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Advice on shoes

Old 12-26-05, 12:38 AM
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Advice on shoes

I just purchased my first set of clipless pedals, speedplay frogs. Now, I need to get some shoes. I was thinking about getting a pair of mountain bike shoes as well as some sandals. But then I figured that if I had both, I'd probably end up only really using one or the other. Plus, if I can save 50 to 60 bucks by just getting one or the other, that'd be nice too. I have read here that many people like to tour in sandals and some even use them in winter.

What would you all suggest...
shoes only
sandals only (waterproof shoe covers over wool in winter)
both
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Old 12-26-05, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jcwitte
What would you all suggest...shoes only..sandals only (waterproof shoe covers over wool in winter)..both
None of the above. For touring ANY clip on the bottom of your shoes is enough to give problems when walking. Use platform pedals and non-cleated shoes.
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Old 12-26-05, 10:01 AM
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Shimano spd cleats are an option. You don't want a big cleat.
Frogs have a big cleat.
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Old 12-26-05, 10:53 AM
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Whatever type of shoe you like off the bike is probably what you will like while touring. I tend to wear full coverage shoes and I tour in full coverage cleated ones made by Lake. They don't look mountain or roady-ish, more like a casual shoe. I think it keeps the geek factor down when you're not in the saddle

However, I met a guy one rainy day in New Zealand that toured in sandals covered with plastic grocery bags. It gave him a crazy/homeless kind of look (my apologies if you are crazy and/or homeless!)

Enjoy your frogs.
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Old 12-26-05, 11:53 AM
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A lot of cyclists, and especially touring cyclists, seem very concerned about the "geek factor" when it comes to cycling-specific clothes. I've never been concerned about this matter, as I like to use the best clothing items for the job, regardless of what the uninformed public might think of my appearance. I have known of some in the touring fraternity who wear such "casual" street attire while touring that they have sometimes been mistaken (and treated) as homeless. IMO cycling shorts and jerseys, for instance, are the best items of clothing for cycling (to include touring), because of fit, comfort, wicking of perspiration, easy to wash/dry, brightly colored (jerseys) for visibility, etc. Shoes are the same. I tour in cycling-specific shoes because they are the most efficient and comfortable while on the bike. Of course, off the bike is a different matter. When touring I always bring a light-weight pair of trail running shoes for off-bike use. On "rest" days I often like to go for a hike and these trail-running shoes work fine for that. I don't subscribe to using one pair of shoes for everything. When I'm spending longish hours biking I want the most comfortable and efficient shoes possible. And for me that happens to be a decent pair of road shoes. When I'm off the bike the running shoes or sometimes sandals feel great. And again, I bring light-weight clothing for off-bike use as well.

Summary: Use the best, most comfortable equipment for the given task. Use what's best for you and don't worry about the so-called "geek factor".

When wearing cycling-specific clothes while touring you might appear to be a little "geekish", but you won't be mistaken as "homeless".

Enjoy your touring.

Ted "Geek fashion advisor" Phelps
Central Valley, CA
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Old 12-26-05, 01:19 PM
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I've weighed in on this subject before.

I've toured 4000 to 5000 miles each year for most of the past twenty years and have seen numerous people with knee issues that - I suspect - may be related to clipless pedals.
I'm not sure how much touring you have under your belt - especially fully loaded - but I might suggest a standard pair of sandals so that you can switch pedals if absolutely necessary and still have something to use.

Best - J
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Old 12-26-05, 02:22 PM
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My right knee has had problems when cycling. I bought the knee savers pedal extenders for the right side because I have a "toe-out condition" on my right foot. That took care of my knee pain.

Now, I want to try clipless pedals. I chose the frogs because of the free float that they have. So although shimano spd cleats might be smaller, I worry that my knee would be hurting again as it would be forced into an unnatural position or pedal stroke(at least unnatural for my knee).

I think jamawani is right though. Since I have had knee problems in the past, maybe I should just get a cheap pair of frog compatible sandals and see if my knee pain comes back. If it does, I guess I'll be stuck with platforms.
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Old 12-26-05, 02:28 PM
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I have a friend that uses sandals all year long. He would not ride anything else. He has egg beater cleats and pedals. In the winter he uses thick wool socks and a shoe cover kinda thing. Been doing this for years. He also tours and the egg beater sandal combination makes for regular walking.
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Old 12-26-05, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Trekke
I have a friend that uses sandals all year long. He would not ride anything else. He has egg beater cleats and pedals. In the winter he uses thick wool socks and a shoe cover kinda thing. Been doing this for years. He also tours and the egg beater sandal combination makes for regular walking.

