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  1. #1
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    Road Shoes vs MTB Shoes

    I have a case of the dueling LBS recommendations:

    I currently have a Giant Sedona DX - basically a hybrid. I have slick tires on it and spend 99% of my time on pavement, either road or trails.

    I recently picked up pedals that have SPD fittings, so I am looking for shoes. I have narrowed it down to Siddi because

    a) they kick a**
    b) they are one of the few manufacturers that make size 50 shoes

    One LBS recommended that I get MTB shoes because:

    "MTB shoes have cleats, so you can walk around in them. If you buy road shoes, you really shouldn't ever walk around in them"

    Hmm...makes sense, I can see myself wanting to walk around a bit, especially at the random roadside store, etc. Certainly seems that MTB shoes would give you the option of non-bike mobility, plus if i ever did take my bike off road......

    However, another LBS told me that you really can't walk any better on MTB shoes, and therefore I should buy road shoes, since I ride mostly road.

    I thought you could buy rubber covers for your cleats, in which case, in this a moot argument ?

    This is a massive investment for me - these shoes are expensive. Anyone got some advice ?

  2. #2
    Canadian eh?
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    if you plan on waliing around or going into trails get MTB shoes. The grip on the bottom of the shoe acts like a hardcore hiking shoe therefore allowing you to walk. The road shoe on the other hand has a flat plastic sole on the bottom therefore making you slide aroiund when you walk.. Its like an unscuffed dress shoe except it wont scuff up.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Guillermo's Avatar
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    get yourself down to the LBS, and have a look at the bottom of each shoe. MTN shoes have tread on the bottom that allows the cleat to be recessed, so you walk on the tread, and not on the cleat. This question is a no-brainer if you EVER plan to hit the trails. You won't want road shoes on the trail. MTN shoes are much easier to walk around on in town as well.

    Road shoes have a flat sole, so when you are standing on the ground, you are standing on the cleat. I find a mtn shoe/pedal setup to be very convenient, and this is what I'd recommend in your situation.

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    I think I will go with the MTB recommendation. It seems to give me the most options. Since I am so screamingly new to this, its nice to get some validation.

    Thanks !!

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    Road shoes can be just plain dangerous if you do a lot of walking around, I cant even count how many times I have nearly fell walking on concrete or on wood floors.

  6. #6
    bac
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    As others have stated, mtb shoes generally are much easier to walk in - regardless of the terain.

  7. #7
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    I use SPD pedals and I have two pairs of SPD footwear: Shimano sandals and Specialized Rockhopper Pro shoes.

    In both cases I often wear them all day, at home or at work, walking around or riding.

    You can't do that with road shoes.

    To me, there's no argument. Road shoes are something you take off when you're not on the bike, period. If that's not what you want, don't buy them.

    RichC

  8. #8
    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    so when WOULD I want road shoes? I mean I can use my mountain shoes on my road bike - then assuming the walking around is not an issue..... why are road shoes better for road bikes?
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

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    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    aerodynamics. and bike-snobbyness. honestly, at recreational (non-racing) speeds, the curvaceousness of your shoes isn't really gonna make that much of a difference.
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

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    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    My road bike should be in today and I already bought road shoes. Should I ditch em and just put mtb pedals on the bike and use my mtb shoes?
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

    Come ride the Monkey.

  11. #11
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    keep the pedals, just get new shoes.
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  12. #12
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Road shoes are stiffer in the sole and permit the use of road pedals and cleats, which give you a very wide and secure contact platform relative to MTB shoes. If you're poodling, touring or just out for a spin, MTB shoes will suit you fine -- and you'll be able to walk around without looking like a spastic duck. If you plan to go for long fast rides without a lot of stops, road shoes will give you a better pedalling platform, resulting in greater pedalling efficiency.

    The reason why the two pedal/shoe systems exist is that they offer different advantages and disadvantages. There is always a tradeoff. I've done a century in MTB shoes, and it took my feet a week to recover. On the other hand, my GF and I had a brief debate over which of us was going to actually go into the grocery store on the way back from our klate-day ride because walking in road shoes is a pain.

    Ideally, you'd have bot and a pedal wrench. Going siteseeing on the road bike? Take your MTB shoes and install your SPDs. Going for a 120 km group ride? Take your road shoes.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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    I ride with several people that use SPD pedals and mountain bike shoes on their road bikes.

    Common complaints are that they get "Hot Spots" and numbness in the toes. It appears this relates back to the fact the the MTB shoes they are wearing do not have as stiff of a sole as the road shoes that others in the group are using. This seems to allow the pedal to put pressure on the the foot.

    Just an observation from my group. May be that they make MTB shoes with stiffer soles, but this appears to be a fairly common problem in my group.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by velocipedio


    Ideally, you'd have bot and a pedal wrench. Going siteseeing on the road bike? Take your MTB shoes and install your SPDs. Going for a 120 km group ride? Take your road shoes.
    Bought the pedal wrench for spinning class

    THANKS!
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

    Come ride the Monkey.

  15. #15
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by deliriou5
    aerodynamics. and bike-snobbyness. honestly, at recreational (non-racing) speeds, the curvaceousness of your shoes isn't really gonna make that much of a difference.
    Actually you find that road bike shoes have a significantly
    stiffer sole than MTB shoes. That is the reason you would
    want road shoes. studs and cleats for walking thru cow piles
    also don't make that much of a difference

    Marty
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by MtnBikerChk
    so when WOULD I want road shoes?
    When you start racing crits or the Tour de France. The only advantage to road shoes is having a bit less wind resistance. I have a pair of both and use my MTB shoes for everything.

