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best sandals for touring

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best sandals for touring

Old 03-04-09, 10:23 PM
  #1  
fishman473
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best sandals for touring

I have some ~8 year old Shimano SPD sandals. I like them pretty well, but they have never been very comfortable because there is no arch support (I have high arches) and the sole is not stiff enough. Recently I saw some of the Keen SPD sandals at a bike shop and they looked pretty nice, however reading some reviews suggest that they are fairly narrow, and I have a very wide toe-box on my feet.

It looks like the Shimano/Lake sandals have been updated a couple times since I got my pair. Does anyone have an recommendations for what are the "state of the art" in bike sandals today? Something with stiff soles, wide toe box and good fit?
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Old 03-04-09, 11:14 PM
  #2  
jabantik00
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i have had several of those old-style, 2-strap shimano spd sandals, a pair of nashbars, and a pair of keens. i have flat arches, so i can't give you any useful information for your arch issue.

i wear sandals for commuting and touring, and of the 3 models above, i prefer the old 2-strap shimanos. they aren't light or stiff, but they are built tough and last. the nashbars are alright but the adjustable heel didn't agree with me. i am not keen (haha) on the keens because i have some chafing and irritation from their straps and i don't care for the closed toe. they do not drain pebbles, water, etc well and i feel like i might as well wear my sidis. the keens do seem a tad lighter and stiffer, and they give my feet some cool, striped tanlines, but i wouldn't buy them again. and they are sorta pricey.

i guess this probably doesn't help you much. i know rei carries the keens and has a fairly generous return policy. maybe try some from rei, return them, and buy them from someplace cheap if you like them.
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Old 03-05-09, 12:11 AM
  #3  
xcapekey
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I've owned the Keen SPD saddles and they're great. They're narrow only compared to standard Keens (which are pretty duck feet wide). In a strange reversal, I still ride with Keen sandals, but without the cleats!

I did a few trips which were in really steep rocky terrain and I couldn't clip out fast enough. I decided to try regular platforms and I haven't looked back since. If you can unclip yourself from clipless ( in a manner of speaking), I'd suggestr giving the plain regular Keens a try.

On rainy/muddy/cold days, I wear wool socks + SealSkinz socks + Keens and its a great combination. You always have comfortable warm dry feet.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:31 AM
  #4  
barturtle
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I wear Keen Venice H2's on MKS GR9s with MTB-style plastic toe clips.

I would like to try the Keen Commuter, but think it may not work for me as the very similar Keen Newport H2's straps were not positioned well for my feet.
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Old 03-05-09, 03:41 PM
  #5  
arctos
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I have used each version of the Shimano bike sandal since they first offered them. I have large feet that barely fit the largest size [48] that they offer. I have a moderately high arch.

They have been durable, stiff but not as stiff as a good bike shoe and comfortable. I used them on the Divide Ride for riding and hiking with good results. I have have no experience with other bike sandals.
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Old 03-05-09, 04:01 PM
  #6  
fishman473
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arctos, have you noticed any improvement in the fit, quality or features of these sandals over the years? Like I said, I think mine are at least three versions old.

I get a lot of foot pain in bike shoes unless the sole is stiff and the insole has arch and metatarsal support. Maybe I'll just shoegoo a new insole onto my old sandals and see how that goes.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:24 PM
  #7  
arctos
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fishman473: The fit has improved with each model change. The stiffness has improved and the three straps hold the foot in place better now. The footbed/insole feels more comfortable to me than the earlier models and the arch support appears to be better as well. The tread is better for walking too.
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