Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Which Shoes?

Old 10-16-15, 08:31 AM
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floridamtb
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Which Shoes?

Finally giving in and embracing being a full roadie, this after growing up in Virginia and Northern California mountain biking. When I moved to flat south Florida I picked up road cycling since I was bored riding the same 7 mile loop around "mountain" bike parks. For the last 2+ years I've been riding Shimano MTB pedals on my road bike, it's been fine and was nice to be able to walk around. But after noticing some hot spots from pushing larger gears I've ordered Ultegra pedals and now I need shoes. After trying some on I know that the BOA is the only way to go, really like that thingy. I've kinda narrowed it down based on reviews, trying them on etc and it's between the Bontrager Specter or Specialized Expert Road. The Expert Road has a full carbon sole and is a little more money. My question is it really worth the extra $40 for the carbon sole? Bontrager stiffness rated at 8, Spesh at 8.5. I don't really need the stiffness for climbs or sprinting. As far as looks go I kinda lean towards the Spesh, the Bontrager supports both 2 bolt and 3 bolt cleats meaning I have to figure out how to get the 2 bolt nuts from rattling around (I do believe you can remove them from inside the shoe though). The one thing the Bontrager's have going for them (other than a little cheaper) is something that can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. If I go Bontrager then I look like a sponsored rider, Trek Madone bike, Bontrager helmet (sometimes a Spesh S3 helmet though) and Bontrager socks (i really like their socks, very comfy), although I do wear only Specialized BG gloves.

Bontrager Specter $159
Specter - | Bontrager

Specialized Expert $199
Specialized Bicycle Components

With club discounts I'm looking at between $130 - $160 on the shoes. So tell me, how big of a deal is a carbon sole and the little bit of extra stiffness?
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Old 10-16-15, 09:11 AM
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Get the more comfortable ones. Also:
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Old 10-16-15, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Get the more comfortable ones. Also:

I do have a kit that would match the purple, and it would be great for Halloween
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Old 10-16-15, 09:47 AM
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Three criteria for choosing shoes - fit, fit and fit. Carbon sole would only be a tie-breaker between two identically fitting shoes (such as from the same manufacturer) - nice to have and probably worth a bit more. Shoes are the one item I shop almost all brands available locally necessitating trips to multiple shops
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Old 10-16-15, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dbf73 View Post
Three criteria for choosing shoes - fit, fit and fit. Carbon sole would only be a tie-breaker between two identically fitting shoes (such as from the same manufacturer) - nice to have and probably worth a bit more. Shoes are the one item I shop almost all brands available locally necessitating trips to multiple shops
Agree! I've been to 3-4 shops so far, the real problem is one LBS carries a few brands, someone else carries others. No single place to go to to compare both side by side. On top of that if I go with the Specialized pair I have to buy Saturday since that shop is closed on Sunday and my work schedule doesn't allow me to get there during the week. I could buy the same Spesh ones elsewhere but I get 15% discount there with a local club. After tomorrow's Breast Cancer Ride I'll be driving back and forth across Lauderdale looking at shoes. I want to get them this weekend so I can fit cleats for next week. But that brings up another question... My first ride in them may end up being next Sunday for a 100K at Homestead Speedway and Key Largo. Would anyone recommend going out on something like that the first weekend in them? Or should I stick to my current MTB pedals and shoes for that event and then switch out?
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Old 10-16-15, 10:39 AM
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As long as you're in that price range, check out that Bontrager Velocis. Full carbon sole with a 10 stiffness index (for whatever it's worth,) comes in wide widths, has the dual-direction wheelie thingies. Bought a pair last summer, and have so far put about 500 miles on them. Very comfortable, thus far showing little wear. $219 MSRP, but with your discount probably about the same as the Speshes. I love them. Highly recommended!
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Old 10-16-15, 10:45 AM
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I'm still trying to figure out why you are switching pedals? If you're getting hot spots that can happen no matter what pedal system you have. As far as riding a metric century on new shoes, from what I have seen cycling shoes don't really stretch or mold to your feet unless you go with a moldable or custom shoe.

Where are your hot spots, what are you feeling. I ask because I have dealt with issues all year with my feet including plantar fasciitis. Without identifying why you are feeling what you are feeling in your feet you are just taking guesses as to what will fix it. Walking in an LBS with some shoes on won't give you any information on how the shoe will feel/fit while riding.

As a side note, I saw a podiatrist, I don't have feet issues anymore. He happened to be a cyclist too.
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Old 10-16-15, 11:37 AM
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I just got the Shimano SH-XC70 shoes and love them. All of the top end Shimano shoes feature the "heat moldable Custom-fit Technology" which is well worth it IMO. You just have to find a shop that has the little Shimano oven.

Regarding stiffness, I chose the SH-XC70 over the SH-XC90 cause they were less stiff and I wanted a bit of flex for walking around.
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Old 10-16-15, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dbf73 View Post
Three criteria for choosing shoes - fit, fit and fit.
2 more: comfort & comfort
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Old 10-16-15, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Yendor72 View Post
I'm still trying to figure out why you are switching pedals? If you're getting hot spots that can happen no matter what pedal system you have. As far as riding a metric century on new shoes, from what I have seen cycling shoes don't really stretch or mold to your feet unless you go with a moldable or custom shoe.

Where are your hot spots, what are you feeling. I ask because I have dealt with issues all year with my feet including plantar fasciitis. Without identifying why you are feeling what you are feeling in your feet you are just taking guesses as to what will fix it. Walking in an LBS with some shoes on won't give you any information on how the shoe will feel/fit while riding.

As a side note, I saw a podiatrist, I don't have feet issues anymore. He happened to be a cyclist too.
Why?
1). I ripped my Bontrager MTB shoes a bit in a recent crash so I'd need new shoes anyway.
2). I can get a pair of new in the box Ultegra pedals from a friend (he bought for his girlfriend but she wanted MTB pedals so she can walk around better)
3). I'm taking the nice MTB pedals off to put on a (another) new MTB I'll be buying the first of the year.

So it was kinda like the stars were all aligning to go ahead and make the switch to road pedals.
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Old 10-16-15, 12:08 PM
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Those Specialized Expert shoes were basically their S-Works from a few years ago. Really, really great shoes. Or at least they are for my feet. Yours may be different. As others have said, fit and comfort above all else.
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Old 10-17-15, 12:15 PM
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So I tried the Bontrager Velocis and Spesh Expert Road.... Spesh won. Looks better, fits better, less money.
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