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Thread: Shoe Comfort

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    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Shoe Comfort

    I have a pair of Shimano SH-M 120G shoes that look like this:



    If I make them nice and tight, my feet get tingly and sometimes painful towards the end of the ride. When I take them off, it's like taking off ski boots. I have to have them looser than I want to make them comfortable. Even with two wool socks it's a problem.

    What are the chances that if I bought a better pair, that I wouldn't have this problem? IOW, is it my feet, or the shoes?

    Thanks,

    Al
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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Any chance its diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy), Al? And, 2 pair of socks would make things more crowded to me, I have sensitive feet, anything too tight and it can hurt like the dickens. I use the thinnest socks I can, the shoes are Specialized Road Comp, size 46 (12 wide.)

    Bill
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    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    What kind of pain? Hotfoot?
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    Senior Member h2oxtc's Avatar
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    I know the feeling of tingling feet. I too have a pair of Shimano shoes which need to be ratcheted tight to keep my feet from swimming. But they have been quite comfortable, or so I thought. When I purchased my next shoes, Giro Factor's, I tightened them the same as I did the Shimano's. The result was tingling and sore feet. Now I ride with the ratchet / buckle "loose", however the shoes fit so perfectly that my feet are as snug as a bug in a rug. No need to tighten them.

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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    I was talked into a $400 pair of Shimano shoes... from the first time on my feet hurt; toes, bottom ; everywhere. I went back to my Sidi Dominators and now my feet are in heaven. I just don't think all shoes work for all feet; you need to find your perfect match. And I am an example of more expensive didn't make it better. The Sidi's aren't cheap but close to half price. I also wear a $40 pair of shoes mountain biking which I love... that reminds me I need to give those Shimanos away but I hate to torture someone else's feet!
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    My brother had similar issues and rode in Shimanos as well. He recently went with a little larger size and in a Specialized shoe. He says he feet are now more comfortable in shoes than having them off!!! Not sure how to address your specific issue but thought I'd mention what he did.
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I like the way SIDI shoes fit and a good insole helps also, I had some custom molded insoles made from my fitter and my feet couldn't be happier .
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

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    I was getting tingly feet with some bike shoes until I used metatarsal pads under the foot beds. Basically, these shoes are too narrow for my feet but I've been able to make them work.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the advantage Toe clips had (as I Found, late in life) is the shoe does not have to fit tight ..

    the clipless stuff , few want their foot to come out of the shoe, so they pick tighter fits.

    my feet were fine with my stiff sole clodhoppers for a 9 month bike tour , that fit loose.. with a supportive insole.

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    Hardening the F up
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    I splurged a month or two ago and bought a pair of Sidi Dominator Fits. On the bike, they are "invisible", i.e. I don't think about them at all, they may as well be part of my feet. Friends of mine have been singing Sidi's praises... and they were right!

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    As I have posted several times about shoes, is that if they cause discomfort, they are probably too narrow. The big problem here is that bike shoe mfg just make an ave width based on shoe size. Thats why many of us with a wide foot have foot discomfort with biking shoes. In real life I wear a EE width shoe.

    Again does anyone know of bike shoe mfg that makes a shoe with a given width that doesnt cost an arm and a leg?

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    FWIW: The Sidi shoes I've tried don't fit my feet well. I have better luck with Specialized and Shimano shoes. For me, I find it best when shoes fit the width and shape of my foot well, and when they do, they don't need to be tight. Too narrow or tight and I get hot spots and/or numbness.
    Ride more. Fret less.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    did they have SiDi's Mega shoe size range?

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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    did they have SiDi's Mega shoe size range?
    No no really... my BF has the same problem - he would love to wear Sidi's but they aren't made wide enough (he did find a mega width Sidi but it was still too narrow - more like a "C" width than "D" or "EEE"... He finally found some Specialized shoes made in extra wide - had to special order but worth it. Also they aren't "roadie" shoe but made for mountain biking but he ain't complaining. Before that he was unable to use clipless pedals because he had to wear sneakers to ride.

    Again there is a special shoe out there for everything, you just need to find it. Unfortunately like with saddles, it made cost you abit to find the right one...
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    (Hoping this doesn't double post...)

    Try tightening the strap near the back of your foot really snug, and leaving the forward two straps a bit loose.

    The rear strap keeps your foot from sliding down inside the shoe. The looser front straps may give your toes and the ball of your foot some extra room, which might help with the "tight shoe" problems.

  16. #16
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the advantage Toe clips had (as I Found, late in life) is the shoe does not have to fit tight ..

    the clipless stuff , few want their foot to come out of the shoe, so they pick tighter fits.
    A nice thing about the old school bike shoes intended for slotted cleats is that the uppers were usually very thin leather, as they didn't need to be strong since the toeclip could provide the needed support. That thin leather stretched easily to form a custom fit for your foot. Modern clipless shoes need sturdy uppers and thus don't change shape as easily as the old shoes.

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    Feet swell during a ride...try loosening them up a bit during the ride.
    Try varied adjustments to the strap system until your feet are comfortable.

    Perhaps it is the shoe itself. Feet are all different and perhaps your foot's shape doesn't match the design of the shoe.

    My shoe preference is NorthWave...though I've worn many other brands with no difficulties I prefer the fit of NW for my foot shape.

