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Bike Shoes: massive challenge finding a decent fit for my wide feet

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Bike Shoes: massive challenge finding a decent fit for my wide feet

Old 07-31-22, 11:56 AM
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Donw9876
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Bike Shoes: massive challenge finding a decent fit for my wide feet

I hope someone can help, or at least stop by to ridicule my problem.

I had a minor wreck in April (ran over a dog) and in the accident I pretty much trashed my 20+ year old pair of Diadora shoes. (Which were a little oversize but have worked well and were extremely comfortable.)

So I'm shopping. WHAT A PAIN IN THE !@&(.

What I'm looking for:

Men's
Mountain/offroad style with at least small lugs (no road shoes with slick smooth soles!!!)
SPD mounting point/plate
Size: (this is the killer) I measure 41 / Men's size 8 but need a minimum of 42+ to even get my foot into the shoe. I usually buy wide men's in non biking shoes, at least D but often E.

I'd highly prefer to stay under $200.

I've tried and returned three pairs so far:

Giro Berm size 41 - www dot amazon dot com/gp/product/B07J2RTP7N
Scott MTB size 43 from a LBS
Giro Gage size 43 from a LBS

The recurring problem is absolutely no toe movement possible. I wear them in the store, they seem OK, I take them home and wear them on the carpet, and after 5 minutes or less my feet are going numb.

Right now I'm diddling around on a pair of Shimano SH-XC3 Wide Men's Mountain Bike Shoes size 42 which I haven't returned yet, from Bikeshoes dot com.

I tried a Trek store here in Cincinnati and the awesome young man who waited on me went through about 5 pairs of their Bontragers. I found one that was close but not great and had him make a note if I come back.

The Trek sales guy measured my feet with the metal foot thing (like all shoe stores in general used to use) and it confirmed that my foot size is 41 and that I am wide. But he said he believed my foot has a wider than average circumference, so it's not just wide. My feet aren't swollen either.

I have a big problem with how shoes are made today. Almost every bike shoe seems to be super rigid with no fabric panels or anything that makes the fit relaxed.

Something like my Diadoras - uppers made of half fabric, softer non rigid materials, not narrow - is just not a thing today.

Any advice? Is it possible to stretch the width of bike shoes?

Thanks.
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Old 07-31-22, 12:15 PM
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Sy Reene
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Well, it seems you need a Wide fit cycling shoe. Look at Lake, or something like these from Northwave?
https://northwave.us/products/northw...37296644784283
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Old 07-31-22, 12:15 PM
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Lake makes wide shoes. Look at their fit guide. They'll have something that'll fit.

https://www.lakecycling.com/

Last edited by seypat; 07-31-22 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-31-22, 12:24 PM
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Another vote for Lake. Do their Size Guide - https://www.lakecycling.com/pages/size-guide

Most "wide" cycling shoes out there are high volume and not actually wide (more fabric on the upper rather than a wider last). Lake, Bont and maybe a couple others are the exceptions.
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Old 07-31-22, 01:11 PM
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I have a set of Shiman XC-7, the current version is the 702, they come in wide as do assorted Shimano shows (you have to look at the Shimano site). I have the wide 46 and they are more comfortable and wider than the Lake 303 winter shoes I use. I have a 4E foot and other than a vintage pair of Diadora'so, the Shimano;shoes have always fit me the best.
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Old 07-31-22, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I have the wide 46 and they are more comfortable and wider than the Lake 303 winter shoes I use. I have a 4E foot and other than a vintage pair of Diadora'so, the Shimano;shoes have always fit me the best.
Yeah, the Lake winter boots aren't as wide as some of their other options, particularly those with the Competition Last, which is their widest (the Comp in wide is actually wider than the Race in Extra Wide).
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Old 07-31-22, 06:04 PM
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Thanks, guys. At least I have a company name now. I'll report back with what I finally settled on.
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Old 08-01-22, 06:34 AM
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I wear EEE shoes, and I've been wearing Sidi megas (the Genius level) for decades. The mountain shoe equivalent is the Dominator, I think. They are pretty comfortable. Although maybe out of your price range, I've been around long enough to learn that you NEVER skimp on shoes. And cycling shoes last a long time, you'll notice the extra $150 now, but spread that over 20 years or so and it might be worth it (it has been for me).

