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  1. #1
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Suggestions for non-clip in cycling shoes

    So PhotoJoanne and I did just over 2 hours today. After an hour, her feet started cramping up. I think it's because she rides in running shoes, and I can see them bending over the pedal. However, we've gone down the SPD route before, and she is NOT interested in going there again at this point. So, does anyone have any suggestions for stiffer shoes that aren't clip-ins? I know we can go bend soles at the shoe store, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this problem. How did you solve it?
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Suggest that she try leather work shoe/boot that have stiffer soles to provide a stable platform for her foot while she pedals.

    The other way to solve this her issue is to install a pair of Ergon pedals. Choose from the three pedal sizes to get the correct sized platform for her foot.

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  3. #3
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    Quite a while ago, a friend of mine asked me a similar question because he used clips and didn't want to go to clipless.

    I suggested a pair of hiking shoes (not boots) because they generally have a stiffer sole than runners, and the tread is not as aggressive as either some runners or MTB shoes with the cleat cover still in place.

    We had to modify his clips slightly by putting a spacer in between the pedal and the clip so the shoe would sit on the pedal where he wanted it.

    It worked like a charm.

    There are some nice hiking shoes on the market these days, and I suppose in the US, REI is a good place to start. They also serve a second purpose... hiking, so if you go riding, see a nice trail, you don't have to worry about changing shoes and leaving them behind.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Have you looked into mountain bike shoes? Just don't install the cleats. They should be plenty stiff and unlike road bike shoes, they have some tread on them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shellyrides's Avatar
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    I use my trail runners. They are stiff like a hiking boot but light weight. My favorite brand is the Merrell but any of the higher end stiff lugged trail runners will work.

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    40,000 + miles on these.
    They run a tad small so get next size up.

    http://www.shoebuy.com/rockport-prow...00/42704/42706#
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  7. #7
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    'touring' shoes...

    for example: http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont.../mtb/2/SH-WM43

    Compatible with cleats, but designed to be used without for those who wish.

  8. #8
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    'touring' shoes...

    for example: http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont.../mtb/2/SH-WM43

    Compatible with cleats, but designed to be used without for those who wish.
    this.

    I use something like these (couple year older, mens model?), and they've done well for me.
    there is no signature.

  9. #9
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Thank you all. Great ideas we'll look into. My #1 goal is to make sure she's as comfortable as possible. We had a GREAT weekend of riding. 26 miles yesterday, 20 today with some hills (big gigantic mountain ranges in her words) thrown it. She enjoying it, but I don't want the foot cramps to change that.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I generally use hiking shoes on bikes without clipless pedals.

    One of my bikes has the Ergon pedals. You can use any kind of shoe because the large pedal surface provides the stiff surface. That said, I have mixed feelings about the pedals and am not sure they are worth the $69 I paid for them. But, I must like them well enough because I haven't swapped them out for quite a while.

    As you can see below, they are pretty big. But they are very light weight:


  11. #11
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    Something like Shimano 33L MTB shoes. They have laces of a better fit and a plate that covers the opening used for cleats. Stiff and pretty good to walk in. I use them for loaded touring.

  12. #12
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Of the shoe options, are any known to run wider than others?
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  13. #13
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    Of the shoe options, are any known to run wider than others?
    Keen regular shoes tend to run wide but their mountain bike shoes are much narrower than their regular shoes. FWIW. I do like their commuter sandals.

  14. #14
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    Why not just use cycling shoes with no cleats? That's what I did my first year back into cycling after almost a 20-year layoff since college. They work very well with toe straps because they're narrower at the end and walking in them is pretty comfortable if you don't have a cleat attached. Add to that, they have stiffer soles than most other shoes you will find, which will help with pedal stroke efficiency, even using toe straps.

  15. #15
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    The perfect shoe might be driving shoes. Unlike clipless shes, they are very comfortable for walking, hanging out, but with stiff soles. Sleek. I have 5 pairs, but Adidas seems to be discontinuing its line. Second favorite are tennis shoes, again those with little padding and stiff soles. The vintage or classic style tennis shoes were made this way, more modern ones tend to be over built. But, she might be stuck with white.

