is to make the shoe fit like a regular, neutral shoe.

    I feel like there won't be much chance of redeming my investment on this one.

  4. #4
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    Yeah I hear ya. Shoes are tuff to buy for any purpose. If you knees are hurting wearing them stop immediately. Not worth it.
    Sp
    Yes the wedges are what I am talking about. Does your dealer have the foot board to stand on and check your arch? The wedges usually come with shoe inserts. Specialized makes them for low normal and high arches. They have deffinalty helped in my mtb comps. Cant say they have helped in my road shoe though.


    I dont know what Specializes warrenty on shoes are. How long have you had them? If not that long you should see if your shop will try to get them warrentied. If your shop wont call Specialized and see what they will do.

    If no one will help, bite the bullet and buy another pair of shoes, not worth wrecking your knees over.

  5. #5

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    I don't have Specialized shoes but I had the same experience with my knees. One was already messed up from repeated crashing in a very specific way while I tried to learn how to snowboard, but I didn't have the cracking/popping/soreness until I switched to clipless. Specifically, Time pedals and Cannondale shoes. The closest I've come to figuring out the problem is that at times it feels like my foot is tilting outward, probably because it isn't supported by the pedal. Also, my shoes are too narrow and pinch my foot right where the clip is located... right in the center. It's not a very comfortable feeling.

    My thoughts are currently A) find wider shoes and B) use combo flat/clip pedals. I have a pair of Mallets that aren't installed because I'm having trouble finding appropriate shoes (the ones that people say are wide, are not wide enough, and I don't want to pay so much for Sidis).

    Currently I'm using Wellgo flats and wearing Vans to ride. It's very comfortable, but you lose some of the power transfer of clipless, and I haven't figured out stuff like how to bunnyhop correctly without pulling up on the pedals (I know the theory of how to do it, but I haven't been able to make it work). If I can't find anything more comfortable, I'll just stick with the flats.

  6. #6
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    Is it possible that changing the shoe has changed the dynamics of where the saddle should be? What I am thinking is that where you had your leg extended at a certain point in the old shoes, because of the width of the tread/sole/inserts you are not in the same position? Have you tried adjusting the saddle up/down as they may compensate for the changes you have introduced?

    From riding on the road, I notice that things like changing pedals from SPD to Eggbeaters, you still need to adjust, maybe that is also true with change of brand shoes?

  7. #7
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    It takes me about 10 tries to get my cleats dialed in. If one is off just a little, it'll definitely cause those issues you're describing. I'd consciously think about where the cleat is on your shoe in relation to the ball of your foot. Once you have it centered on the ball (front-to-back), then start trying to get the angle just right so you're in the middle of your "float." Otherwise you'll end up riding with your feet twisted from your neutral position... Then make sure that your shoe isn't rubbing on your crankarms (and/or make sure that your shoes aren't too far out making your ride bow-legged)

  8. #8
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    Wow, great stuff

    You guys are hitting many of the things I'm experiencing. It's good to know I'm not the only one.

    Well, I went and did a test ride up and down my street using a Specialized shoe on one foot and a Nike shoe on the other, and then swapt to the other foot. What I seemed to find was that the Specialized shoe kept my lower leg more up right, more bowed out. The Nike shoe let my knee drift in a little more and was way more flexible in where I could place my knee. I've got to say the Nike felt more comfortable and seemed to put less strain on my knee..

    Another thing that may be making this more difficult is the fact that I ride a VP Free built up as my trail bike. The bottom bracket is wider than most bikes and may be forcing my legs out of a "normal" cycling pattern. Which is then compounded by the canting of the Specialized shoe.

    I agree with the cleat placement issue. I may need to continue moving them around, especially if the Specialized likes to keep the knee is such a "secure" position. But, as luck would have it, I've just stripped one of the nuts holding it in place and I can't get it out. I've tried several solvents and lubes to help break it free but there just isn't any retention left for the Allen rench. Any ideas? I'm thinking I may have to drill it out. SUCK!!!

  9. #9
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    Your new shoe is probably a lot more stiff then your old one. Could be your body needs to adjust to it.

    Number one reason for knee problems is a low seat. Ask your shop to fit you. Could be something small like height or moving the saddle forwards or back.

  10. #10
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    Way stiffer

    That was something that I noticed right away. The Specialized are much stiffer and the toe/forefoot is tilted up more extremely than the Nikes. It's like walking on tip-toes.

    I've had the shoes for a about a month and a half and probably put around 100 miles on them. I'm all for giving them a fair chance, but I really thought I'd be past all these aches and pains by now.

  11. #11
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    the real issue...

    ...is that other shoes don't give you knee pain, but these do.

    Do you have any idea how much money a chronic knee injury will cost you over the years? A lot more than a new pair of shoes will. Not to mention time off the bike, trouble walking (!), etc.

    The only shoes I've EVER owned that caused knee pain were Specialized Body Geometry shoes. I've always used really stiff shoes, too (on carbon-soled Shimano shoes right now). I got rid of the BG shoes after 5 rides.

    If you asked a running-shoe expert if you should put up with aches and pains from a new shoe, and if it would go away in time, he'd get a horrified look on his face, do a biomechanical assessment, and put you on the RIGHT shoe for you before you wreck something.

    I know that many riders love them, and I'm sure they work great for some biomechanical situations. But many riders don't need that tilt, and I believe that the safe route for them is any neutral shoe. Ditch them before you cause permanent damage.
    Registered Dietitian, Cycling Coach, Ascend Nutrition and Coaching

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  12. #12
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    Yup

    Up until I started riding with these shoes I had never had any problems with my knees. I think you're right. Comfort and longevity of my knees is the most important. Still, it sucks to through away $120 just like that. Ebay here I come!!!

  13. #13
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    Don't drill -- and get a professional bike fit

    Two quick things to point out:

    Don't ever drill a bolt with stripped allen head... go to a hardware store and get the right tool... I forget what it's called, but it fits onto a drill and is designed for stuck bolts, either screwdrivers, Torx or allen heads. For a 4mm cleat bolt it'll cost less than $10 and you'll not run the risk of ruining the shoe.

    Get a professional bike fit, by a physical therapist who rides. I'm not sure where you are but many places offer this. Here in Boulder we have the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine...and if you are their physical therapy patient for knee/ankle/foot/back pain they'll do a bike fit (hint, hint insurance pays).

  14. #14
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    try ebay. you can try a load of different types and hardly lose any money when you resell the ones that dont work out. that works with just about anything tho not just shoes =)

  15. #15
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    Definately a cleat postion issue .
    Stop guessing by doing multiple adjustments yourself .
    Go to your LBS and let them fit you to your bike .
    This is the same procedure they do for the roadies .

    It also includes proper cleat positioning .
    Best half an hour you will ever invest in a bike shop .

    Do it now !

  16. #16
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    From your description of if feeling like your knee if being forced outward, it sounds like an issue of forefoot varus/valgus. I know some people have already mentioned wedges, but take a look at this for a really good explanation of the problem.

    http://www.lemondfitness.com/product...mechanics.html

    It's my understanding that the Specialized shoes are designed to help with the forefoot varus that Lemond claims 87% of people suffer from. It sounds like you may be part of the 13% that don't need this and that is why the Specialized shoe is hurting your knee.

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