You know you want to.
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Bikes: Pinarello Prince, 1980's 531 steel fixie commuter, FrankenMTB
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun
Yes, you will notice a difference.
No, it will not be an appreciable difference unless you are actively trying to squeeze out every MPH possible.
I'd have to disagree. I wear stiff (but still walkable) shoes on my commute. I average nearly 4mph faster than with my (admittedly, very flexy) running shoes. There's a huge difference - and if you ride fixed, the difference in skidding with a stiff shoe versus a floppy shoe is tremendous.
Once you get into the fiberglass and clipless range, there's not a lot of room to move up, then I would agree with commuterrun. I've ridden in fiberglass on toeclips, and there's a little difference moving to clipless. Moving from a good fiberglass shoe to a carbon fiber shoe is a tiny, but still noticeable difference.
Another thing to consider, since you mentioned mountain biking specifically, is that stiff shoes will greatly ease the pressure put on the ball of your foot when landing and such.
Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.