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Old 05-19-13, 05:45 AM   #1
Bikey Mikey
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Going clipless-not for the reasons you may think - advice on shoes w/ large toe box

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.

Remember:


--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.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 05-19-13 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 05-19-13, 05:49 AM   #2
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I have been using Shimano bicycling sandals for about 10 years, and simply love them. With proper socks, etc., I use them year-round. I have a very wide front part of my foot, which gets extremely irritated by tight shoes and these accommodate me nicely. And, I have no problem with stubbing my toe or anything like that. They extend out far enough to provide protection.

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Old 05-19-13, 06:05 AM   #3
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Hot spots are normal for new LD riders. Takes more LD rides to get over them.

Your toe problem is anothe issue.

Sounds as if your shoes are too loose, not the clips.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:20 AM   #4
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Hot spots are normal for new LD riders. Takes more LD rides to get over them.
....
I've done lots of LD rides(just go look at my posts in Did You Ride Today) Since the middle of last, if not sooner, I was doing metric centuries, often 2x a week, and leading(12 weeks leading) to the first miler century in April, I road 70 and 80 milers and a century(12 days prior to the TdC) beforehand as well as doing 45 milers.


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...Your toe problem is anothe issue.

Sounds as if your shoes are too loose, not the clips.
Developed when I started this year's Winter riding on the road bike. Last Winter, I was using the comfort/hybrid and NO toe-clips/cages. I also ride greater distances now than I did on the former bike. In the Winter, I think I had my feet bound to tight(shoes, socks, warmers, and pressure from the clip) and the doc feels this way also. Believe me, the shoes were not loose when I was developing the issue.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:23 AM   #5
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I have been using Shimano bicycling sandals for about 10 years, and simply love them. With proper socks, etc., I use them year-round. I have a very wide front part of my foot, which gets extremely irritated by tight shoes and these accommodate me nicely. And, I have no problem with stubbing my toe or anything like that. They extend out far enough to provide protection.
Not sure how I possible could keep my feet warm when it gets low enough. I'm diabetic and the circulation, though not bad, is still comprimised. They look interesting, but I'm unsure if sandals would help(wind mostly), keep my feet warm.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 05-19-13 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Removed a link 10 Wheels posted in my quote per his request.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:25 AM   #6
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Maybe this helps: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-for-wide-toes
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Old 05-19-13, 06:26 AM   #7
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Not sure how I possible could keep my feet warm when it gets low enough. I'm diabetic and the circulation, though not bad, is still comprimised. They look interesting, but I'm unsure if sandals would help(wind mostly), keep my feet warm.
Wool socks are great.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:32 AM   #8
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Take a look at the Specialized shoes. When you do get your shoes try moving the cleats all the way back, that should do it, good luck.
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Old 05-19-13, 06:50 AM   #9
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I have a broad foot in the toe area The only shoe brand that have ever fit comfortably has been Specialized's MTB shoes.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:24 AM   #10
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I am a diabetic too and I also ride long distance.

Finding shoes that fit and are comfortable both on and off the saddle is imperative in order to avoid future problems.

I tried many different shoes and they all hurt my feet even after a medium ride. I finally settled on my current cycling shoes, the SIDI Ergo 2. I know that these are beyond your stated budget (actually they don't even make them anymore) but these shoes are supremely comfortable--I can ride on them all day long and my feet do not bother me.

If you can pull money out of another expense (I stopped going to Starbucks to save the extra money and now my wallet is fatter and I am thinner) it might be well worth it. Sounds like you are putting on a lot of LD rides, so you owe it to your feet and to your overall health to get a good pair of shoes.

Just a thought.

Good luck.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:25 AM   #11
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Both Shimano and Specialized road shoes give me plenty of room in the toe box. I suggest you try on some of their models in your price range. Shoes are important, as you clearly know, so this is one area where it is worth going a bit over your original budget to find something that works well for you. You can save money in other areas of cycling gear. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:32 AM   #12
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A properly fitting and comfortable pair of "touring" type shoes with clipless pedals would work perfectly. Check out your local shop. You should be able to buy both for well under your max budget...I'd suspect easily within 100.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:42 AM   #13
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Do the foot warmer innersoles work? I'm not clear if they are gimmicks or for real, but they are inexpensive to try out.

I'd also consider using booties. Cycling shoes are not designed as cold weather footwear, no insulation to speak of, so wrapping them in a wind proof layer of neoprene or fabric would be helpful. That's what I found when riding in the winter.
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Old 05-19-13, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
I am a diabetic too and I also ride long distance.

Finding shoes that fit and are comfortable both on and off the saddle is imperative in order to avoid future problems.

I tried many different shoes and they all hurt my feet even after a medium ride. I finally settled on my current cycling shoes, the SIDI Ergo 2. I know that these are beyond your stated budget (actually they don't even make them anymore) but these shoes are supremely comfortable--I can ride on them all day long and my feet do not bother me.

If you can pull money out of another expense (I stopped going to Starbucks to save the extra money and now my wallet is fatter and I am thinner) it might be well worth it. Sounds like you are putting on a lot of LD rides, so you owe it to your feet and to your overall health to get a good pair of shoes.

Just a thought.

Good luck.
I was warned not to try Sidis because they'll ruin the experience you have any other shoe you try or use. I just don't see how I can increase the budget to the amount Sidis demand.

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A properly fitting and comfortable pair of "touring" type shoes with clipless pedals would work perfectly. Check out your local shop. You should be able to buy both for well under your max budget...I'd suspect easily within 100.
From what I understand, in terms of sole firmness, road shoes are the firmest, MTB shoes come next, and touring shoes are the least. I think I'll want the middle version.

