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  1. #1
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    How to determine proper shoe fit?

    Since cycling shoes are so entirely different than other shoes and their comfort critical, what is the "best" way to determine if a shoe properly fits.

    Many bike shops only carry a limited selection and even less sizes, but the ones available cost close to $150.00. When trying on shoes, what is the criteria? Is there a proper way to size?

    I had one person tell me to kick the ground to force my foot forward into the toe box. He said this would simulate the position my foot would be in my shoe after 20 miles or so.

    I had another person tell me, that the length wasn't as important as the position of the arch in my foot relative to the arch support in the shoe.

    Someone else told me that it's better to have a tighter shoe (smaller) than one that's too large. But what if it's too small, wouldn't your foot cramp?

    Is there an unwritten code that states you can't wear mountain shoes on a road bike? I understand the only problem with mt shoes is cleat compatablility. But, if I use SPD's on both bikes, why do I need different shoes?

    I really don't mind paying the money for a decent pair of shoes, but I'd hate to shell out the cash for an uncomfotable shoe. What do I do if I buy a pair go for a ride and find they don't really fit? Will the bike shop return them? What if I buy them mail order?

    Please Help!:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
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  2. #2
    Chi-Chi Monger *WildHare*'s Avatar
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    I just went through this myself. I tried on everything I could to find the right shoe. There is no criteria IMO. Everybodies feet are shaped different. Comfort is comfort wether it's a dress shoe or a sneaker. I had the same concerns about how it would feel when riding as opposed to walking around the store. I tried to stand on the balls of my feet to simulate riding position to see if my toes were gonna have enough room and so on. All the different fastening systems make or brake the fit as well. I'd slide on a shoe and it felt good until I sinched a strap. A buckle would dig in or I couldn't get them tight enough and had too much slop at the top of the shoe.

    I ended up with Carnac Legends. Good old fashioned laces under two velcro straps. Went for my first ride yesterday and was relieved to find my choice was a good one. It's a lot of money to spend to make the wrong choice so try as many as you can.

    Good luck..

    Oh yeah. If all you can find is a good MTB shoe then so be it.
    When it's good it's really good...And when it's bad I go to pieces - David Bowie

  3. #3
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I'm no expert so take this for what it is: my personal experience. YMMV. I am an in between size 11.5 US, my size for years, is now too small, and 12 is just a bit bigger than I would like. Even after trying on many different brands and styles of street shoes this if very consistent. Same with cycling shoes - size 47 though I think nominally size 46 = 12 US. I can snug down the straps and they feel fine; my feet aren't flopping around in them, but they are definitely a touch long. So far this has not been a problem at all for riding. They are quite comfortable. Someone mentioned arch fit. I am not sure that the arch is an issue at all for me, but maybe mine just fit right. The ball of my foot is where the shoe is connected to the bike. I imagine it would be uncomfortable if that area were too small. As it is, it might be a little loose, but, again, it feels ok to me. Let me add the qualification that my daily commuting rides are 9 miles AM and 13 miles PM, sometimes up to 20, and my longest ride to date was 32 miles. Maybe on longer rides my answer would be different.

    I think if one's toes were jammed into the toe of the shoe that much they should re-evaluate their pedalling style. Toes jammed forward would suggest more pushing than spinning. I try to "float" my feet in my shoes so that they feel no pressure either pushing or pulling up, down, forward, or back. When I can accomplish this feeling, I know I am pedalling a circle.
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  4. #4
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    Is there an unwritten code that states you can't wear mountain shoes on a road bike? I understand the only problem with mt shoes is cleat compatablility. But, if I use SPD's on both bikes, why do I need different shoes?

    I really don't mind paying the money for a decent pair of shoes, but I'd hate to shell out the cash for an uncomfotable shoe. What do I do if I buy a pair go for a ride and find they don't really fit? Will the bike shop return them? What if I buy them mail order?
    Well, I'm going throught the same thing myself. I wear MTN. shoes on the road because I use Time ATAC's on all of my bikes. You don't need different shoes.

    I'm planning on buying my shoes from Performance. Why? Well, because I am going to spend quite a bit of money and Performance offers an unconditional guarantee (much like LL Bean). If I spend $150 - 200 dollars on a pair of shoes, I expect them to perform and last for quite a bit of time. If they don't live up to my expectations, I will send them back.
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    The others have mentioned some good advice. I would add that you should wear thin cycling socks so you get less slop when you ride. Yes you can use mtn shoes if you want with a road bike (you might get a few weird looks but so what). Mountain shoes are generally heavier and less stiff (power loss) than road shoes so remember that. I have shoes for each bike. Wearing your thin socks, try on several shoes. You will see that they are varied in overall width and toe box area. you're goal is to find a shoe that fits well all around your foot--no slop or pinching. they should be snug but not too tight. the old exchange of, "how does it feel?" you say, "feels good" they say, "get the next smaller size as they will stretch" is not as applicable today as most shoes are less stretchy than 10 years ago. Feet swell as you ride so the fit shouldn't change as the ride progresses (provided the fit was good to begin with). Don't look at color or graphics--go for fit first! I wouldn't buy online unless I had a specific model and size I knew was perfect. I give my business to the LBS which allows me to try on their inventory. They might refund or pro-rate you if the shoe was used only a trainer indoors and was in perfect condition--ask.

  6. #6
    Eternal NooB threeflys's Avatar
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    " I wouldn't buy online unless I had a specific model and size I knew was perfect."


    That 's fine if you have an LBS, I don't. I live on an ISland in Alaksa and no bike shops. I just ordered a pair of Nike Yuhas from PricePoint (Big time on sale, only $44). I hope they fit OK, they should at least they're in US sizes (should help)
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.

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  7. #7
    Chi-Chi Monger *WildHare*'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by threeflys
    " I wouldn't buy online unless I had a specific model and size I knew was perfect."


    That 's fine if you have an LBS, I don't. I live on an ISland in Alaksa and no bike shops. I just ordered a pair of Nike Yuhas from PricePoint (Big time on sale, only $44). I hope they fit OK, they should at least they're in US sizes (should help)
    Well good luck! If they are even the least bit uncomfortable, don't suffer with them, send em' back...
    When it's good it's really good...And when it's bad I go to pieces - David Bowie

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I still use toeclips on all of my bikes and usually wear mountain bike shoes, which permit me to walk comfortably at my destination or in case of a breakdown.

    Each person needs to identify shoe manufacturers whose lasts (sole templates) match the shape of his/her foot. I can confidently buy running shoes over the Internet, as long as I stay with U.S. size 8.5 ASICS with medial pronation support.

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