As some, if not many, may know, I'm diabetic. As a diabetic, I have to be careful of my extremities, especially my feet. Right now, I use running shoes or walking shoes and toe clips(which I do not tighten). During this winter, in an effort to keep my feet warm enough to ride the distances I wanted(33 to 45 miles), I used non-meshed walking shoes and double wool socks(and toe warmers if cold enough). Anyway, I developed an issue with my second toe on my left foot and have had some bruising on the front of the big toe. I've adjusted things to keep things loose and not have pressure on my toes and have wiggle room. I'm finding that the toeclip is part of the cause(especially for the bruising on the big toe). I'm also finding, since these are soft soled shoes, that around the 70 mile mark, I develop a hot spot. Since I plan on doing more centuries like the two I just completed, a change needs to be made.
With clipless shoes and pedals, I'll have a firm sole and shouldn't develop the hot spot since the force will be more spread throughout a larger area of the foot. Also, there won't be a clip putting pressure on my toe(s). But, as a diabetic, I need to be sure that any shoe I have has a large toe box so as not to put pressure on the toes and to have the wiggle room to maintain circulation. I will state, that I want to get MTB shoes so I can walk normally and not like a duck or ice skate--using road shoes. I will also be getting pedals that are clips on one side and platforms on the other to have options--probably the Shimano A530.
My budget for shoes is probably no more than $150, but I really would rather spend a good amount less.
--I'm diabetic and need a large toe box.
--I am only considering MTB shoes.
--Budget: < $150 -- less would be better
Please don't bother posting if you are just going to try to convince me to stay with clips(cages). The toe clip, and I keep it loose, is causing part of the issue.