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  1. #1
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    What bike shoes are best for a casual rider

    Just got back into riding about 4 months ago. I do 10-15 miles 4 times a week. I am riding a Trek 7.2 Hybrid bike. I don't know what kind of shoes to wear. Being clipped into a shoe is a little scary, and I am not planning on doing any road racing, etc. I would like something that will make my cycling more efficient, but don't want to overdo it.

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    tsl
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    Running and walking shoes do you no favors when cycling. The rebound effect from the squishiness is wasted energy when you're spinning.

    Even if you're not considering clipless, look at mountain bike shoes. They have a very stiff sole and the barest minimum of insole padding. This makes sure all your effort goes into the pedals, not into squishing the shoe's sole. Yet, you can walk in most MTB shoes.

    As it turns out, my local Specialized dealer said it's rare for people to actually put cleats into the model of shoe I bought, the Sonoma. He said he sells them mostly to people who use them in spinning classes. They never remove the part of the tread that covers the cleat mounting holes.

    If you later decide to try clipless, you already own the shoes.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    You could get some flat soled shoes that are SPD compatible. They come with a completely flat sole with a window you can cut out later if you decide to go clipless.
    Several companies make shoes like this and you may find them on sale at Nashbar or elsewhere.

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    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I use these Shimano M020 mountain shoes. But, they are out of production.

    So, you need something that is for casual cycling, but you can easily walk in. If I were in the market for shoes right now, I would probably go with these Shimano MT33s. As is frequently the case, Nashbar has them on sale for 20% off.

    As mentioned above, using walking shoes for cycling is not a good idea. You'll find the arches and balls of your feet will get achy and tired.
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    Senior Member jmiked's Avatar
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    I don't ride on the street, only on trails. I just wear my normal Columbia hiking shoes. The tread is fairly thick/stiff, and works fine. I have to have something I can do some serious walking in as I do a lot of geocaching that I ride my bike to.

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    Bicycle Times did an article a bit back. I don't have any of these, but if you're looking for something casual you can walk in here are some you may want to check out.

    - DZR Strasse
    - Chrome
    - Keen Austin Pedal
    - Shimano MT22 (similar shoes already metioned.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custardcup View Post
    Just got back into riding about 4 months ago. I do 10-15 miles 4 times a week. I am riding a Trek 7.2 Hybrid bike. I don't know what kind of shoes to wear. Being clipped into a shoe is a little scary, and I am not planning on doing any road racing, etc. I would like something that will make my cycling more efficient, but don't want to overdo it.
    It really depends on how much riding, how fast and how often. 10-15 miles 4 times a week, your fine in any shoes including standard running shoes, for better efficiency there are a couple of things that should be a lot higher on the list, then special shoes with clip-in pedals.

    The 7.2 has an upright riding position, that means the biggest issue at any kind of speed over about 10MPH is going to be wind resistance. Not a lot you can do about this, without switching to a different bicycle. They tend to put wide semi-slick tires with low maximum pressures on hybrids, and this means that in addition to wind resistance, you have an effect of increased rolling resistance.

    The best low cost efficiency booster, make sure your drive train is clean and lubed, and your tires have high enough air pressure.

    Another low cost efficiency booster is a bicycle computer with cadence. Train yourself you ride in a range of 80 to 100 RPM. 80 RPM seems awfully fast when your starting out, although once you get used to it, you will find that much below that and the effort to turn the pedals really starts to increase.

    Another efficiency booster is gearing, remember the small ring in front is for climbing, the middle one is for flatter ground, and the big one is for going downhill when you want to build momentum. As you get stronger you will find that it takes a steeper and steeper hill before you need the small ring. Within that range you have (I think) 8 gears, this is where RPM comes in, shifting should be controlled by cadence. when your RPM drops below 80, you shift to a lower gear, when it gets up past 100, then you want to shift to a higher gear.

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    Even modest mountain bike shoes will serve you pretty well. The nice thing about the mountain bike shoes is that one can actually walk in them. Road bike shoes are nasty to attempt to walk in. If you ride any distances at all (over 20 miles during a ride) or at any speed (over 15 mph), I would suggest that you get a pair of SPD pedals and SPD cleats. The SPD cleats with mountain bike shoes will allow for walking. The shoes will also give you considerably better contact with the pedal which yields a noticeable performance boost and better comfort. The drawback is the fact that it takes some time to get used to un clipping when you come to a stop. Most people forget and fall over when they come to a stop and can't get their feet out of the pedals. Once or twice is often enough. One can avoid even this if you go out and intentionally practice unclipping until it becomes a habit.

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    I'm getting something that I suspect is metatarsalgia - (pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.) It is best to refer folks to the proper source for this kind of info - so here it is:
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metatarsalgia/DS00496

    This site

    http://recoverydoctor.blogspot.com/2...tarsalgia.html

    discusses how even cycling shoes can contribute, as opposed to prevent, this problem. Sometimes soles can be TOO stiff (the biking patient in the case described switched from plastic soled to carbon soled, i.e. much stiffer soled shoes.) The solution, in part, was to find a pad that would support the metatarsals (arch support also recommended.)

    I am going to start by doing more Achilles tendon/calf muscle stretches pre-ride, and also will be taking care to wear thinner socks. I can't switch to bike shoes - I have a hard enough time fitting myself to ordinary cross-trainers - and besides, I only bike in a month what many of you do in a week. For me, proper conditioning is going to have to be the solution to my problems.


    Last edited by moth54; 09-06-11 at 04:49 AM. Reason: clarity

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    "If the foot is resting on the bottom of the shoe without support, not only will it most likely be uncomfortable, but the lack of support can lead to unnecessary motion of the feet, ankles, and knees; thus an inefficient pedal stroke."

    Just thought I'd quote that from 'cycling orthotics' (from footdynamics.com) that shows that the inner support in shoes can make a difference to efficiency (and comfort) not just the soles of the shoes.

    I'm interested in hearing from anyone who's tried the metatarsal pads:

    http://www.amazon.com/Silipos-Softzo...owViewpoints=1

  11. #11
    Member nsa335's Avatar
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    i use some Onitsuka Tiger by Asics, i know prob not your best choice but there is little rebound and its lite, plus it was a good way to repurpose some old sneaks

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