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Touring shoes

Old 06-16-17, 03:18 PM
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Touring shoes

Anyone have recommendations for touring shoes for use with toe clips and straps, but not with cleats? I'd like to find something with a stiffer sole and a padded upper. Avocet and others made shoes like this in the 80s. Are there modern equivalents? I searched and found some BMX shoes that look similar. Is that all there is today?

EDIT: something like these https://www.ebay.com/itm/Avocet-Model...QAAOSwZKBZOG7S
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Old 06-16-17, 04:03 PM
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There isn't much out there, but your best bet would be one of the SPD touring shoes. Many are lace up, so no Velcro straps to catch on the straps. Unfortunately the soles are thicker than would be ideal, and some of them have lugs on the bottom that make it difficult to get them in the cages.
I have wide-ish feet, with high arches. Not the best combo for bike shoes. I've recently been using a pair of Giro Rumble VR shoes, paired with Specialized Body Geometry insoles (highest arch, green). They're pretty good - the sole is plenty stiff, and the tread isn't too aggressive. They aren't quite as wide as I would like, so I'm wearing a size up from what would be perfect length wise. (They're pretty wide for a bike shoe, and certainly better than most road shoes in a non-wide size.)

I like that they're almost as comfortable off the bike as tennis shoes, while being pretty good for actual riding. (I have a pair of Lake road shoes w/speedplay cleats that are better for serious riding)
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Old 06-16-17, 04:49 PM
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I have a set of New Departure shoes very similar to those shown. Size 9 I believe and NOS, still in the box.
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Old 06-16-17, 05:00 PM
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I go for walking comfort first, cycling efficiency second.

I like Merrell shoes for platform pedals and walking. Really comfy. The soles are soft, like walking with cat's paws. Not comfortable with rat traps or skeletal pedals, but great with my Wellgo C33 and Stolen Bike Thermalites.

For more efficient cycling but with good walking qualities I'd go for Five Ten Freeriders. Stiffer soles, better suited to rat traps with toe clips, minimal tread pattern so you shouldn't be locked into the clips like cleated shoes. Still comfy for walking.

I have long, narrow feet with high arches and once I find shoes that work well I stick with 'em. I'm still wearing a nearly 15 year old pair of Montrail low top hiking shoes that have worn through the lugged soles down to the undersole, with ratty tops clawed up by my cat. But they still work.

Wish I'd kept my custom fit cleated Detto Pietros from years ago. Not comfortable for walking but comfy and efficient for century and longer rides and easy to get out of by leaving the left foot strap slightly loose. I'm sure I fell a time or two at stops but it must not have been bad since I can't remember. I do remember the Dettos and being cinched in probably minimized my injuries to road rash in high speed race crashes. Since it couldn't shake loose from the pedals I'd just slide sideways. Painful road rash and some bruising but nothing broken.
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Old 06-16-17, 06:33 PM
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For the last several years I've wearing 5-10 Freeriders. A well-made, comrfortable shoe with good sole, seems to fit US-shaped feet well, works well with toe clips/straps, can be worn all day. I believe it is meant to be a cyclo-cross shoe but it's a great all-purpose shoe.
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Old 06-16-17, 06:50 PM
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I recently bought a pair of Giro Rumble VR shoes, and so far I am very happy with them. They are stiff enough for cycling, but flexible enough for walking. They are the next best thing to the good old Avocet Touring I and II shoes that I wish someone would copy and reissue.
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Old 06-16-17, 07:46 PM
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My very vintage opinion, and my experience from thousands of miles of touring in regular old pedals with toeclips and (loose) straps is that cleats and "clipless" pedals are just not a good match for touring. Although I like clipless pedals for century rides, I'm with Grant P on this one. When bicycle touring, the important thing is to be able to hop on and off the bike and have an excellent all around shoe for walking, hanging out, whatever. There really isn't a strong need to have your shoe attached to your pedals. My advice is to get some comfy non-cycling-specific shoes with a somewhat rigid sole and some nice platform pedals that don't have pressure points (Lyotards are nice) with clips and loose straps.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:13 PM
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.
...another vote for the cheapest Shimano SPD shoes (they might call them mountain bike shoes.) I like the fact that they lace up, which makes them more custom adjustable depending on what's going on with my feet. I have an older pair that I have taken some of the bottom off with a wood rasp, which makes them a little easier to fit into a pedal with clips.