  18. #18
    Saved by Grace lphilpot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    No no really... my BF has the same problem - he would love to wear Sidi's but they aren't made wide enough (he did find a mega width Sidi but it was still too narrow - more like a "C" width than "D" or "EEE"...
    I'm just the opposite. As a kid (through high school) I wore size 12 AA when I could find them. My mother could wear AAAA and even AAAAA at times, depending on the shoe. Now, that was heading on 40 years ago and I think my feet have widened a bit, but I've also just learned to deal with the fact that narrow shoes simply aren't available any more, at least at normal pricing and availability. I come from a family of long, narrow feet. Plus, my left foot is about 1/2" longer than my right (which rules out loafers). And, shoe sizes don't seem to be anywhere near as consistent as in the past.

    All in all, if the shoe is even close, "the shoe fits" in my opinion. I can't hope for better. Bike-wise, my Shimanos seem to fit well enough - At least, if something hurts after a ride it's not my feet!
    Len Philpot - 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport
    I start out slow and then taper off from there...

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    Here's a case where REI's liberal return policy came in handy.

    When I first bought shoes for going clipless last October, they felt fine. As I ramped up my riding this year, a bunion condition I already had in my right foot worsened. The shoes felt fine for my first metric and even my first century. Then things started getting worse. My foot was super painful after a 125 mile ride at the end of June. So that's six months and probably 700-800 miles in the cycling shoes because I still wear sneakers for most non-road bike rides. REI gave me a full refund on the original shoes. I switched to a Shimano shoe that was wider (and more expensive, naturally). I only had to pay the difference. The new shoes are better but still not perfect. Wearing a thinner cycling sock instead of a regular sweat sock also seemed to help.

  20. #20
    Senior Member gdhillard's Avatar
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    I'm another fan of toe clips. I ride in Converse sneakers, super comfortable even for long rides, walk comfortably when off the bike, and pitch them in the washer when needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I have a pair of Shimano SH-M 120G shoes that look like this:



    If I make them nice and tight, my feet get tingly and sometimes painful towards the end of the ride. When I take them off, it's like taking off ski boots. I have to have them looser than I want to make them comfortable. Even with two wool socks it's a problem.

    What are the chances that if I bought a better pair, that I wouldn't have this problem? IOW, is it my feet, or the shoes?

    Thanks,

    Al
    Presuming these fit and are not too narrow (you've verified that, right?) then:

    1. Do you have quality insoles that support your arches properly (metarsal as well as your main arch)?

    2. Have you had a bike fitter look at you while you pedal? Issues like Q-factor, shims needed or cleat position can have a huge impact.

    I guess I've found all of these issues have a very large impact on foot comfort. Q factor was huge for me.

    But what you describe sounds like shoes that are too big or too high volume. You can try taking up space by putting something under the footbed to take up space. I did that with some Sidi Megas that I have. I need that to get the width, but had slippage in the heel. I fixed that by about 1/8" of a non compactable material under the heel of the footbed. Problem solved.

    J.

  22. #22
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I once tried Sidi Megas from four different years. Each one was a little different.

    As someone else said, finding the cause of the problem is crucial. I am assuming
    that your feet are wide like mine, but...
    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  23. #23
    Green lights for all Rapido's Avatar
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    The bike shoes and pedals have been traditionally narrow, Italian style. After 50 years of pounding those narrow pedals my right foot began to hurt so bad I had to pull it off the pedal. Accordingly I cut the shoe leather to modify the width, helped just a little 25 miles. On advice I used bike sandals, SPD style. Foot was OK for only the first 40 miles. Switched to a wide and flat, platform pedal, + Power Grip straps and.... Crocks. Yes, I said Crocks. After 3500 miles this year, including 300K brevets, no foot pain. Plus I can move my feet around on the pedals depending on the circumstances. Here is a site about flat pedals and shoes: http://www.bikejames.com/strength/th...h-flat-pedals/

    Now I'll try using the SPD sandals, once, on a 1/2 century, (and carry the Crocks on the rear rack) to see if I like them better than soft Crocks, and if the pain comes back. My pedals are flat on one side and SPD on the other.

  24. #24
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    In the casual footwear area, what we used to call 'tennis shoes', (but it would be awful to play tennis in any of them), I have never had a pair of Nike shoes that fit well. Adidas and Fila fit perfect. In cycling shoes, like Nike, I have never had good luck with Shimano shoes. For cycling, I use either a pair of Sidi Genius 5 Pro Carbon or a pair of Diadora Speedracer 2 Carbon. Neither shoe is available anymore, unless you can find it at closeout. I like the Sidi better, but that might be because the Diadora is one-half size large.

    For both, I use a Specialized insole arch. The need for those were one of the results of a Specialized Body Geometry fit. Since riding with the inserts, no more hot spots at all and no more foot pain anywhere.

    When I buckle up, I arch my toes up inside the shoe before affixing the two lower Velcro straps, (then relax the toes, of course). Then adjust the ratchet cam to one click less than tight. That seems to hold my feet in place and allow for some swelling while riding.
    Deut 6:5

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the advantage Toe clips had (as I Found, late in life) is the shoe does not have to fit tight ..

    the clipless stuff , few want their foot to come out of the shoe, so they pick tighter fits.

    my feet were fine with my stiff sole clodhoppers for a 9 month bike tour , that fit loose.. with a supportive insole.
    Exactly! I picked up a pair of classic Vittoria shoes based on their 1976 shoe. Except they have a standard three hole mount for Look type cleats. I remembered this type shoe being so comfortable. Problem is, with the clipless pedals, my foot moves around so much in the shoe. This was not the case with toe clips and cleats -- not that I'd ever go back.

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