I’m really … err… keen on Keen shoes, so was particularly looking forward to trying the Keen commuter cycling sandals. Unfortunately they didn’t live up to my high hopes.
Keen have a proven track record in designing really comfy and sturdy footwear, I know from experience, my 3 pairs are going as strong as ever. It appears as though they’ve tried their hand at cycling sandals and applied some fresh thinking. They got some things right, but unfortunately they also got some things wrong.
These Mavic Zxellium performance shoes are comfy, mega-stiff and very, very light – our size 10.5s (UK) weighed in at just 622g the pair. We’ve said it before and we’ll doubtless say it again, Mavic make some great shoes, and these yellow perils feel like a favourite pair of slippers as soon as you put them on.
Comfy as slippers, safe to walk in and sharp looks too. Shimano's new RT81 shoes are a brilliant mix of proper road shoe and real world practicality. If you want a road shoe without the hassle of using road pedals, this is it: a road shoe for SPD pedals or indeed any other clipless pedal that with cleats designed along the lines of Shimano's mountain biking and commuter offerings.
I’ve got a whole wardrobe of cycling specific footwear: my rigid and almost-impossible-to-walk-in race shoes, my protective and warm winter boots, I’ve even got a lightweight mesh pair of summer riding shoes. But the footwear I’ll reach for more times than any of the others, is a shoe that’ll do the job year round, on any of my bikes, is as easy to walk in as a trainer and yet still stiff enough for me to give it a bit of welly if I want.
Still firmly in the throes of winter as we are, lightweight shoes and ankle socks are a good few months off yet. For those who suffer with the annual discomfort of frozen feet, a pair of dedicated all-weather winter cycling shoes can make a huge difference.
Conceived as a mountain bike boot (only SPD style pedal compatible), but versatile enough for road use with the right pedals, the Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX Boot is similar in purpose to the Lake MXZ302, but fundamentally different in its approach and technology.
Vintage cycling shoes are getting harder to find nowadays, so it is pleasing to see a new company turning out smart, Sunday best, footwear for you to slip into your toe clips. Quoc Phan is a young St. Martins fashion graduate who loves cycling and spotted a niche in the market for traditional cycling shoes for the urban enthusiast and weekend tourist, something that would decorate your feet and go terribly well with your Rapha trousers.
Come winter, cold feet are the bane of every cyclist’s life, mine especially. Thicker socks can reduce blood circulation, ironically causing cold feet when you’d hope to cure them, and I find overshoes can be a bit of a faff, and never where they’re supposed to be when you need them. So, a fully winterized cycling specific shoe seemed to be just the job.
Curiously marketed as an mtb trainer shoe, on the surface Lake’s MX90 look pretty much like any other SPD leisure shoe with all the virtues of civilian styling and day long comfort and to their credit perform moderately paced touring leisure duties very well. However, a wealth of technology and unexpected materials employed in their manufacture might give them the edge.
My quest for a road shoe you can walk on is over! I've been looking for a pair of comfortable and stiff - in short, performance - cycling shoes in the what manufacturers would call MTB class.