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Looking for feedback on MTB/Touring bike shoes

Old 07-14-19, 07:12 AM
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MichaPau
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Looking for feedback on MTB/Touring bike shoes

I am a bit spoilt for choice choosing bike shoes.

I am looking for clip-less, walkable, touring/commuting, mixed road shoes.

I know I can't have the best in all categories for a reasonable prize (~150$ upper limit)
but they should at least be somewhat breathable, more or less water resistant and I think I prefer laces.

I gonna use them on a Jamis Gravel Bike with Crackbrother's DoubleShot III pedals

After some research, I came up with this selection:

Giro - Chamber II; 525g; 150$
Giro - Rumbler VR; 430g; $100; Lack weather protection, usable with flats, size small?, material flimsy?
Vaude - Men's TVL Pavei; 390g; 110
Vaude - AM Downieville Low; 398g; 115; bad ventilation?
Five Ten - Kestrel Lace; 484g; $67.48-$150; size rather big; bad ventilation?, good weather protection
Five Ten - Hellcat; 565g, 90$-150$; usable with flats
Shimano - SH-AM501 - MTB Gravity Shoes; 465g; 80$
Sepcialized - 2FO Cliplite Lace; 379g; $74.99-$120.00; Narrow?

So my question:
Does anybody have some information/experience with one of these shoes.
Especially for choosing the right size. I normally have EURO 42-43; US 9-10; UK 8.5-9.5
but shoes are sometimes one number smaller or bigger and I have to order them, so that would be a really valuable information.

Thanks
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Old 07-14-19, 08:00 AM
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I like Keen Commuter 4 shoes.
https://www.keenfootwear.com/p/M-COMMUTER-4.html

They have a thick insole and under the insole is the cleat hardware which is not a smooth base under the insole. For that reason, I put some thin sheet steel (cut from a coffee can lid) under the insole, taped into place so it does not shift. That provides a flatter base for the insole that I think helps on long days for foot comfort. I often find that I am still wearing these hours after arriving in the campsite instead of switching to other footwear after getting off the bike.
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Old 07-14-19, 09:19 AM
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hate to break it to you, but once past the initial factors that you prefer, walking feel, laces etc, physically trying on shoes is really the best way to make a decision.
Asking internet folks for opinions to help make your decision is just that, opinions, but I can say that when you start trying on diff shoes on your actual feet, you will see how diff brands and diff models can feel very different, even with the same shoe size.

bottom line, online decisions and strangers opinions really dont cut it for bike shoes--if you put a priority on how a shoe really fits your foot.

When I've looked to replace shoes, I tried on loads and loads of models, took my time and realized how some shoes, while looking great on paper, just didnt fit my feet properly (width, arch support, you name it) whereas a few shoes immediately felt better right away---and this is my priority, excellent fit--because in my opinion, a very well fitting shoe that supports your feet and arch properly FOR YOU, are worth paying even a bit more, and my experience of not having foot issues even after day after day, week after week long trips, is the main priority.

anyway, thats my take

good luck, just be aware that online decisions will always lack
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Old 07-14-19, 11:54 AM
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Yes, that's a true and a very valid take; I am aware of that.
Unfortunately all the bike stores around my area have very little choice and all they have look like 'I wanna look like a racer/pro ' shoe.
Even at the Decathlon store nearby they only have models that don't feel right to me.

I don't have a car but perhaps I will take a longer journey to another town to visit with a bike store 'sightseeing' combined .... ;
or I will take the risk with an online store...

thanks for your input
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Old 07-14-19, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaPau View Post
I am a ...
My experience is that MTB shoes are more walkable than road shoes, because their soles usually have raised lugs which prevent the clipless pedal system cleat from contacting the floor/ground surface. My old cheap Answer MTB shoes work great with Speedplay Frogs in this regard - I can even walk in my home on wood floors without damaging floor. Most road shoes + cleats are not nearly so walkable. MTB shoes are usually heavier than road shoes and not as stiff, so some pedaling energy is lost flexing shoe sole more so than with typical road shoe. Choose your compromise.

