Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Advice on Road Shoe advice - special problem

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

Advice on Road Shoe advice - special problem

Old 04-24-17, 04:34 PM
  #1  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Advice on Road Shoe advice - special problem

Now that I'm well on my way to converting my newly obtained (2012) Kona Jake the Snake to a road bike, I'd like to pick your brains (and experience) about SPD-SL compatible road shoes. There is a catch: thanks to some surgeons - well, I better not get started - I've got a modestly cocked-up big toe on one foot. The upshot practically is toe box height, softness and sometimes placing of stitches are important considerations in fitting shoes for me. Anyone else dealing with a similar problem? I'd prefer a carbon composite sole (or similar stiffness), vs. all nylon/plastic and definitely not all carbon, i.e., the middle of the line, in the ~$175 or less price range. I'm posting here on the hope that there are possibilities (available in the States) that are not carried in a northern Rockies town whose shops are predominately mountain bike oriented. While my big toe length is 44 and I'm a ~D in width, outer toe box room is commonly lacking in those so I tend to end up in 45.

Here's what I've tried so far (haven't ridden on any yet).
- Shimano RP3 - appear to fit well and may have to do, but plastic/nylon soles thus not so stiff
- Shimano RP5 - carbon composite and soft upper but a little less vertical and a troublesome seam; currently in shoe stretchers to see what happens
- Bontrager Specter - nice soft upper but not much vertical
- Pearl Izumi Race Road IV - very little vertical and narrow toe box (my 15-year old PI SPDs have a lot more room)
- Specialized Comp Road - as I recall, not much vertical and seam in wrong place.
- Sidi - don't know toe box height but online toe box upper looks too firm, maybe plastic
- Giro - ditto Sidi

Any others worth looking at? Thanks,

Last edited by highstream; 04-24-17 at 04:46 PM.
highstream is offline  
Old 04-24-17, 04:38 PM
  #2  
rgconner
Senior Member
 
rgconner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,154

Bikes: Curtis Inglis Road, 80's Sekai touring fixie

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 471 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I require a large toe box as well, for different reasons, and only offroad intended shoes have been able to meet the need.

I can use a road shoe, but it is always a compromise.
rgconner is offline  
Old 04-24-17, 04:49 PM
  #3  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 4,711

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2203 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 29 Posts
I've heard that Lake shoes -- eg CX217 offer more room at the toes. Maybe worth looking into.
Other than that, Giro is supposed to be offering a new laceup soon..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
LaceUps.JPG (84.5 KB, 191 views)
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 04-24-17, 04:50 PM
  #4  
Maelochs
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,525

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5449 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
It really is a special problem when your advice needs advice.

I think my feet fit best in Lake Wide 48s .... My feet are nothing like yours. They are much more like a duck's---broad, flat, and wider at the end than anywhere else.

I might need to go to custom shoes.

You might need shoe surgery. After all the uppers are just leather or synthetic--cut, sew, and glue as needed to get the fit you need.


Lol ... how did Syrene get my shoes?
Maelochs is offline  
Old 04-25-17, 09:33 AM
  #5  
DrRobert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think sole stiffness is highly overrated (think about how your ankle flexes when riding......)
DrRobert is offline  
Old 04-25-17, 10:24 AM
  #6  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
I think sole stiffness is highly overrated (think about how your ankle flexes when riding......)
Unlike with cross-country skis/boots/poles, I don't have enough experience with different bike shoes to know. For now, I may have to settle for the nylon/plastic of the Shimano RP3, which Shimano rates 6/12 on stiffness. There is the suggestion of the Lake CX 217, now the 218. Lake is no longer widely distributed in the U.S. and the 218 is above what I want to spend. There is the Lake CX 175, injected fiberglass/plastic, which I'll take a look at too for fit.
highstream is offline  
Old 05-10-17, 07:39 PM
  #7  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
I think sole stiffness is highly overrated (think about how your ankle flexes when riding......)
After going out on a rolling hills 30 miler yesterday with the Shimano RP3 plastic/nylon mix, I'll have to disagree. I could definitely feel their flex - and didn't want to. I tried on a pair of Lake road shoes (CX176) with the fiberglass-injected nylon and they felt stiffer, and that can easily be seen in hand. Will have to see if I can find a size in that shoe which works for me.
highstream is offline  
Old 05-10-17, 07:53 PM
  #8  
mjrLV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by highstream View Post
Unlike with cross-country skis/boots/poles, I don't have enough experience with different bike shoes to know. For now, I may have to settle for the nylon/plastic of the Shimano RP3, which Shimano rates 6/12 on stiffness. There is the suggestion of the Lake CX 217, now the 218. Lake is no longer widely distributed in the U.S. and the 218 is above what I want to spend. There is the Lake CX 175, injected fiberglass/plastic, which I'll take a look at too for fit.

