Shoes are one of those things I will never buy without trying on first. If you get the wrong size chances are you will hate them. Even if you get the right size, the shoe might be painfully unfit to your foot. 8.5 isn't an unusual size, maybe the shops can order you some to try on? If not go to a different shop.
I will sometimes look online for a company that I like then look at there dealer's to see if any are near me that way I can try on before buying.
Thats a good strategy. I wanted a pair of Northwave shoes and went to every LBS for miles around and nobody carried them. I finally checked Northwave's website and found that Sports Authority (a huge sports store only a few blocks away carried them). I would have never even thought to look there. They didn't have the model I wanted, but I was able to figure out fit and size, then order exactly what I wanted online. Normally I wouldn't condone trying on shoes at a shop and then ordering them, but Sport Authority is a giant box store, so who cares.
Visp with way better parts than a frame,2010 fuji track pro, motobecane phantom cross outlaw
honestly any shoe in the 100.00 range is fine for you
yu obviously arent very experienced in biking or youd have some already. within brands most shoes run the same size between models until you get up to the hyper high end
only real difference is ratchet straps vs all velcro. other than that, its alllll the same. you wont get carbon at that price
I also advocate the trying on before buying option. I tried 12000yen Shimano and then a 20,000 yen pair of Sidi's, the guy in the shop said the Sidi's were much better especially if i got the special 5000 yen sole linings, but I thought the wide sized shimano was way more comfortable.
I ended up buying a 43, even though I usually wear a 27cm shoe (44 in Euro speak).
You never can tell with foot wear.
Although I am glad I spent the extra for the pair with a rachet style strap as it is nice to flick the tension up a notch every now and then. Or even losen them off easily when you need to.
went to 3 shops today. first shop's smallest size was 43. second shop was so flustered, had only mountain shoes in my size but looked into ordering some. i asked to look at a catalog so i could get an idea of what shoes i wanted them to order. no catalog, so they looked stuff up on google. 15 minutes later their supplier wouldn't have my size until next week maybe.
third shop sold me 200 dollar shoes, specialized expert road. a bit more than i wanted to spend but i liked the boa system and i finally found a shoe that fit me. we'll see if i end up keeping them or not. i get buyer's remorse when i buy stuff that costs too much.
Specialized makes some of the best shoes around as far as fit and performance go. On par with, if not better than, Sidi. With proper care and maintenance, they will last years. Remember, the heel pad and Boa cable are replaceable.
Specialized has a footbed system that is pretty cool. See if you can get the shop that sold you the shoes to do a footbed fitting for you for free since you bought the shoes. This customizes the shoe's footbed, via insoles, to your feet. People pay hundreds of dollars to have molds made of their feet then pay hundreds more for custom shoes made around the molds for the same effect.