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Using cleat style shoes without the cleats

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Using cleat style shoes without the cleats

Old 01-23-20, 12:22 PM
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Using cleat style shoes without the cleats

My new bike was built with flat pedals because that was all I have ever used. I am now considering buying some new shoes just for riding and am trying to decide between MTB shoes or cleat style; specifically, Rapha Explore.

My question is whether I can use the Explore shoes,no cleats installed, with flat pedals until I get up the confidence to try cleats and the corresponding pedals. I am just getting back into cycling at age 67 and about 40lbs overweight so the thought of being attached to a bike at the foot still scares me a bit but I plan on trying it this spring or summer.

My question really, I guess is whether I will be damaging the shoes by using them without cleats and on the flat pedals.
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Old 01-23-20, 12:34 PM
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What's the point? Just wear your sneakers until you are ready for clipless.
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Old 01-23-20, 12:44 PM
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I'm 62 and 40 lbs overweight, but I rode a lot as a kid. When I got back into biking I went whole hog: A fancy CF bike, Shimano Road Pedals, and Sidi Genius shoes (with the appropriate Shimano cleats). Wasn't that hard, even with some neuropathy in my feet that doesn't allow me to feel the pedals very easily when mounting up. To eject, its' pretty easy to train yourself to flip your heels outward.

If you are just going to ride, and ride distances like 5, 10, 15 miles or more, road cleats are probably going to be best. If you plan on biking a few miles over to Starbucks or to the section of town with sidewalk bistros (that is, if you will be getting off the bike and walking around) then MTB cleats with comfortable MTB shoes will be better (my opinion).

I strongly recommend against riding road (e.g. hard plastic or CF bottom) shoes without cleats - too easy to have the foot slip off the pedal. Way more dangerous, to my mind, than any issues with cleats holding your feet against your will. Without cleats, use a non-cleat pedal and your sneakers as ShelbyGT suggests.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 01-23-20 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-23-20, 01:43 PM
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There are flat pedal mtb shoes available if you feel you need something cycling specific.
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Old 01-23-20, 02:02 PM
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You can either continue cycling with flat pedals or if you really want to switch perhaps transition to dual platform pedals until you develop enough confidence to clip into the other side. Any reason why you chose those particular shoes? MTB shoes sport recesses for the cleats and still prioritize walkability.

Shimano also offers 2-bolt multi-release cleats for entry level cyclists who might find single release versions too restrictive.
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Old 01-23-20, 02:04 PM
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Five tens

five tens

five tens

did I say 5... 10’s ?

great shoes for flats
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Old 01-23-20, 02:23 PM
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If the plan is to be able to ride flats, and maybe transition to clips in the future, I would go with something with a flatter sole than the Explore. Lots of brands have a shoe with essentially a flat sole, that has a removable cleat filler, that can be taken out and replaced with a recessed cleat.

The sole on the Explore just looks like itíll be wobbling around on a true flat pedal. For flats, you really want a shoe that has an almost skateboard-shoe look.
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Old 01-23-20, 06:57 PM
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No, you won't damage the shoes.

Some come with a filler for the cleat area that be good for your situation.

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Old 01-23-20, 10:31 PM
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If youíve been off the bike and are just returning, Iíd recommend you get your cycling skills up to par before moving to clipless pedals. You can do that in just about any rubber soled shoes you want. Once youíre ready to go clipless, mount the pedals and change your shoes.


Edited to add: You may sense a difference in seat height, given the different pedal and shoe combinations. Adjust accordingly.
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