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  1. #1
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Shoe advice: 1 SPD-compatible shoe for biking/walking?

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if any of you have experience / recommendations for an SPD compatible shoe that's reasonably good for moderate amounts of walking (moderate = no serious hiking, but only shoe for a weekend trip staying in hotels).

    I currently ride in the summer with Sidi MTB shoes. Great on the bike, and they are sort of "walkable" off the bike...but not for long distances. I can wear them into a cafe or store, example...but they have hard plastic soles and aren't good for much more than a little bit of walking. I wouldn't clomp around in a nice restaurant on them, for example, and even during a shopping trip to REI they get a bit tiresome.

    I would like to find another pair of shoes that will work w/my SPD pedals, have the stiffest soles possible, but still be OK for walking around like a civilian. Say, if I want to go grocery shopping on my way home from my (bike) commute....or if I want to take an ultra-light overnight trip where I just take clothes in a seat bag and I don't want to pack an extra set of shoes.

    So I think this means I need one of the MTB shoes with a softer sole, and/or cycling sandals.

    I've been thinking about:
    - One of the soft-soled Shimano MTB shoes (I forget the model numbers, they seem to change a lot)

    - The Specialized Tahoe:
    http://www.pro-am.com.au/Products/Ta...e%20review.htm

    - The Keen SPD cycling sandal

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    The shimano M020/021 series (Number changes with year) is a laced, rockered and walkable shoe at entry level prices. There is a matching WSD model.

    You will never forget that they are cycling shoes but I have worn them to work for a day to assist in breaking them in.

  3. #3
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    Shimano or other Riding sandals
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    I have a pair of Specialized Sonoma shoes that I use on tour. The SPD cleat is recessed, and it has a some what smooth but non-slip bottom, like a pair of 1960's sneakers.

    Shimano sandals are great also, and I like wearing them.
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  5. #5
    Pat
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    SPD cleats are recessed so you don't have the instability problems that you get with cleats like LOOK that stick out from the sole. The soles of cycling shoes are pretty rigid, so they never make really good walking shoes. But a decent pair of modest priced cycling shoes picked with an eye towards walking and SPD cleats works well if you need to walk much. Locally, I wear LOOK cleats and excursions into convenience stores are fraut with hazard and danger. Well, it isn't that bad but one has to be really careful about slipping. When I go on multiday tours in scenic areas where I will want to get off the bike and walk to a scenic spot, I used shoes with SPD cleats and they work just fine on short hikes (about a mile or so). They are not walking shoes or anything like that. They are not quite as good on the bike as dedicated cycling shoes and cleats but they are about 90% of that. They are not as good as walking shoes but they are about 500% better than road shoes and cleats but then again, bare feet are a big improvement over road shoes and cleats and that is when you are walking on broken glass.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    I have a pair of Specialized Sonoma shoes that I use on tour. The SPD cleat is recessed, and it has a some what smooth but non-slip bottom, like a pair of 1960's sneakers.
    I was looking at some of these, too, at the same place where I saw the Specialized Tahoe shoes. The Sonomas are lighter (good) but didn't seem as stiff.

    Do you find that the soles are stiff enough for riding?

  7. #7
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    When I go on multiday tours in scenic areas where I will want to get off the bike and walk to a scenic spot, I used shoes with SPD cleats and they work just fine on short hikes (about a mile or so).
    What kind did you use?

    I will only wear SPD shoes, BTW, 'cause all my bikes have SPD pedals.

  8. #8
    Senior Member referee54's Avatar
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    I have the Shimano MT41G's. They are very comfortable, just a little stiff to walk in, but I can use them when I run errands on the bike and I have actually worn them at school when I forgot that the other pairs of regular shoes were in my truck.)

    Tim C.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    I have a pair of Specialized Sonoma shoes that I use on tour. The SPD cleat is recessed, and it has a some what smooth but non-slip bottom, like a pair of 1960's sneakers.