I had a similar requirement (wider toe box), and the Lakes which have both wide and regular versions were the best solution for me. I got the CX237s when they were on sale for $199.

The wide versions were actually TOO wide for me, and the 'normal' width fit perfect. Standard width for Lake is definitely wider than PI, Shimano, etc. I did not have to go a size up and get a longer shoe to get the proper width. This was a big factor for me.

I also tried a pair of Giro HVs (high volume) and they were mostly just more leather at the top (vertical), than a proper, wider last, like the Lakes.
mjrLV is offline  
Old 05-10-17, 08:48 PM
  #9  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went to the wide version of the CX 176 because the standard was too narrow and short over the big toe, or at least the seam was in the wrong place for me there. Unfortunately, the wide 176 is too much length and volume most of the way around, including the heels. There's no 44.5 in that model, so I'm trying the 44. I fit best in shoes that either have a taller toe box or have the soft breathable material over the entire of the big toe, like the RP3 has, so I don't have a seam sticking into my cocked up big toe.
highstream is offline  
Old 05-10-17, 09:02 PM
  #10  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went to the 176 wide because the standard was too narrow and short over the big toe - my right is cocked up a bit - with a poorly placed seam there for my purposes. The 45W was too long and volumous almost all the way around, so it's going back and a 44W is being sent. Probably a 44.5 would be better, but it isn't made. My main problem is not width of the toe box, although that's an issue for the longer outer toes, but is the height or construction over the big toe. The best shoes for me have that soft ventilated fabric ("netting") over whole of the big toe, while most shoes with softness there make it only over part of the big toe, with a seam at some point that's low and uncomfortable, if not seriously painful.

Lake makes the CX218 and 237 with a "slightly wider ball girth to allow the foot to expand under high pedaling pressures." That's probably why the standard width works for you.
highstream is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 04:00 AM
  #11  
JagR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 357

Bikes: S-Works Tarmac 2017 - TREK Madone - Cannondale CAPO

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by highstream View Post
Now that I'm well on my way to converting my newly obtained (2012) Kona Jake the Snake to a road bike, I'd like to pick your brains (and experience) about SPD-SL compatible road shoes. There is a catch: thanks to some surgeons - well, I better not get started - I've got a modestly cocked-up big toe on one foot. The upshot practically is toe box height, softness and sometimes placing of stitches are important considerations in fitting shoes for me. Anyone else dealing with a similar problem? I'd prefer a carbon composite sole (or similar stiffness), vs. all nylon/plastic and definitely not all carbon, i.e., the middle of the line, in the ~$175 or less price range. I'm posting here on the hope that there are possibilities (available in the States) that are not carried in a northern Rockies town whose shops are predominately mountain bike oriented. While my big toe length is 44 and I'm a ~D in width, outer toe box room is commonly lacking in those so I tend to end up in 45.

Here's what I've tried so far (haven't ridden on any yet).
- Shimano RP3 - appear to fit well and may have to do, but plastic/nylon soles thus not so stiff
- Shimano RP5 - carbon composite and soft upper but a little less vertical and a troublesome seam; currently in shoe stretchers to see what happens
- Bontrager Specter - nice soft upper but not much vertical
- Pearl Izumi Race Road IV - very little vertical and narrow toe box (my 15-year old PI SPDs have a lot more room)
- Specialized Comp Road - as I recall, not much vertical and seam in wrong place.
- Sidi - don't know toe box height but online toe box upper looks too firm, maybe plastic
- Giro - ditto Sidi

Any others worth looking at? Thanks,
BONT or LAKE would work...might have to up the budget a little but your feet will thank you!
JagR is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 08:37 AM
  #12  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks. I hadn't heard of Bont and looking around online am not sure how readily available thet are in the U.S. In any case, their lower end road versions are 3-hole Look. Is that compatible with SPD-SL cleats? My pedals are Ultegras.
highstream is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 08:48 AM
  #13  
JagR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 357