Do not use the little rubber sole insert that comes with them for filling the holes when you don't use cleats. Just stop up the holes with shoe goo or epoxy.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:14 PM
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The Giro Rumble and the Freerider look like good options. There is a Giro store close to me. I'll try to stop in this weekend. The uppers are sturdy enough to hold up to straps without chafing? The dress blue shoes are a pretty good looking shoe too.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
There isn't much out there, but your best bet would be one of the SPD touring shoes. Many are lace up, so no Velcro straps to catch on the straps. Unfortunately the soles are thicker than would be ideal, and some of them have lugs on the bottom that make it difficult to get them in the cages.
...note my comment on thinning them with a wood rasp.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...note my comment on thinning them with a wood rasp.
Yeah, I actually used a belt sander on the bottom and edges of my Giro Rumbles to take about 1/16" off the thickness, and make sure the edges didn't catch the straps. I just didn't want to scare away the OP. :-)
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Old 06-16-17, 10:20 PM
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I also use a vr rumble but i saw some chrome shoes on sale at rei that looked like a great option.

https://www.rei.com/c/mens-casual-cy...g-shoes&page=1

Last edited by jetboy; 06-16-17 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 06-17-17, 06:24 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...note my comment on thinning them with a wood rasp.

nice to know I'm not the only one using woodworking tools on bike shoes!

Once the lugs on my Shimano touring shoes were thinned considerably, they went into the toe clips without issue.

It's a shame that there aren't shoes on the market specifically designed for our niche application. I've still got a few pair of older cleatless shoes stashed away, and think they may meet my needs for many years to come.


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Old 06-17-17, 08:22 AM
  #14  
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I took my son to buy non-bike shoes yesterday and while he was deciding between stripes or no stripes on the side of the overpriced sneakers he was deliberating over I nosed around to see what else they had on the shelf. What caught my attention was the skateboard shoes, the Vans in particular - stiff sole, grippy rubber, low profile... anyway, they seemed to me to be a viable option for a touring shoe. (I think I recall them being brought up as an option on BF before, but it was the first time I'd seen them in person.) For fifty bucks or so, they're a bit more frugal than the Shimano mountain bike shoes I currently use myself. And they have a stiffer lower than the Montrails I use for riding on flats. Anyone have any experience with these for distances longer than a dozen miles?
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Old 06-17-17, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
My very vintage opinion, and my experience from thousands of miles of touring in regular old pedals with toeclips and (loose) straps is that cleats and "clipless" pedals are just not a good match for touring. Although I like clipless pedals for century rides, I'm with Grant P on this one. When bicycle touring, the important thing is to be able to hop on and off the bike and have an excellent all around shoe for walking, hanging out, whatever. There really isn't a strong need to have your shoe attached to your pedals. My advice is to get some comfy non-cycling-specific shoes with a somewhat rigid sole and some nice platform pedals that don't have pressure points (Lyotards are nice) with clips and loose straps.
I'm with you. I like clipless for general all purpose riding. I've toured extensively with toe clips and straps but I'm switching to platform pedals. I haven't decided on the shoe yet; I'll either get a shoe designed for platform pedals or, more likely, try my luck with my hiking shoes. I've had good luck using them with platform pedals.
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Old 06-17-17, 08:37 AM
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Those Chrome shoes look promising too. Have you ridden them? One of the problems I have on using non-bike shoes is that the straps can chafe when riding longer distances. The Chrome shoes mention working with clipless systems. I wonder if the uppers on those offer enough protection. The rumbles mention they are for use with and without straps. That leads me to believe that they have taken into account these problems. Chrome doesn't have any stores close to me on their store locator though.
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Old 06-17-17, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Shrevvy View Post
Those Chrome shoes look promising too. Have you ridden them? One of the problems I have on using non-bike shoes is that the straps can chafe when riding longer distances. The Chrome shoes mention working with clipless systems. I wonder if the uppers on those offer enough protection. The rumbles mention they are for use with and without straps. That leads me to believe that they have taken into account these problems. Chrome doesn't have any stores close to me on their store locator though.
I have some Chrome truks and used them for much of last year, when I had no clipless bikes to ride. I didn't have any problems with chafing, and they worked fairly well with toe clips. They are basically like Vans with a stiffening shank. They are very rugged and would be ideal for messenger and/or urban commuting, but I rode them on the road 60- 80 mile rides and they were fine. I have not tried them with SPD cleats.

