Soft or hard soles shoes for your clipless pedals- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Soft or hard soles shoes for your clipless pedals

    I've been rocking the Sidi Dominators for 5-6 years. They're still going strong, but I'm contemplating getting new shoes I can walk in for the summer. What say you good folks of MTBR?
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  2. #2
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    I must have poly or carbon soled shoes, current using sidis as well. I weight a bit and ride a single speed anything with a soft soles causes severe foot pain as the pedals tend to make my foot meat tender after long rides, almost like I have plantar fasciitis (owie)

  3. #3
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    I have both, a pair of soft soled Keens and a pair of hard soled (carbon fiber) Giro shoes. I switch between the two depending on the type of riding and walking I may be doing on a given ride.

  4. #4
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    I think you may have the best luck with finding a shoe with a stiff shank like your sidi's, but have a softer, more pliable outersole. Sidi's are notorious for having the hardest outersoles out there. Even with some of the dual compound outersoles they have put on some of their models, I find them to be closer to plastic than rubber. With a stiff shank but softer outersole, you will get a more comfortable walking shoe without losing pedal efficiency since the outsole makes no contact with the pedal. Go to your LBS and flex the sole and press on the lugs. You want to find a shoe that is stiff when you try to flex it from toe to heel, but soft when you press on the lugs.

  5. #5
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    I wear the Pearl Azumi X-Alps with my Shimano 520s, the sole isn't rock hard and is ok for walking around in. I wouldn't go hiking in them, but for hike-a-bike they're fine and for the after ride meal/beer, they're ok too.

    There's two other "higher end" editions of this shoe as well.


  6. #6
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    +1 for carbon soles. Once you ride a carbon shoes, you probably won't want to go back. I'm a fan of the specialized pro shoes, lifetime no questions asked warranty too.

    I regularly find myself exploring trails that require significant hikeabike, walking, creek crossings and other walkabout hooliganism. Even some of that lame cx stuff. They've been great for years.

  7. #7
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    I second the X Alps, I use them for most of my riding. Great for walking around in.

  8. #8
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    So, what do you think of soft sole shoes? More or less comfy when riding?
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  9. #9
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    I use the pearl izumi xalps for most of my riding too very comfy shoe, no pain after 5+ hour rides.
    my sidi's always make my feet sore after 2 hrs so only use em on short rides.

  10. #10
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    I agree with randomroot. I wear the X Alps for long rides where I am more worried about comfort. I have a pair of stiff soled Pearl Izumi's for racing. Long rides with the stiff soled shoes and my feet start to ache, kinda like wearing ski boots all day.

  11. #11
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    These Pearl Izumi X Project Shoe Launch | Mountain Bike Review should let you eat your cake and have it too, whenever they are available
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  12. #12
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    Sisi Domination's for me please! Im no weight weenie!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by randomroot View Post
    I use the pearl izumi xalps for most of my riding too very comfy shoe, no pain after 5+ hour rides.
    my sidi's always make my feet sore after 2 hrs so only use em on short rides.
    My experience is the exact opposite. Softer soled shoes are fine for messing around and short rides, but for anything longer than a couple hours I use the stiffest shimano MTB shoes I've got. Currently using M230's.

    But I suspect that like ski boots, fit beats out every other consideration. If the combo of shoe and insole doesn't match up to your feet, doesn't matter how stiff/soft they are.

  14. #14
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    For my MT XC, I have these: Shoes

    They are super comfy and what I dig most is I just use the Velcro strap so in and out is a cake walk (very convenient if you use pads). They are extremely airy so not a great winter shoe (I use booties in winter) but for summer, keeps your feet cool, work great, pretty light weight (I think), not terribly expensive. My $.02.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  15. #15
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    I'm not a major clipless rider, but when I do ride clipless, I use the Shimano M162 shoes. Flexible, but seemingly stiff enough.

  16. #16
    jrm
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    Since having owned a pair of Sidi dom 5's ive bought two pairs pairs of Specialized BG MTB pro's. They work for me

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Since having owned a pair of Sidi dom 5's ive bought two pairs pairs of Specialized BG MTB pro's. They work for me
    I am also on my second set of Specialized BG MTB pro's.

  18. #18
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    Soft or hard soles shoes for your clipless pedals

    Sidi Dominator 5's here too. Went with the stiffer Sidi Dragon some years back, and they were too stiff. For steep, long, hike a bike sections, they are not ideal. But I don't do much of that. If I know there will be steep hiking sections ill put some sidi spikes in and it makes it much easier to hike in a "boot pack" style that works pretty well. If I consistently did a lot of hiking or walking (or trail work during rides) I'd get something with a softer sole for sure.

  19. #19
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    Sidi stiffness without the ice skating feel when crossing streams with rocks. Softer soles are more painful for me both on short and longer rides. Performance over comfort.

  20. #20
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    Clipless pedals are small, stiff soles help a lot to give you a stable base and transmit your power. Soft soles are usually a poor idea for most riding, especially the smaller the pedal is. For downhill riding on a downhill bike, the softer sole can be nice, but again for the riding part stiffer is usually better still, unless it's flat-pedals.
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  21. #21
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    What kind of pedals? I think a soft sole would work well with XT or XTR trail pedals but would suck royally with a pair of eggbeaters. BTW, a lot of large platform clipless pedals are really best with soft soled shoes. You don't really gain much from an XTR trail pedal (versus an XTR race pedal) if you are using hard soled shoes.

    -slide

  22. #22
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    I've been really impressed with the Shimano M087 shoes. They have a ratchet buckle and are stiff for pedaling, but remarkably easy to HAB in when necessary. The rubber on the soles is pretty grippy as well, much more so than my Giros.

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  23. #23
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    No one using the Specialized Rime? They look good but reviews indicate a wonky fastening system.

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