Bikes: S-Works Tarmac 2017 - TREK Madone - Cannondale CAPO

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by highstream View Post
Thanks. I hadn't heard of Bont and looking around online am not sure how readily available thet are in the U.S. In any case, their lower end road versions are 3-hole Look. Is that compatible with SPD-SL cleats? My pedals are Ultegras.
No worries! Not sure I understand the question. Your ULTEGRA pedals are 3 bolt. Are you asking if they will work?
JagR is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 08:56 AM
  #14  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JagR View Post
No worries! Not sure I understand the question. Your ULTEGRA pedals are 3 bolt. Are you asking if they will work?
Not familiar with Look set up. Do SPD-SL cleats use the same holes?
highstream is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 09:05 AM
  #15  
JagR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 357

Bikes: S-Works Tarmac 2017 - TREK Madone - Cannondale CAPO

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by highstream View Post
Not familiar with Look set up. Do SPD-SL cleats use the same holes?
Yes - Any 3 hole shoes would work but not sure if the same cleats will.
JagR is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 09:06 AM
  #16  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 2,975
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 560 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by highstream View Post
Not familiar with Look set up. Do SPD-SL cleats use the same holes?
Since Look was first to the party regarding clipless pedals, 3 bolt mounting for road cleats is often referred to as Look compatible. All 3 bolt cleats use the same hole pattern
alcjphil is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 10:10 AM
  #17  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Since Look was first to the party regarding clipless pedals, 3 bolt mounting for road cleats is often referred to as Look compatible. All 3 bolt cleats use the same hole pattern
Thanks
highstream is offline  
Old 05-12-17, 11:16 AM
  #18  
GuitarBob
Kit doesn't match
 
GuitarBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 1,024

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 170 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
I think sole stiffness is highly overrated (think about how your ankle flexes when riding......)
Puzzled by this. What would movement in your ankle joint have anything to do with advantages or disadvantages to stiffness of the foot bed?
GuitarBob is offline  
Old 05-14-17, 11:44 PM
  #19  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JagR View Post
BONT or LAKE would work...might have to up the budget a little but your feet will thank you!
Correction 2: I've received an email from Bont that says they do have a warehouse in the U.S. (San Jose) and that while the online store works from Australia, one can buy directly via phone/email. In addition, the Riot has been discontinued and is being replaced by something else soon, not yet reflected on the website, which is being remodeled. That means there are really good deals on the Riot and A2.

Last edited by highstream; 05-15-17 at 05:26 PM.
highstream is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 11:41 PM
  #20  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dealt with Ming Tan at Bont distributor in U.S. Very helpful. He ordered shoes from Australia for me to try on first. There's even an Asian forefoot fit that's available. That has a more squared off toe box, for those of us with larger outer toes.

Turns out their entry level shoe, the Bont Riot has the buckle's holding nut exposed inside the shoe, i.e., up against the bottom outside of the rider's foot, a tender place. Ouch!! All other shoes I've tried on or bought have the nut between two fabric layers, protected by a soft inside lining, so the foot is protected. Don't know how the shoe's reviewers have missed this. Even worse, the nut on one side of the first pair they sent was missing the center cap that covers the inside pointed end of the screw that attaches the buckle to the shoe, so it was directly into my foot. Talk about saving money in design!

Last edited by highstream; 07-07-17 at 06:00 AM.
highstream is offline  
Old 07-07-17, 01:23 AM
  #21  
eabeaj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 63

Bikes: 2016 Felt Z5

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try fizik -- I'm particularly thinking of the R5b. Not only am I a huge fan of my pair, but they seem to have more toe box room relative to size than a lot of alternatives. Super comfy and a stiff enough sole for my non-racing purposes.
eabeaj is offline  
Old 07-07-17, 06:21 AM
  #22  
highstream
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by eabeaj View Post
Try fizik -- I'm particularly thinking of the R5b. Not only am I a huge fan of my pair, but they seem to have more toe box room relative to size than a lot of alternatives. Super comfy and a stiff enough sole for my non-racing purposes.
Back to my OP, toe box vertical over the big toe is the first key to my need. How much of that does the R5b have? No guarantee, but the shoes that typically work have mesh on top there. I don't see that in the R5b photos or their other road shoes.
highstream is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
kenshireen
Bicycle Mechanics
62
01-27-16 12:46 PM
spare_wheel
Advocacy & Safety
1
04-09-13 06:24 PM
Speedskater
Great Lakes
0
07-27-11 11:09 AM
mikeman715
Road Cycling
7
04-08-08 08:59 AM
cabana 4 life
Advocacy & Safety
19
11-02-05 11:26 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.