For non cleated touring shoes they are actually pretty good, but for me not as comfortable or useful as my beloved old slot cleat Duegi racing shoes. They are little stiffer and more biased towards cycling than I expected, but still walkable. I wouldn't try to hike in them though. They are also fairly heavy.

I found them to be just a little bit hot for socal weather, but my feet run hot. (I hike in sandals)
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Old 06-17-17, 08:55 AM
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There used to be such , Sold in European market last.. I saw some in a Shop in Dublin Ireland 20 years ago.

got a version from Sidi and Carnac.. wouldn't want to stand on a concrete floor for long. wearing them..

there is a shoemaker named Reynolds still making traditional touring shoes , in UK.


https://reynolds-england.com/





....
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Old 06-17-17, 09:20 AM
  #19  
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I have a set of 5-10 Dirtbag shoes.

I'm wearing them right now- They're comfy and it's fun to say "dirtbag" a lot.

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Old 06-17-17, 09:21 AM
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If you've got tiny feet- I have a set of old, very lightly worn (one ride) Cannondale touring shoes- they say 8, but they're 7 1/2 at most.

Of course this was the 80s. I don't know why all my stuff from the 80s doesn't fit me anymore...
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Old 06-17-17, 09:54 AM
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I am 10.5 or 11 depending on the shoe. All the 1980s shoes I see on eBay are small. Some are 5 or 5.5. So far, the Giros are leading as they seem to be the only shoe I can find locally to try on.
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Old 06-17-17, 10:00 AM
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I mostly ride with old Shimano brand lace up MTB cleated shoes and cleated pedals, but for the events that proscribe such modern attire I wear a pair of Skecher indoor soccer shoes and use platform MKS touring pedals without cages or straps. The Skechers actually look a lot like older style bike shoes but with some little nibs/spikes that I cut off or ground off with a Dremel.

My feet are so wide that I've never been able to find or modify a cage large enough that I can actually insert my shoe far enough to be comfortable on the pedal. The Skechers come in a wide toebox, which is perfect for me. And they're comfy to wear all day and walk around on, both on the flats and uphill.
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Old 06-17-17, 10:29 AM
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I recently got a set of MKS Sneaker platforms and really like them and I have noticed that so far I have never felt my feet slipping on them in fact my my feet feel very connected to the pedals. I have used clipless - speedplay and SPD and have migrated to Shimano PD M324 (half platform half spd) and used clips and loose straps some but realized I like them as a classic look more than I like them for functionality. I think if I was to tour I would echo davester and find the most comfortable walking shoes and pair them with my MKS Sneakers. Full disclosure I'll take comfort over an extra couple MPH average any day.
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Old 06-17-17, 10:36 AM
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Another vote for skate shoes, as well as the Giro Rumbles I mentioned above. I have also tried various BMX (Lake) and mountain bike shoes (Diadora) with pretty good results. To answer the question about the blue suede uppers on the Rumbles, so far ... so good. I currently use them with road quill pedals, but I am keen to try platform pedals again, and I'll see who well they work with those.

Bottom line: For road quill pedals and clips and straps, there is still nothing like the old Avocet touring shoes.
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Old 06-17-17, 10:45 AM
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A recent purchase of "Vans" sneakers has been perfect for my "vintage, camping, adventure bike" and my recent Fat bike purchase. Both of these bikes are using supportive flat pedals by Giant with screw in pins. Both the Vans and the pedals come in great colours as well. I have SPD shoes and pedals on other bikes but find them stiff and awkward for "messing about on bikes".
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