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Need help with bike shoes

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Need help with bike shoes

Old 09-10-12, 08:49 PM
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Noize4
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Need help with bike shoes

All my adult life I've worn size 12 shoes. Apparently that rule doesn't apply to bike shoes. I got some Shimano 520s and Bontrager Race Mtn shoes, and my right foot was killing me. Shoe seemed too narrow. I pulled the insert, but that took me from one hot spot to two, so I decided to wear the shoes to work and around the house.

This was strange, because the right shoe doesn't cause pain walking, but it sure does riding. I sold the 520s and went to eggbeater in case it was the pedal. The lightweight, recessed cleats, and exit are way better, but the pain in my right foot remains. I tried to Craigslist them, but apparently nobody wants a slightly used shoe.

I need some shoes that fit, and this time I'm bringing my bike and telling the LBS I'm taking them on a ride before throwing my money away again. I like the eggbeater, but if I would be served much better with a road pedal, I can still swap them.

I get heckled by everyone about flat pedals, but dang they are convenient! There is a lot of traffic where I ride, and I have to unclip a lot. I don't feel any faster or less tired riding clipless, but maybe I would if the shoes weren't utter crap.

Can you recommend me some shoes that are good that won't break the bank? Is there real shame riding flat pedals with normal tennis shoes, or am I seriously missing the boat if I don't stay clipless?

I know this type of thread is posted a lot, and I'm sorry for that. I just have been dealing with this for a couple of weeks and want a good solution.

Thank you.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:14 PM
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MDfive21
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here's your solution.
go to at least 3, preferably 5 bike stores in your area.
try on every single pair of shoes they have in a couple sizes each, from the cheapest up to the most expensive.
after you have tried on as many shoes as possible you can make an informed choice.

this is about the only way you can get a feel for each maker and style of shoes, and pick a pair that will be comfortable in the long run.

once you have picked the shoes, decide on pedals. if mtb shoes are your choice, get spd cleats and pedals.. for road shoes you have a wide variety of cleat/pedal choices. let the shop where you buy your shoes install your cleats and pedals also, and tip the guy a few bucks to show you how to do it.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Noize4 View Post

I tried to Craigslist them, but apparently nobody wants a slightly used shoe.

I need some shoes that fit, and this time I'm bringing my bike and telling the LBS I'm taking them on a ride before throwing my money away again. I like the eggbeater, but if I would be served much better with a road pedal, I can still swap them.
Buy from one of the shops that have an unlimited returns policy (Nashbar, Performance, Competitive Cyclist, etc). Try the shoes out for a week or two and send them back if they don't work. I placed an order for 5 different saddles from Performance once, rode them all and sent the four I didn't want back.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:15 PM
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what are you riding?
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Old 09-11-12, 08:20 AM
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Go try on different shoes. You can immediately eliminate about half the brands and shoes out there by just putting your foot in them.

Then pick the most comfortable shoe you can afford and start riding.

As for tennis shoes, u are missing the boat. Not because of being heckled, but because unless you are just cruising around, they are totally inefficient for cycling. Think about playing basketball in dress shoes, yea, that much of a difference.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:32 AM
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NWS Alpine
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You need something heat moldable if you can't find a brand that fits your foot shape. The top Shimanos are fully heat moldable but are limited to a couple times in the oven. I would suggest some Bont shoes as they are completely heat moldable and can be heated unlimited amount of times. You can change the shape of the shoe completely. Solved all my issues.
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Old 09-11-12, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NWS Alpine View Post
You need something heat moldable if you can't find a brand that fits your foot shape. The top Shimanos are fully heat moldable but are limited to a couple times in the oven. I would suggest some Bont shoes as they are completely heat moldable and can be heated unlimited amount of times. You can change the shape of the shoe completely. Solved all my issues.
I had some roller blades that were heat/vacuum molded to my feet. That would be the ticket.
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Old 09-11-12, 10:12 AM
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I have to agree with a few of the others. Try on as many as you can. I have a pair of Carnac's that are 44's and a pair of Shimano's that are 45's.... both fit identically as far as my foot knows. Good luck.... keep your feet happy.
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Old 09-11-12, 10:20 AM
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My favorite shoes are Specialized Sport MTB. Those are what I wear when I am out riding just to ride. If I am out for something more casual, including some walking, I have a pair of Garneau SPD sneakers that are very comfy and look like normal sneakers. I also have a pair of Performance Traverse MTB shoes that are pretty good for utility use, thought they took some breaking in until they were comfortable for me.

Consider a pair of dual sided pedals, clip on one side and platform on the other. That's what I use on my commuter/touring bike and I can just leave one foot unclipped when I'm starting and stopping a lot.
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Old 09-11-12, 02:23 PM
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Thanks everyone!

I went back to my LBS, and they are so great! They took my old shoes back. Then they let me try on several more and ride each. They let me keep swapping the cleats every time. There are some great hills near the shop, so I rode lots of different shoes, climbing.

I ended up upgrading to a road shoe that accepts both type of cleats. They are Bontrager Race DLX Road shoes in size 13. A mile in, I knew they were the ones, but I rode a few more miles just in case. The cleats aren't recessed in this style, but who cares? I bought them for riding, not walking. I can actually feel the float now.

Thanks again for pushing me to get this resolved. This forum has helped me integrate into this sport much easier than I would have been able to without it. I appreciate you guys a lot!
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Old 09-12-12, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Noize4 View Post
Thanks again for pushing me to get this resolved. This forum has helped me integrate into this sport much easier than I would have been able to without it. I appreciate you guys a lot!
You'll get our bill shortly. We accept Visa, Discover, Paypal and first born children.
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