  17. #17
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    I think this is turning into a holy war - I shoulda known better.

    The soles on the Sidi MTB shoes were pretty darn stiff, they just had cleats as well. They also take SPD cleats so I can wear them on any pedal that takes that type of cleat.

    Seems like a toss up at best - I guess I will get the mTB shoes for mobility now, and see if I get the numb toes. Like I said, the sole was pretty stiff on the MTB shoes too !!

  18. #18
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RollingGeek
    I think this is turning into a holy war - I shoulda known better.

    The soles on the Sidi MTB shoes were pretty darn stiff. . . Seems like a toss up at best . . .
    Yup, can get kinda heated up around here. Just ask about
    compact Geometry if you want to start a small war!

    Back to your original post, yes you can get cleat covers for
    look, time, Speedplay pedals (for road). The problem is the
    shoe really isn't made to walk in, your foot ends up canted
    upwards at the toe. Its alright to waddle over to the local
    7-11 to get a quick drink, but I wouldn't want to do too
    much distance.
    That said, get what is comfortable to you.
    There is alot of hooey being thrown around on this thread
    (thanks Pokey, I like the term!), and alot of it is just plain
    wrong.

    Marty
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  19. #19
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it's a religious issue, so much as it's a question of people who come from MTB to road and don't want to get a second set of shoes and pedals, and want to justify that choice. I understand that.

    I have never seen a MTB shoe as stiff as a quality road shoe. The reason, of course, is that you actually have to be able to walk in a MTB shoe, while road shoes are designed on the premise that the only walking you'll be doing is to and from the bike at the beginning and end of a ride [that's why Sidi and Diadora also sell flipflops]. If you've tried road shoes and you find the sole as flexible as a MTB shoe, then you've tried either really cheap or defective road shoes.

    The other reason to use road shoes is to use road pedals. A Look, Time or Speedplay cleat simply won't fit in the recess of a MTB shoe [and none have the appropriate bolt patterns]. The advantage of a road pedal/cleat is that the contact area is much wider than a MTB pedal, giving more support and distributing the pressure across a greater area, and the cleats typically lock in more securely than a typical MTB pedal. Anyone who has ever gone from, say, SPDs to Look will tell you how much more difficult it is to get out of a Look pedal than SPD.

    Which you chose is up to you. If you really do plan to walk around on your rides, go with MTB pedals by all means. If you're going to do a lot of typical roadie stuff, then go with road shoes. If you can, get both.

    I have road shoes and pedals [Look] as well as MTB shoes and pedals [Shimano SPD, Ritchey SPD clones, Time ATAC] and I can tell the diference. I just like having the right tool for the job.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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  20. #20
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ptmurphy
    I ride with several people that use SPD pedals and mountain bike shoes on their road bikes.
    As do I. incidentally, I too have a Sedona DX and got the shoes for this bike. I now use them also on the road bike.

    [i]Common complaints are that they get "Hot Spots" and numbness in the toes. It appears this relates back to the fact the the MTB shoes they are wearing do not have as stiff of a sole as the road shoes that others in the group are using. This seems to allow the pedal to put pressure on the the foot.[/B]
    Although I have pedaled far enough and hard enough to bring about this effect, generally I don't.

    [i]Just an observation from my group. May be that they make MTB shoes with stiffer soles, but this appears to be a fairly common problem in my group. [/B]
    I think my wife would decree that any walking on the carpet or on the kitchen tile in road shoes would be verbotten. With MTB shoes, I can be very casual about when I change out of my bike clothes after a ride.

    I have often seen other roadies slip in coffee shops or stores when stopping for a break on rides. I have also seen the eyebrows go up on the proprietors' faces when they hear that clicking and see that sliding.

    Personal preference and personal comfort once again prevails IMHO.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  21. #21
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Another thought. Don't the cleats experience additional wear on road shoes when one must occasionally walk on them?
    Just Peddlin' Around

  22. #22
    Zzzzzzzzzzz earleybird's Avatar
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    b) they are one of the few manufacturers that make size 50 shoes


    Jeez size 50 is this a misprint.......?
    reckon maybe you need a couple of canoes

    I ride a road bike all the time. I use SPDs and I wouldn't swop my Mtb shoes for a pair of those stiff soled chicken walkers. Pity they don'tmake the mtbs with velcrose fasteners though !

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    Are those canoes SPD ?

    Nope - I wear size 14 ~14.5 American - and size 48 metric was too small, so I imagine size 50 will do the trick.

    At 6'6" (1.98m, 198 cm, etc), I'd look pretty funny balancing on size 35 shoes, eh ?

    Sheesh, pick on the big guy

  24. #24
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    The cleats on road shoes will experience some minimal wear as you toddle from the front door to your bike and back - not far even doing it once or twice a day. Basicallly you don't do much walking in them.

    Secondly, Look cleats are cheaper to replace than SPDs in my experience. If buying some new pedals and shoes, see if the shop will throw in a free pair of spare cleats.

  25. #25
    Zzzzzzzzzzz earleybird's Avatar
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    At 6'6" (1.98m, 198 cm, etc), I'd look pretty funny balancing on size 35 shoes, eh ?

    Sheesh, pick on the big guy [/B][/QUOTE]

    Only 6'6" eh! well I'm a tiny 6'.0" and my boats are size 48
    But then I've got arms like an urangatan which is really useful as I can pick stones out of my tyres when I'm rolling along!

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