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Contemplating custom shoes

Old 02-02-15, 06:04 PM
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LuckySailor
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Contemplating custom shoes

So, who has splurged and had themselves custom shoes made? Did you find them worth the (extra) money? How is the fit? How long have you had them? ETC. Lets have the good and the bad!
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Old 02-02-15, 06:14 PM
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Contemplating custom shoes

Situation: I have one leg shorter than the other by 3/4" due to an auto accident. All of my street shoes have been altered to accommodate this discrepancy. Without the modifications, my back and neck go out of alignment immediately, thus causing lots of pain. I cycle quite a bit and have an upcoming tour this year. Typically, I wear street shoes when I ride (hiking boots when I am mountain bike riding or tennis shoes when street riding). On tour, there will be lots of mountains and flats so being clipped in would be advantageous.

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Old 02-02-15, 06:14 PM
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This is off-topic a bit but I always wondered about like, DIY making a pair of custom road shoes myself...

I have seen so many soccer shoes and track shoes from Nike at places like Ross and TJ maxx for like 30 bucks and they have stiff ass bottom sole shanks in them just like road shoes..

I wonder if just drilling holes in them and making a thread somehow for the cleat bolts would be sufficient enough to get the job done....Or if worst came to worse, just doing a complete overhaul of the soles and gluing on old soles from a pair of long discarded road cleats...
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Old 02-02-15, 06:27 PM
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i've bought custom shoes in the past and without fail what happened is what i imaged would happen. they didn't fit.

and unfortunately, there's no way anybody can predict what a shoe is going to fit like without trying it on first. and understandably, the custom shoemakers are few and far between that will make a shoe for you, let you try it on, and THEN let you decide whether or not you want to pay for it. but if you can find one, i'd take him up on the offer.
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Old 02-02-15, 06:39 PM
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My feet are 2 1/2 sizes apart and I don't have custom shoes. I'd be curious about getting some, though.

Can you retrofit shoes with SPD?
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Old 02-02-15, 07:06 PM
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I personally dont have the need for custom shoes or inserts, but knowing someone who does, as you know getting this stuff right so other parts of you are not affected is simply the most important thing for you. You already do it for your other footwear, so it stands to reason that doing any long physical activity like biking is always going to be better for you, especially in the long run.

Life is too short to have to deal with any physical issues due to your diff leg length. Another option perhaps is to get a pedal "riser" made, so instead of going at the shoe side of things, you bring the pedal height up----oops, you do want to go clipless so that would be more tricky. I guess it comes down to how to get a spd shoe modified, might be problematic and I wonder if just going with a regular pedal on that side would be a lot easier and cheaper with a raised platform (and more reliable, raising the cleat part of a shoe could be problematic)

I guess you will have to try out various things.

Also, perhaps ask this over in the section where physical issues are discussed, maybe someone else has done this. I suspect its pretty rare so you may not get any actual experienced answers here.
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Old 02-02-15, 08:53 PM
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Have done three pairs of custom road cycling shoes. For me it was worth every penny and the effort. You only regret paying for quality once. Would I do it again? Yes, for sure. Does one need custom? Only if you have maybe really wide feet, really narrow, really low volume, or really hard to fit feet, and really don't fit in anything available on a retail basis. Me, I have flat, narrow, low volume feet and most retail shoes are way too big and way too wide. So much so that velcro straps don't overlap, they get cinched so tight that all I have is a long flapping strap hanging on the side of the shoe and the forefoot sides meet or even overlap.

To have a custom shoes made where they are snug, form fitting, low stack height, no insoles or footbeds needed, carbon soled, light, colors of your choosing, model and design of your choice, no excess straps, no scrunched up overlap on the top of the shoe, etc..etc.. is a dream. Worth the extra cost. But have learned that casting the foot is way better than just a trace outline on paper. Have the sock procedure done where a mold is made and the shoe is built off the mold. They fit like a glove, a very snug glove that is perfectly formed to the size and shape of your foot.