    Shimano sandals are great also, and I like wearing them.
    My friend and riding buddy has a pair of the specialized Taho shoes http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqP...jsp?spid=33727



    They seem very walkable, like light low top hiker/walking shoes. I

    I also second the idea of cycling sandals. I have a pair of "Sette" (Pricepoint) and they are excellent sandals. They have more air space than Shimano and are quite a bit cheaper - dont' know about the quality difference although I'm very happy with my Settes.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/134...PD-Sandals.htm


    When i first got them, just before leaving on a two week vacation, I brought them along just to use as sandals, and they're extremely comfortable to walk in; I wore them almost every day. Definitely fine for cycling too. I've worn them for 30+ miles and wouldn't hesitate to use them for longer rides. At the time, Nashbar sold an identical sandal under their own logo.
    Last edited by Camilo; 05-18-08 at 07:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Retrogrouch
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    You might want to consider Lake MX60s. I just recently got a pair and they seem to be a reasonable compromise between a biking shoe and a walking shoe. I found out about them from a post on the Touring Forum.

  11. #11
    BTV 75 Seahorse Elwoodab's Avatar
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    I also have some Lakes that I bought reasonably cheap from Nashbar $30-40. They look like a leather sneaker, I primarily wear them for spin class and after class sometimes I'll cool down by walking on the track. They are very comfortable, I also wear them on short bike rides, 30 mi. or less.

  12. #12
    Senior Member brewer45's Avatar
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    Keen Sandals (review here)? I have a pair, and althought they are possibly not as stiff as you'd like, they are definitely comfy for stomping about.

    Cheers!
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  13. #13
    MAK
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    My first SPDs were Shimano M030s and they are great for walking. I use them for spinning class and then go right into the gym and they are fine on the treadmill for walking and running. They look just like sneakers. When I ride seriuosly, I wear Sidi Dominators.

    One great thing about the Shimanos...I just did the Five Boro Tour of NY and knew that I would need to do some soft pedaling without being clipped in due to the enormous croud and some frequent starts and stops. The Shimanos give me a much better feel for the SPD pedals without slipping off like the Sidis and their hard plastic cleats.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Update -- after all the useful free advice above, I ignored it all.

    Well, actually, I went to REI for the Shimano MTB shoes mentioned above and they were out of my size. In a hurry, etc., I bought some very cool-looking Pearl Izumi shoes that were similar...the Pearl Izumi website does not list the exact model but they are almost like this:

    http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...uct_id=1236142

    Unfortunately...while they worked well on the bike, the sole is soft enough that when you walk on any hard surface the sole compresses just enough so that the metal SPD cleats would grind into the floor a bit. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid...I want a shoe that is OK on the bike but also OK if I want to (say) spend a night in a motel on an ultra-light trip, or go grocery shopping on my way home from work.

    So - took 'em back, and went to a LBS for some Shimano MTB shoes or Specialized Tahoes. OOS of my size in both , so I got some Specialized Sonomas (which were pictured above).

    Mixed feelings. OK on the bike. SPD cleats do not grind into the floor when you walk on hard surfaces. However, this is accomplished by making the sole semi-hard, and pretty thick in the ball of the foot. That means that you're doing a bit of the duck walk when you're off the bike...so while your SPD cleats aren't grinding you're still walking around a bit oddly.

    So, I guess I should have kept looking for the Shimano MTB shoes.....as many of you recommended.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 05-28-08 at 12:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post


    So, I guess I should have kept looking for the Shimano MTB shoes.....as many of you recommended.
    Even the MTB shoes allow the cleat to touch the ground- but they are comfortable to walk in. And on hard surfaces in motels- cafes- or even the house- They just sound as if you have Blakeys on the shoes and you are practicing for a tap dance.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Even the MTB shoes allow the cleat to touch the ground- but they are comfortable to walk in. And on hard surfaces in motels- cafes- or even the house- They just sound as if you have Blakeys on the shoes and you are practicing for a tap dance.
    Thanks for clarifying. I guess I'm asking for it all:

    - good for biking
    - good for walking (or at least acceptable)
    - no cleat clicking/scratching on hard surfaces when walking

    Maybe the Sonomas I got are the best then; they sub-optimize the walking but are good on the other two out of the three.

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Or you could get the shoes and cleats/pedals that work best for riding and carry some sandals, Crocs or flip-flops to walk around in when you stop.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Or you could get the shoes and cleats/pedals that work best for riding and carry some sandals, Crocs or flip-flops to walk around in when you stop.
    Good suggestion -- but I am trying to really be ultra-light (Think overnight with nothing but a Carradice seat bag and a small handlebar bag.) I also thought about water-socks, but those are kind of useless for walking.