Amazon is handy for getting stuff to your door, most which may be returned for free under certain conditions, and a free 30 day Prime trial membership makes this all happen quickly.
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Old 07-14-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaPau View Post
Yes, that's a true and a very valid take; I am aware of that.
Unfortunately all the bike stores around my area have very little choice and all they have look like 'I wanna look like a racer/pro ' shoe.
Even at the Decathlon store nearby they only have models that don't feel right to me.

I don't have a car but perhaps I will take a longer journey to another town to visit with a bike store 'sightseeing' combined .... ;
or I will take the risk with an online store...

thanks for your input
I'll take a guess from the "Pau and Decathlon" that you are from France. Here in Canada, there are lots of good options of shoes that are reasonable to walk in, but have a stiff enough sole to be more comfortable pedaling. I personally use mountain bike shoes, that have very stiff soles and fit my feet really well, and I dont mind the look, but I have friends who use various ones like you are looking for.
Here in Montreal, we are lucky because there are many bike stores, so its not that hard to visit a handful of stores and try on many different shoe brands, styles and models.
The reason I mentioned so much about how diff shoes fit is that I am not a big guy, so some shoe brands are better for men with wider feet, and they are too wide for me--but looking at a photo on a website or even in person, you can't know this before trying.

back in the early 90s I did a bike trip, starting Toulouse, towards Carcassone, then following more or less the Pyrenees up and down various cols towards the Basque areas, then up to Bordeaux along Les Landes, then back to Toulouse. So I know your area a bit, and loved biking there, loved the Pyrenees.
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Old 07-14-19, 07:09 PM
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Loving the Specialized 2F0. They are narrow but. And they are not super light. But they have very good cushioning when afoot. The dry very quickly and seem durable. Grip is good.

Like most MTB/touring shoes the forefoot is built higher than the heel. This can mean you get sore heels if standing around for long periods.
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Old 07-15-19, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I'll take a guess from the "Pau and Decathlon" that you are from France.
I do live in France but up in Brittany. (the "Pau" in my username is just wordplay..)
I also did some hiking once in the Pyrenees and I totally agree that it is a wonderful, impressive area..

In Brittany, the highest point is only around 345m of altitude. An ancient mountain range called les Monts d'Arre. They do provide some dramatic/beautiful views.

----

As for the other tips and responses. I totally agree that I should get MTB shoes. Actually, all the shoes on the list in my entry post are MTB shoes...
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Old 07-15-19, 07:41 AM
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cool, another trip I did in the early 90s was around Normandy and a bit of Bretagne, lovely trip also, especially as it was my first time in Europe and first time in France.
again, good shoe finding.

another personal opinion on ventilation--the mtb shoes I have used for the last bunch of years have pretty good ventilation, and to me thats very important. I have ridden in very hot weather a lot, so the combination of really good shoe fit (no bad tight spots), good ventilation and sock choice, have meant I havent had "hot foot" problems, which is nice.
I ride regularly, and will use a pair of shoes for many years, so this is why I hold the view that spending a bit more for a shoe that fits really well is worth it, because over the years, an extra 25 euros or whatever is worth it.
salut
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Old 07-15-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WPH View Post
Loving the Specialized 2F0.
Yes, they look good.
There is a LBS around with Specialized gear. The only one I haven't yet tried because I rode in the other direction.
With a bit of luck he has a pair to try on.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I like Keen Commuter 4 shoes.
https://www.keenfootwear.com/p/M-COMMUTER-4.html