Again, if you fit in off the shelf shoes, no real reason to spend the extra. But if you don't fit in stock stuff go custom. I will again when one or both of the two most recent pairs that I rotate eventually wear out or break down. But that could be a few more years of great service. Ammortized over 6 to 8 or more years of hard use comes out to very little per year as opposed to some of the garbage made on assembly lines. A craftsman built mine and a happy customers gets to use their quality and pride in their workmanship product. Win/win.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-15, 08:57 PM
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Who makes custom cycling shoes?
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Old 02-02-15, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LuckySailor View Post
So, who has splurged and had themselves custom shoes made? Did you find them worth the (extra) money? How is the fit? How long have you had them? ETC. Lets have the good and the bad!

Situation: I have one leg shorter than the other by 3/4" due to an auto accident. All of my street shoes have been altered to accommodate this discrepancy. Without the modifications, my back and neck go out of alignment immediately, thus causing lots of pain. I cycle quite a bit and have an upcoming tour this year. Typically, I wear street shoes when I ride (hiking boots when I am mountain bike riding or tennis shoes when street riding). On tour, there will be lots of mountains and flats so being clipped in would be advantageous.
Good news. You can still ride mountains and flats without being clipped in. I've ridden long distance dirt routes in sneakers and regular flat pedals no problem. If you're worried about slipping off the pedal you can always get those wide mountain bike pedals with the spikes. They stick to your shoes really well. Save your money on fancy shoes a go with the shoes you already know are comfortable.
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Old 02-02-15, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 195cranky View Post
Have done three pairs of custom road cycling shoes. For me it was worth every penny and the effort. You only regret paying for quality once. Would I do it again? Yes, for sure. Does one need custom? Only if you have maybe really wide feet, really narrow, really low volume, or really hard to fit feet, and really don't fit in anything available on a retail basis. Me, I have flat, narrow, low volume feet and most retail shoes are way too big and way too wide. So much so that velcro straps don't overlap, they get cinched so tight that all I have is a long flapping strap hanging on the side of the shoe and the forefoot sides meet or even overlap.

To have a custom shoes made where they are snug, form fitting, low stack height, no insoles or footbeds needed, carbon soled, light, colors of your choosing, model and design of your choice, no excess straps, no scrunched up overlap on the top of the shoe, etc..etc.. is a dream. Worth the extra cost. But have learned that casting the foot is way better than just a trace outline on paper. Have the sock procedure done where a mold is made and the shoe is built off the mold. They fit like a glove, a very snug glove that is perfectly formed to the size and shape of your foot.

Again, if you fit in off the shelf shoes, no real reason to spend the extra. But if you don't fit in stock stuff go custom. I will again when one or both of the two most recent pairs that I rotate eventually wear out or break down. But that could be a few more years of great service. Ammortized over 6 to 8 or more years of hard use comes out to very little per year as opposed to some of the garbage made on assembly lines. A craftsman built mine and a happy customers gets to use their quality and pride in their workmanship product. Win/win.

Good luck.
Who made yours? All the same craftsman/company?
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Old 02-02-15, 11:50 PM
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Old 02-03-15, 08:12 AM
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I bought a pair of semi-custom Riivo's last year and the custom insoles. www.riivo.com. Brad was easy to work with and the quality is terrific. It's a very nice looking shoe. It's definitely comparable in quality to other shoes I've owned, including Sidis, Specialized Pro, Lake CX236 or Shimano R-320.

But, the new shoes didn't really solve my problem. I have wide feet, and these are certainly wide enough, but my feet still go numb, and a big part of that is due to the fact that I like my shoes tight on my feet, so it's really an issue I am causing, not so much the shoe.
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Old 02-03-15, 11:13 AM
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if you feet are relatively normal but it is a leg length discrepancy only I would go see a reputable fitter. I've seen shims for road pedals to correct leg length discrepancy.

I would look to see what can be done buy a good fit before shelling out for a completely custom shoe.We're Bike Fit Experts! (Get that bike fitting done right!) - Alter Ego Sports :: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

you could also work with them to see if an orthodic would work.
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Old 02-03-15, 11:04 PM
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To answer OP question -

First pair of custom road shoes were from Rocket7 years ago. Last two custom pairs from Bont. Would do them again but it all depends on the guy casting/molding your feet. He has to know what he is doing, done a few before, and meets your specific requests or requirements. I would also consider Riivo or D2 as possible choices.