    I did order some SPD cleat covers, which are not as common as Look cleat covers, and will see how those do.

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    I used Look sandals for years of commuting. They were great for walking around in, but may not be appropriate in a nicer restaruant. They also were great in the cold as you could loosen them up and put on wool socks with some toe warmers. However in walking on hard floors there was occasional clicking from cleat contact with floor.

  20. #20
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Thanks for clarifying. I guess I'm asking for it all:

    - good for biking
    - good for walking (or at least acceptable)
    - no cleat clicking/scratching on hard surfaces when walking

    Maybe the Sonomas I got are the best then; they sub-optimize the walking but are good on the other two out of the three.
    The Specialized Tahoes will fail on #3. Great shoes and really comfortable, but walking on hard surface you can hear/feel the cleats. That from experience - it's what I wear.

    -Roger

  21. #21
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Best I've found are the Carnac "Ventoux". The spd cleat mounts on an insert that is recessed into the sole so they are comfortable to walk in & sometimes available at a discount price or low e-Bay bid:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/CARNAC-VENTOUX-T...QQcmdZViewItem
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  22. #22
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I was going to start a similar thread, but I'll ressurect this one instead. While I prefer Look pedals for my dedicated road bike, the commuter/light touring bike I'm building (Salsa Casseroll) will have Crank Bros. pedals since I will be doing a significant amount of walking around when I ride this bike.

    Does anyone have any additional suggestions for a walkable SPD compatible shoe? I am willing to sacrifice some flexibility in exchange for a stiff sole for riding, but I don't need or want the large stiff lugs like my dedicated MTB shoes have for gripping mud and dirt. Something more suitable for walking on pavement and floors is what I want.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    My update (since I started the thread...) -- I never did find SPD shoes that were "perfectly" walkable, defined as *no* clicking or scratching of cleats on hard-surface floors when off the bike.

    Last summer, I put platform pedals on my commuter bike and started commuting just wearing regular tennis shoes. I really, really liked it - and even put the platform pedals on my "good" go-fast bike on some weekend rides when I was going to be off the bike a lot.

    But, as summer turned to fall this year, I found that when I ride in the rain my feet were slipping around too much on the platform pedals when riding in the rain. So I switched back to my SPD Defroster winter boots for riding in the fall/winter rain. And I'm using SPD riding shoes in the dry.

    Still looking for an SPD shoe whose cleats don't scratch floors when walking...

  24. #24
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I was going to start a similar thread, but I'll ressurect this one instead. While I prefer Look pedals for my dedicated road bike, the commuter/light touring bike I'm building (Salsa Casseroll) will have Crank Bros. pedals since I will be doing a significant amount of walking around when I ride this bike.

    Does anyone have any additional suggestions for a walkable SPD compatible shoe? I am willing to sacrifice some flexibility in exchange for a stiff sole for riding, but I don't need or want the large stiff lugs like my dedicated MTB shoes have for gripping mud and dirt. Something more suitable for walking on pavement and floors is what I want.
    I'd still recomend the SPD 20/21 series or the 38/39/40 series. They are "sport" MTB shoes, treaded but not lugged (sorry lug lovers), rockered walkable reasonably stiff soles and are laced, not velcro closure.

    The lesser series 20/21 look more like regular shoes, the 38 series have a texture that lets air in and moisture out. I have worn them to work when I was trying to break them in. Cleats only touch in gravel.

  25. #25
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I have this philosophy about shoes: we waste an enormous part of our lives tying shoelaces. This is a huge waste of time. We have fastening technologies that are much faster/more efficient than tying laces. Thus, none of my shoes lace up. All my dress shoes are loafers, all my cycling shoes have Velcro attachments, with the exception of my Adidas track cycling shoes that have laces, but they use a lace-pull like you find on Salomon cross-country ski boots. Even my casual running shoes slip on without laces. The only shoes I own that have laces are my hiking boots, which I very seldom wear. No more time wasted tying or re-tying laces!

    Luis

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