  16. #16
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    I do the clipless thing, but if you're looking at cleat-compatible shoes to run without cleats, Specialized women's shoes tend to run a little wider in the toebox than other brands. And Shimano cleat-compatible sandals are plenty wide, too. The other option for a lot of width is to find men's shoes small enough for her, since men's shoes are generally wider.

    Also, foot cramps may not be only from bending -- I've never really had trouble riding, but getting the right fit for running shoes to avoid foot cramps was a pain. Shoes too tight in any particular part can cause cramps.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
    Why not just use cycling shoes with no cleats? That's what I did my first year back into cycling after almost a 20-year layoff since college. They work very well with toe straps because they're narrower at the end and walking in them is pretty comfortable if you don't have a cleat attached. Add to that, they have stiffer soles than most other shoes you will find, which will help with pedal stroke efficiency, even using toe straps.
    If you look at a lot of the MTB cycling shoes, they often have additional mouldings on the end of the toe to help with wear and tear on clips.

    One thing I do find with the various MTB shoes I've had is that the sole can get very slippery when wet, and that has an effect on the pedal, and also when walking on rocky surfaces.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Shellyrides's Avatar
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    I would head down to a good sporting goods store. (not a chain if you can help it) Tell them what you are looking for and start trying them on.

  19. #19
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    I'd get on the "bigger pedals" bandwagon. Ergons or MKS Lambda pedals (the latter if you want shiny metal) will probably work nicely. I use the heck out of my Lambdas on 2 different bikes.

  20. #20
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    Of the shoe options, are any known to run wider than others?
    To minimize your risk strongly suggest that your wife cruise www.zappos.com to find shoes that she might like.

    at zappos you buy'm, try'm, send back what you don't like with shipping free both ways!!!! Both my wife and I buy all our shoes at zappos now since it's so easy.

    The zappo site fllters can drill down to the exact type of shoe she might want so poke around a bit.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  21. #21
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    I had the same issue and am very happy using bike shoes that simply have no cleats installed.

    Can't beat these for the price and they're reasonably comfortable off the bike:

    http://www.blueskycycling.com/produc...Shoes-2011.htm

  22. #22
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    Yes, I think I have a good suggestion for you: Have you seen PowerGrip pedal straps? It's a rubberized-cloth strap that runs diagonally across a non-clipless pedal. I've been using these for years with Converse Chuck Taylor low-topped sneaks. It works great for me.

    First off, the PowerGrip straps are really unobtrusive. Because of the diagonal arrangement, you slip your shoe in (the rubberized stuff makes the straps stiff enough to stand up off your pedal), and as you align your foot, rotating your heel in toward the bike, it tightens the strap's grip just right.

    Getting out of these PowerGrips is really easy, because as you rotate your heels out, they get loose and your foot comes right out. (I have vintage clips and straps on an old road-bike, and the PowerGrips are so much better.)

    Chuck Taylor's are a bit flexible, but the soles are fairly thin and non-spongy (which is the other problem with running shoes). Furthermore, the toe area is not bulbous in width, which works better with the PowerGrip straps.

  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    Thank you all. Great ideas we'll look into. My #1 goal is to make sure she's as comfortable as possible. We had a GREAT weekend of riding. 26 miles yesterday, 20 today with some hills (big gigantic mountain ranges in her words) thrown it. She enjoying it, but I don't want the foot cramps to change that.
    To be 110% sure that wife is really comfy suggest that you ask her to start taking a Potassium supplement to stave off any deficiency that will causes muscle cramps of the feet or legs when riding.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  24. #24
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    To be 110% sure that wife is really comfy suggest that you ask her to start taking a Potassium supplement to stave off any deficiency that will causes muscle cramps of the feet or legs when riding.
    Good idea. I have been, she has not.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I agree with 'goldfinch' seen in#10, Ergon pedals, they have the surface support,

    shoes ? Birkenstocks have made my feet feel OK for well over 30 years..

    I used their 3/4 insoles in stiffer cycling shoes,
    and feet were comfortable on 4 month long bike tours.

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