Of course there's no way to tell if they will work for you, but you can give them a try. I tried Carnac (didn't work for me - didn't feel right) and Northwave (weren't wide enough), never tried Lake.
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Old 08-01-22, 06:36 AM
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Another vote for Lake. Best shoes I've ever ridden.
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Old 08-01-22, 07:10 AM
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Since this is a shoe sizing thread.............

For those that ride year around in conditions ranging from hot to bitter cold, how much of a size difference do the various thicknesses of seasonal socks make?
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Old 08-01-22, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Since this is a shoe sizing thread.............

For those that ride year around in conditions ranging from hot to bitter cold, how much of a size difference do the various thicknesses of seasonal socks make?
Noticeable. Many go up a size for their winter boots (unless the manufacturer has already compensated for the thicker socks).
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Old 08-01-22, 07:37 AM
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Yet another vote for Lake wide shoes - availability isn't great (don't order from them directly either unless you have to) but the shoes are the ones that work. As for cold weather, I don't ride in the serious cold but would just put toe covers on so no sock differences.
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Old 08-01-22, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Yet another vote for Lake wide shoes - availability isn't great (don't order from them directly either unless you have to) but the shoes are the ones that work. As for cold weather, I don't ride in the serious cold but would just put toe covers on so no sock differences.
I don't ride in serious cold either. But someone needing shoes in the future will. They could be a friend or not.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:40 AM
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This is driving me friggin nuts. Ok, so I checked out Lake's website. They have a dealer locator. There is one 10 mi away from me, another 30 mi away, and the next closest ones are 100 mi.

I called the local guy and yup, just like I figured. They have almost no inventory "but we can order anything you want", and I can too myself, without a 20 mile round trip just to find out they don't work for me.

And the other shop that is local states on their website that their Lake offerings start at 370. !@&(*!@

Well, it looks like I can direct order from Lake. Probably do that. A local fitting by a LBS seems to be impossible. It was so easy to find something that fit years ago.

The scarcity of finding what I need is something I'm not used to. It's not a supply chain/pandemic thing. It looks like manufacturers exclude certain size ranges because they aren't cool enough or something. I took a quick look on Ebay and found a lot of different used shoes (not something I want right now) but the older models always look much more comfortable.

Last edited by Donw9876; 08-02-22 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Donw9876 View Post
This is driving me friggin nuts. Ok, so I checked out Lake's website. They have a dealer locator. There is one 10 mi away from me, another 30 mi away, and the next closest ones are 100 mi.

I called the local guy and yup, just like I figured. They have almost no inventory "but we can order anything you want", and I can too myself, without a 20 mile round trip just to find out they don't work for me.

And the other shop that is local states on their website that their Lake offerings start at 370. !@&(*!@

Well, it looks like I can direct order from Lake. Probably do that. A local fitting by a LBS seems to be impossible. It was so easy to find something that fit years ago.
I kind of went through the same thing with Lake - my local shops had some in stock, but not Wide options in my size and/or price range. As much as I favor supporting local shops, at that point, it just made sense to order direct.

The process was pretty painless, though I did have to send a set of shoes back because the fit was close, but not quite right. After literally years of trying to find something that worked locally, a week or two of shipping back and forth wasn't a big deal and, more importantly, it got the job done.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Donw9876 View Post
This is driving me friggin nuts. Ok, so I checked out Lake's website. They have a dealer locator. There is one 10 mi away from me, another 30 mi away, and the next closest ones are 100 mi.

I called the local guy and yup, just like I figured. They have almost no inventory "but we can order anything you want", and I can too myself, without a 20 mile round trip just to find out they don't work for me.

And the other shop that is local states on their website that their Lake offerings start at 370. !@&(*!@

Well, it looks like I can direct order from Lake. Probably do that. A local fitting by a LBS seems to be impossible. It was so easy to find something that fit years ago.

