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Old 06-29-06, 02:30 PM   #1
MassLiberal
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Sandal People: Climbing??

Everything for my big tour is coming together, I have my trusty new bike )riv Atlantis, and most of my gear (check out our sight www.ride4ror.com for more info) But I'm having some trouble deciding footwear. I'm torn between SPD sandals and light hikers, or a lake hiking/spd shoe and chacos (or cheap-o sandals).

One of my concerns with sandals is that they will not be as preferable for climbing. I'll be going over the Divide god knows how many times, and riding up over the cascades on the northern tier, and the mountains of the southwest so I don't want to loose to much performance. On the flip side, I'll be spending as much time as I can off the bike hiking peaks in Glacier, N Cascades, Joshua tree etc, and want a really good hiking shoe. So, once again, I turn to the masses here for an opinion.

Thanks Again,

E
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Old 06-29-06, 02:44 PM   #2
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I have Shimano SPD sandals and they are probably my favorite bicycle related investment so far. They really cling to your feet, no rubbing or loosening, and they make climbing much easier. I can't really compare them to a regular spd shoe because I'm always wearing the sandals.
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Old 06-29-06, 02:51 PM   #3
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I have sturdy SPD shoes, and carry a pair of lightweight hiking shoes in my panniers. The hiking shoes are not clunky boots, but are good enough for easy hikes.

Because I also carry a pair of sandals, I am hauling three pairs of shoes! Nevertheless, all my stuff fits into two smallish panniers, a daypack (strapped to the top of the rear rack), and a small fanny pack.
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Old 06-29-06, 02:51 PM   #4
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I only wear sandals and I ride a ton here in Iowa... and Iowa is not flat... Lots of Hills..... lots of river valleys.... lots of me cursing going up and down up and down...
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Old 06-29-06, 02:54 PM   #5
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The cycling sandals are designed to compromise function for improved comfort. Their soles flex so they walk better. This means you lose power transfer when pedaling. It a significant amount, you can feel it as you pedal. The straps add to the loss (compared to reg. cycling shoes).

Personally i like the sandals, its just one of those choices you have to make.

Chacos are heavy, 40 oz per pair (its that vibram sole). You can get a whole shoe at the same weight. Tevas are lighter, actually my pair weighs 21 oz.

I dont think any cycling shoes would work well for long (5+ miles) hiking, sandals included.

Sandals leave your feet exposed to sunburn. I weigh socks with mine.

Last edited by seeker333; 06-29-06 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-29-06, 03:32 PM   #6
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I ride exclusively in sandals. I use some cheap exustar SPD sandals that I have had for several years. I don’t do on huge tours, but I have climbed Haleakula on Maui twice (sea level to 10,000 feet in about 40 miles). I’m doing it again next week, and I will be wearing my sandals. They are good for off the bike stuff as well. They will be my only shoes on my 6 day tour of Maui.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:03 PM   #7
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I have a pair of Shimano sandals that I love to wear. We just got back from a few days hiking the AT trail in Shandoah National Park and 5 days of riding Bike Virginia - an organized bike trip. I used tennis shoes for hiking (without backpacks) and the pine needles and wet rocks were a bit slippery in places. For the bike ride, we left our shoes in the car and just took shower flip-flops and our Shimano Sandals. With the humidity and rain in Virginia, our sandals stunk. We washed them twice with soap and wore them in the shower one day. Without socks your feet will sweat. Right now the sandals are soaking in a light bleach solution. I think you will need some hiking shoes and some biking shoes. Your feet will slip front to back when climbing on mountains with the sandals.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:08 PM   #8
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My cycling partner in Australia used sandals the whole time we were over there, and continued to do so after I went home and he carried on. He is one of the best climbers I've known and happily climbed everything in sight over there. We crossed Australia's Dividing Range what seemed like a million times --- back and forth and back and forth.

Wearing sandals didn't seem to negatively affect his climbing in any way.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:30 PM   #9
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I'm definitely going to be carrying two pairs of shoes. right now I'm leaning towards sandals and trail runners. We're both experienced hikers, my buddy just finished an AT thru-hike, and I have been a canoe trip guide and avid section hiker,so I tend to lean towards packing light and efficiently. But it's sorta hard to figure out how to pack when I want to both bike and hike on my three month journey.

Machka, I'm interested in getting involved in randonneuring, is there a group you could point me towards in the greater boston area where I can start to learn more about this awesome sport that seems to be right up my alley???
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Old 06-29-06, 10:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassLiberal
Machka, I'm interested in getting involved in randonneuring, is there a group you could point me towards in the greater boston area where I can start to learn more about this awesome sport that seems to be right up my alley???
First of all, we've got a new Long Distance forum now where we can talk about these things.

Secondly ... oh yeah ... there's definitely a group in the greater boston area!!

http://www.rusa.org/
http://www.gis.net/~ingle/bbs/
http://www.geocities.com/b-m-b/

If all goes well, I'll be heading out to do the BMB!!
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Old 06-30-06, 09:49 AM   #11
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I use my Lake sandals when I go mountain biking and where I ride it's pretty sustained climbing all the way and I don't have any issues w/ performance. The only thing w/ the open design is the combination of sweat and dust that accumulates in the foot bed but I don't think this will be an issue riding pavement.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:57 AM   #12
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I've done some big climbs in my SPD sandals. Did fine. But speed is not my priority. If you're on a loaded tour, it likely won't be yours, either.
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Old 07-01-06, 12:58 PM   #13
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As the king of over packing, I have some light sneakers, cheap sandals, and SPD shoes.
Heavy? Sure
Comfy? Oh yeah.
I can't speak for spd sandals, but I love this combination on a long tour. Sandals for post ride and nasty showers, spds for riding, and sneakers for walking on off-days (hiking or to the bar) and if I'm eating dinner at a resturant.
Have fun with the north cascades, did em about a month ago now. Careful of Washinton and rainy pass, if you leave late, you'll be fighting darkness, lot of riders in pretty good shape have had issues. Beautiful though.
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Old 07-01-06, 01:12 PM   #14
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I use Chacos and stand by them completely. In toe clips they are wonderful, nothing like the breeze between your toes when you tour. Chacos are built to last, the soles can be replaced and the straps are bulletproof. One person mentioned they're heavy, I don't agree, but then I don't do time trials, I load my bike with gear.

I would say the Z/2's are perfect for climbing, I've done many near-vertical hikes in them and never felt I wasn't adequately tractioned.
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