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Do the foot warmer innersoles work? I'm not clear if they are gimmicks or for real, but they are inexpensive to try out.

I'd also consider using booties. Cycling shoes are not designed as cold weather footwear, no insulation to speak of, so wrapping them in a wind proof layer of neoprene or fabric would be helpful. That's what I found when riding in the winter.
I actually used toe warmers(chemical) during this last cold season and they do work/help.

Thanks--I was aware that cycling shoes aren't designed for cold weather. When it gets colder, I'll try booties(maybe even neoprene socks as well), but I may invest in winter cycling shoes later. I've even read about guys duct taping the vents on the bottom.

I appreciate all the input and keep it coming if you have ideas/suggestions.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 05-19-13 at 08:12 AM. Reason: added more information
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Old 05-19-13, 10:38 AM   #15
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I never had hot foot until I went clipless a few weeks back. I got the Specialized Expert shoes with the CF soles and you would think they would be stiff enough it would spread the force out well helping not to be a problem. I have foot beds coming this week to see if they help.

That being said, my 40 miler yesterday I didn't have a hot spot problem. I tried to keep my cadence up and not mash and I think it helped. The ride prior, the balls of my feet were burning pretty good after 30.

I'm still a rookie in the great scheme of things and have only been riding for two and a half years or so. I still have a lot to learn. I never had a hot spot problem before going clipless even on 50 and 60 mile rides. YMMV
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Old 05-19-13, 10:41 AM   #16
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On foot warmth. Keep out the wet and the wind and they stay warm. Shoe covers work but so do SealSkinz socks.
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Old 05-19-13, 10:58 AM   #17
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If you can increase your budget by another $30, this may fit the bill.
The .5 sizes are wide; ex. 46 is standard width - 46.5 is wide width.

Sidi 2013 Men's Duran Mountain Cycling Shoes

http://www.amazon.com/Sidi-Duran-Mou...=pd_sbs_shoe_8
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Old 05-19-13, 11:11 AM   #18
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My solution ended up being using bmx pedals and keen sandals. Its the greatest foot comfort I have had since the days of calfskin shoes that molded to my feet in the clips and straps days. But I still feel slightly guilty about no wearing true cyclist shoes. But I can still maintain a cadence of 90 with no issues, have ridden up to 60 miles rides, and have wonderfully comfortable feet at temps down to 40 F if I wear wool socks.

But I long for the old days of Dietto Pettro's soaked in water that molded to you feet like fine leather gloves.
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Old 05-19-13, 11:51 AM   #19
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As another daily, long distance rider, but not a diabetic, I would also suggest looking into the Specialized MTB shoes. I have been riding with the BG Sport Pro shoes for the past three years and have yet to have a hot spot. While they have a stiffness index of 5, I have yet to get the soles to bend, even squatting down while trying to bend at the toes. They are very comfortable while riding and walking in them and they have plenty of room so I can wear my thick, white cotton socks in comfort. I know, cotton socks are not allowed! In our winter, when my feet really get cold, I use either thermal socks or heated socks and the shoes are still very comfortable without being tight. They cost $100.00 MSRP the last time I checked.



I'm also riding on Shimano SPD M520 pedals because I really like the double sided entry design. If I need to use regular shoes for short rides or rides in heavy, stop and go traffic, I use my Deckster platform pedal adaptors.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:59 PM   #20
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The Shimano SH-RT32 SPD walkable road touring shoe uses a "Volume + last for a more accommodating toe box."

http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...road/2/SH-RT32
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Old 05-19-13, 02:13 PM   #21
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Keens got some commuting shoes too, but I've never had any but their sandals, first ones I got 2nd hand
by having B width feet they fit Me. not the 1st buyer.



Has the feeling gone out of your Feet? It was one of My Father's ['20-'00] Diabetic issues..



Im OK with grip pin platform pedals .. my Birkenstocks have a nice wide toe space..

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Old 05-19-13, 02:37 PM   #22
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...Has the feeling gone out of your Feet? It was one of My Father's ['20-'00] Diabetic issues....
No, I feel any trauma. I'm sure I have some neuropathy and some decrease circulation, but it's still good in all fronts--I have feeling throughout the foot and toes. Any trauma to the feet I sense. If I didn't, I doubt I'd sense the hot foot or the toe issue.
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Old 05-19-13, 02:59 PM   #23
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See if you can find these to try on?

http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/pr...0pedal/****ake
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Old 05-19-13, 03:21 PM   #24
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As another daily, long distance rider, but not a diabetic, I would also suggest looking into the Specialized MTB shoes. I have been riding with the BG Sport Pro shoes for the past three years and have yet to have a hot spot.


While I don't have diabetes I do have toe "issues" and also need a roomy toe box. I have these shoes and have been satisfied with them.
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Old 05-19-13, 05:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
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.

Remember:


--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.
Here is a totally different approach. Platform pedals. I have very wide feet and high arches and it is hard to find shoes that fit me properly. But I can find well-fitting steel-toed work shoes. These typically come with good arch support and a safety shank -- to protect a construction worker from nail penetration etc. The stiff shank is excellent at spreading load and the toes have plenty of room. I hear people say you can't ride effectively without some form of retention system but I disagree.

At over 65 years old, I have ridden two centuries -- each plus another 15 miles that night -- with platform pedals. These are my favorite: http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...m-Pedals,.html

The health of your feet is certainly worth more than a 2 or 5 or whatever % speed difference foot retention makes.

Don in Austin

Last edited by Don in Austin; 05-19-13 at 05:24 PM. Reason: content
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