The scarcity of finding what I need is something I'm not used to. It's not a supply chain/pandemic thing. It looks like manufacturers exclude certain size ranges because they aren't cool enough or something. I took a quick look on Ebay and found a lot of different used shoes (not something I want right now) but the older models always look much more comfortable.
While it's a pain to not be able to try on, I agree with all on the Lake recommendation. I tried wide Sidi, Giro, Shimano, etc, and only the Lakes are wide enough for me.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I kind of went through the same thing with Lake - my local shops had some in stock, but not Wide options in my size and/or price range. As much as I favor supporting local shops, at that point, it just made sense to order direct.

The process was pretty painless, though I did have to send a set of shoes back because the fit was close, but not quite right. After literally years of trying to find something that worked locally, a week or two of shipping back and forth wasn't a big deal and, more importantly, it got the job done.
Thanks for the encouragement - I appreciate it. And from the comments here, it looks like I'm not insanely picky about this.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:17 PM
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Bikeshoes.com carries Lake and they have a super easy and free return policy. I just got some Lake 238 shoes this summer in regular width and I think they are great shoes. Actual leather so they have been getting better as I ride them.

David
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Old 08-02-22, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Donw9876 View Post
This is driving me friggin nuts. Ok, so I checked out Lake's website. They have a dealer locator. There is one 10 mi away from me, another 30 mi away, and the next closest ones are 100 mi.

I called the local guy and yup, just like I figured. They have almost no inventory "but we can order anything you want", and I can too myself, without a 20 mile round trip just to find out they don't work for me.

And the other shop that is local states on their website that their Lake offerings start at 370. !@&(*!@

Well, it looks like I can direct order from Lake. Probably do that. A local fitting by a LBS seems to be impossible. It was so easy to find something that fit years ago.

The scarcity of finding what I need is something I'm not used to. It's not a supply chain/pandemic thing. It looks like manufacturers exclude certain size ranges because they aren't cool enough or something. I took a quick look on Ebay and found a lot of different used shoes (not something I want right now) but the older models always look much more comfortable.
Wait until you order from the Lake site and then get told its out of stock after the fact.

Id order from a separate online dealer like Competitive Cyclist or Backcountry or BikeTiresDirect.
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Old 08-03-22, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Wait until you order from the Lake site and then get told its out of stock after the fact.

Id order from a separate online dealer like Competitive Cyclist or Backcountry or BikeTiresDirect.

Agreed, order from Competitive Cyclist. Give a gearhead a call and tell them what you're looking for. They have a great return policy as well.

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/m...nd%3A100000965
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Old 08-03-22, 01:35 PM
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Northwave worked well for me.

But I can only recommend taking the time and trying on as many pairs as you can. My current ones were the only pair out of 10-15 that I liked when trying on. And even then they were a tad too large, so I ended up getting high quality insoles, that not only solved the slightly too large issue (due to being more voluminous than the standard crappy insoles) but at the same time are great to support your foot.
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Old 08-03-22, 07:14 PM
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I have some expensive Lake MTB shoes (normal, not extra wide, I think). wow, totally worth it now! I rarely think about sore feet any more, even on long, hilly rides.
I got them a bit oversized and I wear medium thickness REI hiking socks for padding, even in the summer. There's plenty of room for my toes.

The hiking boots I got at REI a few years ago are a size larger than I was expecting to use. The shoe people suggested trying these, and it's what I needed. Thick socks!

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-03-22 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 08-03-22, 08:54 PM
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"Massive challenge" might be bit of an understatement for those of us with high volume feet looking for cycling shoes. Particularly on a bit of a budget. Legend has it ultramarathon cycling god Lon Haldeman set transcontinental records riding in wingtip dress shoes because his cycling shoes hurt so bad as his large feet swelled after a few hours. In the early days of SPD pedals, many made shoes that fit from hiking shoes or winter pack boots with cleats bolted to the sole. So think outside the (toe)box and make your own-make a cutout in the sole, drill some holes, get some t-nuts and attach the cleat of choice. The adjustment range for cleats on the average cycling shoes is too narrow and in the wrong place anyway-many well known bike fitters do this modification to cycling shoes to make their clients comfortable and injury free. Find a trail shoe that fits, with a 3/4 length re enforced last and sculpt away. Ride serene and free! Power Grips and toe clips CAN STILL be purchased if comfort over rides the ego. One of my attractive cycling friend's rode her stunning CFMP with the six inch heels removed and cleats attached. She wasn't the only one that thought they looked good with lycra!

