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Can one turn their normal shoes/sandals into cycling (SPD) shoes?

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Can one turn their normal shoes/sandals into cycling (SPD) shoes?

Old 10-24-06, 02:46 AM
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Can one turn their normal shoes/sandals into cycling (SPD) shoes?


I'm just looking at cycling shoes, and call me picky, I don't see any that I want to wear. I'm interested in getting some sandals, so it looks like its between the Shimano and Look sandals (leaning towards the Shimanos if I end up buying specific cycling sandals).

My question is, has/does anyone, convert(ed) their normal shoes/sandals into SPD shoes? I really like a good arch support in my shoes, its made a big difference since I started wearing them two years ago, I find them very comfortable (Birkenstocks for example - yes I have a job, no I'm not a hippy). I also am not a big fan of the high-tech/sporty look to cycling shoes/sandals.

Is there any way to convert a pair of sandals (Birkenstocks) into SPD sandals?

Thanks a lot
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Old 10-24-06, 08:11 AM
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Search is your friend, this has been discussed several times.

To the best of my recollection about those discussions, yes, it can be done, but probably not well. Cycling shoes are designed and made to withstand the lifting forces on the shoe, with the uppers being pulled up away from the sole. Other shoes aren't. Cycling shoes are not designed for walking, they have a stiff sole (how much varies with type) to spread the pressure of contact from a small area to a larger area. Sounds like you are applying walking standards to a shoe for riding a bike.

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Old 10-24-06, 09:58 AM
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I suppose you could but it would be a lousy cycling shoe that would flex and fall apart. If you are that concerned about looks, just get a mountain shoe. They look like "normal" shoes.
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Old 10-24-06, 10:38 AM
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Shimano and Lake SPD sandals are cheaper than Birkenstocks, Chacos, Tevas, or whatever other name brand sandal with decent arch support you may consider.

But the biggest problem with non cycling sandals is the footbed will be way too flexible, maybe not Chacos, but with Birks for sure. Plus ones without tight straps wont hold your foot good enough.

Shimano SPD sandals are very comfortable to walk in. I have done 4mi hikes in them and they are great for that as the footbed prevents fatigue from sharp rocks, etc.

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Old 10-27-06, 01:49 AM
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Seems to me that someone makes an overshoe for cycling. It basically fits over and around your shoe, sort of like how a sandal fits your foot. I can't remember who makes it and it may have been just a prototype from a trade show...
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