As to leg length discrepancies, contact Tom at High Sierra Cycle Center. He may be able to help you out.
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Old 02-03-15, 11:51 PM
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Cant go wrong with either one
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Old 02-03-15, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Who makes custom cycling shoes?
A cordwainer
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Old 02-04-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
All threads merged into here.
I put my query under several different threads because I want the spectrum of riders from different areas. A mountain bike rider may have no reason to visit the touring section for instance because thats not their style. If I will still get the exposure from all types of riders then thanks-otherwise I'd prefer it back to the way I started it. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-15, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 195cranky View Post
To answer OP question -

First pair of custom road shoes were from Rocket7 years ago. Last two custom pairs from Bont. Would do them again but it all depends on the guy casting/molding your feet. He has to know what he is doing, done a few before, and meets your specific requests or requirements. I would also consider Riivo or D2 as possible choices.


As to leg length discrepancies, contact Tom at High Sierra Cycle Center. He may be able to help you out.
I am contemplating D2's. However, his waiting list is over 12+ weeks currently. I have a tour coming up in June. Worried he might not be the right option at this point. Yes, I agree about the casting and mould taking proficiency. I make dentures and crowns and bridges-so if the impressions aren't right, the appliances don't fit either!

Originally Posted by coppercook62 View Post



Cant go wrong with either one
Those are amazing looking shoes-both style and the fact that they are customized to fit different sized feet!

Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I bought a pair of semi-custom Riivo's last year and the custom insoles. www.riivo.com. Brad was easy to work with and the quality is terrific. It's a very nice looking shoe. It's definitely comparable in quality to other shoes I've owned, including Sidis, Specialized Pro, Lake CX236 or Shimano R-320.

Will give them a look. Haven't seen these before. Thank you.

But, the new shoes didn't really solve my problem. I have wide feet, and these are certainly wide enough, but my feet still go numb, and a big part of that is due to the fact that I like my shoes tight on my feet, so it's really an issue I am causing, not so much the shoe.
I've considered shims but the more there are, the less stable the shoes are. Specifically, putting 3/4" at your cleat is like walking on high heels-and I don't do that very well! hahaha. Anyhow, my street shoes are all altered by adding to the entire sole of the shoe. That is the way that custom cycling shoes would be made, the proper way. It also means that I can get off the bike and walk properly without having to change shoes immediately when I get off.

Last edited by LuckySailor; 02-04-15 at 08:37 AM. Reason: I just moved my reply to the proper place- not mixed into his response!
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Old 02-04-15, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by coppercook62 View Post



Cant go wrong with either one
I've had two pairs of Rocket 7's. They are very light, comfortable, stiff, but not very durable. So you have to be willing to pay for a lot for a shoe that isn't going to last forever, and needs periodic maitanence to protec the heel. (pretty poor design with the heel pad to prevent scraping the carbon)

I would not buy another pair of Rocket 7's because they've decreased the quality and increased the price.

My first pair cost $499, were truly custom and included the molded footbed.

My second pair also cost $499, but they are not truly custom, the footbed is custom molded, but the last they are made on is picked from a number of standard sized.

To get a custom molded bed, you now have to pay $725, and its still on a off the rack last.

My second pair, which is only quasi-custom (and what you get for $725 now) is not nearly as comfortable, or secure fitting as my first pair.

To get a shoe comparable to my first pair, now you you have to go full prescription, and the price is $1450.

It may be that is what it costs to make a profit selling these shoes (they went out of business the first time around). But for me, the $725 shoe is not nice enough to justify the price, and the $1450 shoe is just too expensive.
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Old 02-04-15, 10:00 AM
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I also have a pair of Bont mtb shoes that I got on closeout for less than $200. For the money they're great. Comfortable, stiff, well built. I haven't felt the need to custome heat mold them yet.
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