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Thread: Shoes?

  1. #1
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    Shoes?

    I just recently ordered my very first touring bike (a Surly LHT). As for pedals, I saw a lot of recommendations for A520s and the guy from the LBS reinforced that they were solid pedals. On the matter of shoes, however, I have seen some people on these forums say the stiffer the better for touring, while the same guy from the LBS told me I want something middle of the road.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Middle of the road.

    I switch between a pair of Specialized mountain shoes (Taho) with spd cleats for one bike and a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes with Speedplay cleats for another bike. The PI shoes have carbon fibre soles. You could pound nails with them, but you would not want to walk more than a few feet in them. The Specialized shoes are so comfortable that I occasionally forget to take them off at the end of the day. If you intend to do anything but ride, a more casual shoe is the way to go.

    Also, you won't have to pack another pair of shoes. My Tahos and a pair of Croc flip-flops (weigh next to nothing) cover all eventualities.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    you'd probably be best off with a "walkable" mountain bike shoe. i used pearl izumi x-alp enduros on a 4 day minitour and really liked them. unfortunately mine are too small (sz 44, now looking for a 45 in just about anything). still recommend them. they got great traction walking around and eliminated the need for a second shoe.
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  4. #4
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    The 520 are fine pedals. Solid, and not overpriced. They've served me well.

    I use Lake shoes I got at MEC (Canada's REI equivalent). They're the "running shoe" type that you can walk around with. I wouldn't spend an afternoon walking around NYC with them, but they're pretty comfortable considering they have a SPD clip under them. I paid around 85$ for them. I think that type of "can walk into a store with them" shoes is the most adapted to touring.

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    Some guy says stiffness doesn't matter. I don't know if that's true, but I thought I'd toss it out there. Then again, this other guy says soft-soled shoes don't provide enough support, but you can work around that with large-platform pedals. That guy also prefers clipless.

  6. #6
    bicycle tourer Johnrs2117's Avatar
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    Here is my two cents on the subject. Road riders and racers want as stiff a shoe as they can get since they are off the seat a lot when sprinting and climbing hills. People who tour spin more and don't get off their seat as often. The stiffer the shoe the less pressure that will be on a particular spot on your foot, which should keep your feet from hurting over long distances.

    For touring, I go for a shoe that is stiff but has a slight "walkability factor" to them. If you can't walk more than a few feet in them then don't take them touring. You are not going to want to take your shoes off every time you get off your bike to rest or eat.

    For long walks after bicycling, during the day (say you have to walk your bike due to a breakdown), or just hanging around the camp or hotel, I would recommend that you carry a pair of tennis shoes or lightweight shoes.

    You can get regular touring shoes or use high quality mountain biking shoes. Mountain biking shoes usually have a slight flexibility to them since riders get off their bikes a lot to hike. Just don't get the mountain biking shoes designed for racers.

    John

  7. #7
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I think that you want shoes. Don't get too bogged down in the details. Something that you can walk in will be fine. YOur 520's and clipless are going to be fine. Just take the new bike out and ride.
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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I like a nice stiff MTB shoe (Sidi Mega Bullet 2 in my case). I also carry a pair of Crocs for when I want a break from the Bullets. I found just the Bullets to work well for me for short trips. On long trips like the TA last summer I like to have the Crocs for a change of pace in the evening or once in a while off bike during the day.

    The only problem I had was some discomfort due to a planters wart, but I don't blame the shoes for that and corn pads resolved it well enough.

  9. #9
    Senior Member porter's Avatar
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    I've got a pair of Taho that I've literally climbed mountains in, used as a general touring shoe and even wear in the office after commuting on dress down days. Great shoe - my GF now has a pair and her brother just bought a pair. I think last years model looks better - but I'm the odd one out.

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