From your description, it sound possible that volume rather than width is the real fit challenge for you. You might check out some of the different shoe lasts from Shimano's new product line. Some have taller, higher volume toe boxes, even in regular width and some models do come in wide. Some also have an extended cleat mounting range. Some people suggest Shimano shoes to be the best cycling products they make. Sidi Mega shoes can fit well for many cyclists with higher volume feet. Certain models of the Pearl Izumi Alps range have had more forefoot volume but it varies from year to year. Lake can make some fine shoes but sizing and availability have been difficult, even pre supply chain disruptions. Some years wide shoes are available across the range and some years not.

Depending on the material and the construction, it is possible to "stretch" some shoes. Find an alpine ski shop, skate shop or western boot shop that has a proper boot press. With the right tool and some experience you can do amazing things. We sold a ton of ski boots in our shop because we could guarantee a comfortable all day fit.

Good luck finding "Happy Feet"!
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Old 08-04-22, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ross200 View Post
"Massive challenge" might be bit of an understatement for those of us with high volume feet looking for cycling shoes. Particularly on a bit of a budget. Legend has it ultramarathon cycling god Lon Haldeman set transcontinental records riding in wingtip dress shoes because his cycling shoes hurt so bad as his large feet swelled after a few hours. In the early days of SPD pedals, many made shoes that fit from hiking shoes or winter pack boots with cleats bolted to the sole. So think outside the (toe)box and make your own-make a cutout in the sole, drill some holes, get some t-nuts and attach the cleat of choice. The adjustment range for cleats on the average cycling shoes is too narrow and in the wrong place anyway-many well known bike fitters do this modification to cycling shoes to make their clients comfortable and injury free. Find a trail shoe that fits, with a 3/4 length re enforced last and sculpt away. Ride serene and free! Power Grips and toe clips CAN STILL be purchased if comfort over rides the ego. One of my attractive cycling friend's rode her stunning CFMP with the six inch heels removed and cleats attached. She wasn't the only one that thought they looked good with lycra!

From your description, it sound possible that volume rather than width is the real fit challenge for you. You might check out some of the different shoe lasts from Shimano's new product line. Some have taller, higher volume toe boxes, even in regular width and some models do come in wide. Some also have an extended cleat mounting range. Some people suggest Shimano shoes to be the best cycling products they make. Sidi Mega shoes can fit well for many cyclists with higher volume feet. Certain models of the Pearl Izumi Alps range have had more forefoot volume but it varies from year to year. Lake can make some fine shoes but sizing and availability have been difficult, even pre supply chain disruptions. Some years wide shoes are available across the range and some years not.

Depending on the material and the construction, it is possible to "stretch" some shoes. Find an alpine ski shop, skate shop or western boot shop that has a proper boot press. With the right tool and some experience you can do amazing things. We sold a ton of ski boots in our shop because we could guarantee a comfortable all day fit.

Good luck finding "Happy Feet"!
Yes, mine put my cleats as far back as possible, I wonder if the ideal state would be even further back and they just don't do drilling, so as far back as possible was the best possible, or if it just so happened that it works for me with as far back as possible. At any rate, the angle of my leg and knee are in the right range, and my slight knee pain has disappeared. Additionally, it feels right. Silly thing to say, but before my right foot felt good while the left just somehow felt out of position. Now both sides feel good.

I believe triathletes, especially iron man types, they put the cleats even further back as this saves the calf muscles for the run.
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Old 08-04-22, 05:31 AM
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BITD -- before I discovered Sidi Mega fit my 3E paws well-- I successfully used a wooden shoe stretcher to widen the toe box (particularly at the small toe area) of several pairs. Thoroughly wet the shoes, adjust and insert the stretcher and let dry overnight. I repeated the process 5 or 6 times and was able to get some room in several pairs of Shimano MTB shoes and a pair of Specialized road shoes. Since switching to Sidi Mega I haven't had to break out the stretcher for cycling shoes (Dress shoes are another story) :-)

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