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Senior Rider - Considerations for New Road Shoes

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Senior Rider - Considerations for New Road Shoes

Old 06-10-20, 03:43 PM
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blinky
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Senior Rider - Considerations for New Road Shoes

I'm in my early 70's and the last time I bought a road bike with road shoes ( Look Cleats ) was 17 years ago - I recently upgraded the pedals on this bike to Shimano Dur-Ace (SPD-SL) and would also like to complement these pedals with new and presumably lighter road shoes .

I've done some research and reading and get the feeling that the shoe criteria for a younger race caliber rider might be much different than for a senior rider like myself - I feel comfortable using Look type cleats like the SPD-SL and want to continue riding but value comfort more than pedaling efficiency , spin rate , etc . and don't plan on any long distance rides.

I'd like to get some specific thoughts and ideas on specific makes and models of shoes currently on the market that might be well suited for a senior rider ??

Thanks in advance for you time !
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Old 06-10-20, 04:37 PM
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I swapped out the stock insoles on my Sidi shoes. They were way too thin, and had limited cushioning. I took the shoes along to REI last year and got some nice insoles with better padding. I trimmed them to fit when I got home. A big difference on longer rides.

A lot depends on what shoes fit your feet. I need lots of room in the toe area. Unfortunately, it's hard to find a good selection locally.
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Old 06-10-20, 05:09 PM
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If you like walking in cycling shoes you might want to consider Mtn bike shoes. I have some Sidi road shoes that I like and some Speedplay pedals/cleats that I love. That works for me. You have to find what works for you.
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Old 06-10-20, 06:19 PM
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I don't think you should be using your age to guide your shoe choice. For instance, I have a 79yo who rides with me a few times a week doing some pretty big rides, like 85 miles and 3,000 feet of gain, averaging 17+ mph. My whole club of over 200 riders is close to or at 70, and they ride to their comfort level and/or ability. Some of the fast riders that have slowed down still want to ride in the gear they've grown to be accustomed to, and do.

Do you ride non-stop or take very brief breaks not walking much? Do you walk a lot and explore off the bike? You send a mixed signal, because you bought Dura-Ace pedals and want a shoe to match, but value comfort over performance. Dura-Ace is the top of the performance range for Shimano pedals, but nothing stops you from mating any recreational shoe to it that accepts its cleat, clears your cranks, etc. If you share more about your riding style and type of stops you make, it might help you find some close matches to your needs.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:43 AM
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Echo others - don't think age matters much. Fit is really important - also echo using replacement insoles on the comfort side.

That said, I use SPD-SL pedals and I do long distance rides. After fit, your first decision will drive how much you spend: what type of closure arrangement do you want? If laces are OK, there are many inexpensive choices. The next step up is velcro, then ratcheting buckles, then the round BOA dial type closures.

Personally, I always ended up getting my right shoe laces into the chain ring, and loved when I first tried shoes with no laces. I have a pair with the BOA closures, I thought it was overkill and the BOA dial broke (covered by lifetime warranty but that means BOA sends your replacement parts for an easy fix, but still downtime).

For short rides, you aren't going to notice much difference in stiffness but if you are aiming at low weight you might run into carbon soles that will be stiffer and lighter.

I've had good luck on with Shimano and Northwave shoes from the low to middle range of their lines - comfortable (for me) and durable and not crazy expensive.
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Old 06-11-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
Do you ride non-stop or take very brief breaks not walking much? Do you walk a lot and explore off the bike? You send a mixed signal, because you bought Dura-Ace pedals and want a shoe to match, but value comfort over performance. Dura-Ace is the top of the performance range for Shimano pedals, but nothing stops you from mating any recreational shoe to it that accepts its cleat, clears your cranks, etc. If you share more about your riding style and type of stops you make, it might help you find some close matches to your needs.
Last year I replaced 17 year old Campy components with more modern Ultegra and decided this year to splurge and add Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals , not for performance reasons but more because of the little wider platform and hopefully a smoother experience clipping in and out , I was finding that my old Look pedals were getting to be a bear to engage and disengage - I would say I am a recreational rider , brief breaks , and limited walking with cleat covers - and so I would like your recommendation , manufacturer and model preferably , of a few rec type shoes .