They have a thick insole and under the insole is the cleat hardware which is not a smooth base under the insole. For that reason, I put some thin sheet steel (cut from a coffee can lid) under the insole, taped into place so it does not shift. That provides a flatter base for the insole that I think helps on long days for foot comfort. I often find that I am still wearing these hours after arriving in the campsite instead of switching to other footwear after getting off the bike.
Although maybe not meeting the OP's original criteria I agree with @Tourist in MSN about the comfort of this Keen model. I'm on my first season and have only used them sans cleats with toe clips but they have a nice stiff sole and are really comfortable both on and off the bike. After failing to keep my feet dry with several types of shoe covers in the past my intent is to use these with waterproof socks. I figure the sandal type uppers will dry quickly.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
Although maybe not meeting the OP's original criteria I agree with @Tourist in MSN about the comfort of this Keen model. I'm on my first season and have only used them sans cleats with toe clips but they have a nice stiff sole and are really comfortable both on and off the bike. After failing to keep my feet dry with several types of shoe covers in the past my intent is to use these with waterproof socks. I figure the sandal type uppers will dry quickly.
I now realize that on the Keen website, every size is listed as out of stock and they do not appear to be listed any more on their current models. I do not know if this means Keen is abandoning the cycling market or not, but at the moment that appear to no longer be available. I suspect that if anyone wants a pair, they should hurry up and look for a retailer that still has them in stock. If you order any, note the sizing comment on the manufacturers web site (link above) before you order.

I am not sure if they dry out that much faster, on my last tour I used some several-year-old Showers Pass overshoes on a rainy day to keep them reasonably dry. Most other shoe covers do not fit Keens very well. After a rainy day when I foolishly did not put on the shoe covers fast enough, I thought that they were slow to dry.

I use cleats with mine.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

I am not sure if they dry out that much faster, on my last tour I used some several-year-old Showers Pass overshoes on a rainy day to keep them reasonably dry. Most other shoe covers do not fit Keens very well. After a rainy day when I foolishly did not put on the shoe covers fast enough, I thought that they were slow to dry.
off topic, but I was tempted to buy some showers pass ones, as they look to go higher up than my old MEC rain booties (my rain pants are slightly short, so higher booties would be nice)

how do you find them?
mine are thickish material, well not thick, but they are a bit bulky when folded up.
I realize Id need to see them in person to really know, but in general, do they work well?
Mine work well, after all these years, and I have a spare new pair that I bought for my wife, but she doesnt use, so I can replace my decades old ones with those....just intrigued by the S.P ones.
thanks

ps, have never found SP ones sold here, only seen them online.
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Old 07-18-19, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
off topic, but I was tempted to buy some showers pass ones, as they look to go higher up than my old MEC rain booties (my rain pants are slightly short, so higher booties would be nice)

how do you find them?
mine are thickish material, well not thick, but they are a bit bulky when folded up.
I realize Id need to see them in person to really know, but in general, do they work well?
Mine work well, after all these years, and I have a spare new pair that I bought for my wife, but she doesnt use, so I can replace my decades old ones with those....just intrigued by the S.P ones.
thanks

ps, have never found SP ones sold here, only seen them online.
I have had them for at least a half decade, rarely use them. But they work ok. They fit over the shoe pretty loose. You had to cut your own hole in the sole for your cleats. And if you have several shoes, that hole gets larger when you try to have a single hole fit the cleats on many different shoe soles. And since they fit a bit loose, that hole can move and not be in exactly the right spot later. That movable cleat hole is the only complaint I have with them. They are quite light and bundle up quite small.

It appears that mine match their current offering.
https://www.showerspass.com/products/club-shoe-covers

Would I buy them again? Probably not, but at the time I bought them the store had very few choices. I only use them on the Keens now since I have since bought some other shoe covers that fit well over my other shoes.

My rain pants are some older (now discontinued) REI Elements pants, they are way too big for me but that way the legs are long enough to fit down over the tops of the shoe covers when my knees are bent so I do not have rain getting inside the shoe covers over the top. They are big enough that I use suspenders on those rain pants.

On my other (non-Keen) shoes I use some Gore Windstopper high viz color ones, that in the photo instead have mud color.



But these Gore ones do not fit over my Keens because the Keens are quite wide.

Since I only wear shoe covers when I have rain pants on, and if it is too warm for rain pants, I just get wet instead of wearing shoe covers. Thus, I do not use them very much. I carry a pair of hiking shoes on bike tours, a few times I wore the hiking shoes for a day after teh rain quits while my cycling shoes are drying out from rain.
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Old 07-18-19, 03:11 PM
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Thanks, pretty much what I expected. Tricky for sizing, as I'd prefer to see how they fit over my cleated shoes that I pretty much always wear. Cross border returns can be a pain.
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