I saw some size 45/46 2005 Lake sandals on sale. I'm thinking that might be the way to go and then get some shoe covers or booties for cold weather (or just wear regular shoes with platforms). What sort of shoe covers does your friend use? And do they need to be a much larger size being that they are going over sandals rather than shoes?
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Old 12-26-05, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jcwitte
I saw some size 45/46 2005 Lake sandals on sale. I'm thinking that might be the way to go and then get some shoe covers or booties for cold weather (or just wear regular shoes with platforms). What sort of shoe covers does your friend use? And do they need to be a much larger size being that they are going over sandals rather than shoes?
don't know. I'll find out and PM you. But his feet stay warm - so he claims. Mine get cold with road shoes even though I use heavieer socks.
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Old 12-26-05, 07:47 PM
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Hey "Geek fashion advisor", if you go into a store wearing plastic grocery bags over your incredibly efficient road shoes you will look geeky and homeless.
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Old 12-26-05, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by buttbybrooks
Hey "Geek fashion advisor", if you go into a store wearing plastic grocery bags over your incredibly efficient road shoes you will look geeky and homeless.
I think most of those OCP guys in the Road Cycling forum actually ARE homeless!
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Old 12-26-05, 08:16 PM
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I use Shimano SH-TO92 touring shoes with frogs. Available at Performance for $100. They're a great combination. The shoes are stiff enough to avoid hot spots. The cleats fit like they were made for the shoes. They are completely walkable. Highly recommended. I like to avoid the shoes that look like sneakers because velcro is more easily adjustable than laces and they tend not to be as stiff.
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Old 12-26-05, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by late
Shimano spd cleats are an option. You don't want a big cleat.
Frogs have a big cleat.
Bogus post. I've used frogs on three different shoes and never had any problems related to cleat size.
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Old 12-26-05, 11:27 PM
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I got shoes
You got shoes
All of God's children got shoes
When I get to Heaven
Gonna put on my shoes
Gonna walk all over God's Heaven
Heaven Heaven - -
When I get to Heaven
Gonna put on my shoes
Gonna walk all over God's Heaven.
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Old 12-27-05, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
I've weighed in on this subject before.

I've toured 4000 to 5000 miles each year for most of the past twenty years and have seen numerous people with knee issues that - I suspect - may be related to clipless pedals.
I'm not sure how much touring you have under your belt - especially fully loaded - but I might suggest a standard pair of sandals so that you can switch pedals if absolutely necessary and still have something to use.

Best - J
Thanks for adding your wisdom to the subject, jamawani. Like yourself, I've got a lot of miles under my belt. Been cycling seriously for 30 years. I still ride 300 miles weekly (when not touring). My first tour was 1982 (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI). I was hooked! I've toured 1000-3000 miles most summers since. All of my touring is done fully loaded (self-contained). In May I will begin a tour from California to Denver (over the Sierra, across Nevada and southern Utah, Colorado Rockies), then from Denver to Eugene, MT and Glacier NP, then head east eventually to Washington, DC. Next winter I'll be touring SE Asia.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of keys to avoiding aches and pains, and worse, physical damage to the knees.
1) Having a bike that fits you properly. Proper saddle adjustments: height, fore and aft, angle. The right length stem. 2) Riding technique (learn how to use the equipment). 3) Use the right pedal, cleat, shoe combination that's right for you. That may be sandals, it may be road shoes, or something in between.

My experience is that many people get the touring bug and without a lot of preparation, they buy a bike and equipment, and hit the road. You can read many of these kinds of experiences on the journal sites. Cycling doesn't have to be over-complicated. But to get the most satisfaction from it, there is a small amount of knowledge that will go a long way toward making it a life-long enjoyable activity.

BTW, my personal favorite pedals are Speedplay, for comfort and ease of entry/exit.

Find what's right for you and enjoy the ride!

Ted Phelps
Central Valley, CA
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Old 12-27-05, 09:47 AM
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I like my new Cannondale Roams because they fit perfectly and have a removable cleat cover. They're surprisingly good for hiking and plenty stiff for riding. Much better than my old Shimano touring shoes.
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Old 12-27-05, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by buttbybrooks
Hey "Geek fashion advisor", if you go into a store wearing plastic grocery bags over your incredibly efficient road shoes you will look geeky and homeless.
Good one! Those would look good while riding my Pinarello. How about some neoprene booties instead? Very stylish. A geek factor of about a +10!

Ted "not yet homeless geek fashion advisor" Phelps
Central Valley, CA
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Old 12-27-05, 04:36 PM
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Thanks all for the advice. I ended up getting the Shimano Road Touring shoes. I liked the velcro and the fact that they were much stiffer yet still walkable (at least according to the website). If they do not fit or feel right, I think I am going to go with some sandals and use shoe covers during the cold weather. Whatever I end up with, I know I need to break it in and get used to it before setting off for the summer, so hopefully it won't take to long to find my prefect shoe/cleat/pedal combination.
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Old 12-27-05, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by qqy
I like my new Cannondale Roams because they fit perfectly and have a removable cleat cover. They're surprisingly good for hiking and plenty stiff for riding. Much better than my old Shimano touring shoes.
QQV,

Can the cleat cover be snapped on and off easily? I have replacement pieces for my Shinamos but I have to remove the cleats. I wish there was a way to snap covers over the cleats. I can still walk in them without removing the cleats but it is not very comfortable and the clicking can drive you crazy. Plus I have slipped on certain surfaces.
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Old 12-27-05, 06:31 PM
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I guess this is them? They look sweet! I might pick up a pair for my tour and ditch my walking shoes I was going to bring along.
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Old 12-27-05, 06:35 PM
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Another question. How secure are the covers? Do they ever come off when walking?
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