Thanks again !!
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Old 06-11-20, 05:29 PM
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I recommend Specialized Torch 2.0 road shoes in the "reflective" version for the following reasons:

1. They have durable but still reasonably grippy rubber at both the front and rear tips of the soles, so when you do have to put your foot down or walk (e.g. on concrete stairs), you're less likely to slip/fall. In this respect, the 2.0 is superior to any other road shoe I've seen... but obviously they're inferior for standing/walking compared to any mountain bike shoe.

2. Having a Boa closure is really important to me because I can reach down and snug them up without stopping/dismounting. I find I have to tighten up any bike shoe after the first mile or two of riding... and often again at some point after that. With Boas that's easy.

3. The reflective area on these shoes is uncommonly large. I believe they make me dramatically more visible when approached from behind by motorists on twisty rural roads at dusk. Feet are the perfect place for reflectors, because of their constant motion.

These shoes are a bargain if you can find them. Unfortunately, I've had to really hunt for them online, both times... but I found my newer pair maybe two months ago.

In fact, I bought that 2nd pair before the 1st pair were used-up, because I'm worried Specialized might discontinue this model.


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Old 06-12-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BritishV8 View Post
I recommend Specialized Torch 2.0 road shoes in the "reflective" version for the following reasons:

1. They have durable but still reasonably grippy rubber at both the front and rear tips of the soles, so when you do have to put your foot down or walk (e.g. on concrete stairs), you're less likely to slip/fall. In this respect, the 2.0 is superior to any other road shoe I've seen... but obviously they're inferior for standing/walking compared to any mountain bike shoe.

2. Having a Boa closure is really important to me because I can reach down and snug them up without stopping/dismounting. I find I have to tighten up any bike shoe after the first mile or two of riding... and often again at some point after that. With Boas that's easy.

3. The reflective area on these shoes is uncommonly large. I believe they make me dramatically more visible when approached from behind by motorists on twisty rural roads at dusk. Feet are the perfect place for reflectors, because of their constant motion.

These shoes are a bargain if you can find them. Unfortunately, I've had to really hunt for them online, both times... but I found my newer pair maybe two months ago.

In fact, I bought that 2nd pair before the 1st pair were used-up, because I'm worried Specialized might discontinue this model.

Thanks for the reply , a local shop here in CT also recommended the Torch 2.0 , citing moderate stiffness as a selling point for me - I would have preferred 2 BOA's but that would require going to the S-Works 7 for example which are much stiffer , pricier , and more shoe than I need - unfortunately production is probably not as robust as it was pre-virus and retail store inventories are probably thin - I was wondering if you would share the name of the online retailer that you found and send it in a private message .

Thanks again for your time and help !!
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Old 06-12-20, 11:36 PM
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pm sent.

About having a 2nd boa... I'm not sure how important that would prove. I don't think I've ever loosened or adjusted the velcro (front closure) after getting it right the first time.

Feet vary quite a lot. I hope these shoes suit yours!
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Old 06-13-20, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by blinky View Post
Thanks for the reply , a local shop here in CT also recommended the Torch 2.0 , citing moderate stiffness as a selling point for me - I would have preferred 2 BOA's but that would require going to the S-Works 7 for example which are much stiffer , pricier , and more shoe than I need - unfortunately production is probably not as robust as it was pre-virus and retail store inventories are probably thin - I was wondering if you would share the name of the online retailer that you found and send it in a private message .

Thanks again for your time and help !!
there’s also the torch 3.0, I believe. I have the predecessor to the 2.0. It’s a great shoe, but the forefoot retention velcro strap doesn’t clamp down enough on my very low volume foot. It’s also a bit narrow at the midfoot for me. If you know how your foot is shaped relative to the “average”, whatever that is, hopefully that helps.

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Old 06-13-20, 11:07 AM
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Age does matter as our feet change as we get older. They tend to widen and get flatter with less cushioning on the bottoms of the feet. A good rule of thumb to remember is slightly larger volume tan needed can be dealt with. Slightly less volume then needed cannot. I would look for a shoe that allowed my whole foot to be supported with no part of the foot spilling over the last. Also, look for a last that has a little give to it.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:35 PM
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts , I decided on the Specialized Torch 3.0 - my feet are narrow and low-volume and so I preferred having 2 BOA's , also I was able to try on the S-Works 7 at a LBS and liked the fit , they also come with 2 BOA's standard - Specialized anticipates that the shoes in my size and preferred color will be available mid to late July and so I pre-paid through my local Specialized dealer in order to reserve a pair .
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