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How to choose the right clipless performance cycling shoes

Get yourself the right pair of cycling shoes and your riding immediately becomes both more comfortable and more efficient. While you can cycle in a pair of trainers, we’re going to assume for the sake of this article that you want to ride in dedicated cycling shoes. Cycling shoes are designed to be light and stiff for efficient pedalling, usually with mesh panels to keep your feet cool in the summer, and with a sole that's designed to be compatible with clipless pedals.

Practical clipless pedals first appeared in 1984, an idea borrowed from the world of skiing. A small metal or plastic cleat is attached to the sole of the foot with two, three or four bolts, and engages with a specific type of pedal. This allows for more efficient pedalling because your feet are held in the optimum position.

If you want to choose some cycling shoes, first you need to decide what type of riding you do, because shoes are available in a huge range of styles to suit different demands. They can largely be split into performance road shoes (stiff soles, external cleats) and leisure/commuting/touring shoes where comfort and practicality are important considerations. In this guide we're focusing on performance road shoes, whether it's for general road riding, racing or sportives.

These are your typically recognisable cycling shoes. They have a nylon, composite or carbon-fibre sole. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the stiffer and/or lighter the sole. These are designed to offer the maximum efficiency and power transfer, getting all your energy through the pedals into the transmission to propel you forward. Shoes at the top-end will be extremely stiff, while at the other end of the price spectrum shoes they will often have a higher degree of flex. You might actually find this more comfortable, especially if you're just starting out or you're not trying to emulate Sir Wiggo.

Bont Zero - sole

Bont Zero - sole

The soles typically have a three-bolt pattern to accept Shimano’s SPD-SL, Look or Time cleats, or a four-bolt drilling that's compatible with Speedplay’s pedal system. You really don't want to be walking too far in these shoes. The large external cleat, in combination with the stiff sole, makes even the shortest walk a hobble, and can be downright precarious on the wrong floor. You've been warned! The pedals are one-sided and they are usually designed with more weight at the back so they hang in such a way that clipping in is easy. Even so, sometimes you have to flip the pedal the right way in order to clip in.

Shoes have synthetic or leather uppers designed to be as light as possible, and often have many mesh panels to keep your feet ventilated in hot weather. Having hot, sweaty feet is very uncomfortable, especially on a hard ride. Some shoes have a lot more ventilation, which is fine in California, but with the typical British summer it's perhaps worth looking for a shoe with less mesh panelling, depending on how hot your feet tend to get. That's not so easy as most shoes aren't really designed with the British summer in mind. For the winter, you can get Gore-Tex lined shoes to keep out the rain and cold.

Various closure systems are available: Velcro straps, a ratcheting buckle and dial-tightened wire systems are all popular. Some shoes use more than one system. Lace-up shoes have made a return at the top-end with Giro’s Empire shoes harking back to the olden days. Whatever the closure system, the shoe needs to stay in place on your feet; you don't want your feet slipping about in the shoes when you're pedalling. That leads to discomfort and power loss. 

Rapha Grand Tour shoes - ratchet

Rapha Grand Tour shoes - ratchet

The last few years have seen the development of heat mouldable shoes from the likes of Lake, Shimano and Bont. You can heat up the shoes in an oven and sometimes mould the soles and sometimes the thermoplastic uppers. While not cheap, heat mouldable shoes are slowly becoming more affordable.

Features

The more you spend, the more you get, naturally. With shoes, the more you spend, the lighter the shoe is likely to be. The difference can be anything up to 350g or more between entry-level shoes and the most expensive.

Expensive shoes will use carbon-fibre soles to reduce the weight, which also impacts on the stiffness of the shoe, another factor that increases the more you spend. Stiffness is important for transferring your power to the pedals, and the stiffer the shoe the better it is at doing this. If you’re racing, you’ll want a stiffer shoe, but if you’re not into racing, then you might want to choose a shoe with a more flexible sole.

The system used to secure the shoe to the foot is another key difference between £80 and £200 shoes. The former will likely use a simple arrangement of Velcro straps, while the more you spend the more elaborate the closure is likely to be. From micro-ratcheting buckles to rotary dials to a combination of buckles, ratchets and Velcro, every shoe brand has their favoured approach.

Materials used for the upper get lighter, more breathable and more supple the more you spend. Kangaroo and other leathers tend to be expensive, while there are all kinds of synthetic alternatives. The upper can have a big impact on how comfortable your shoes feel.

Fit

Getting a comfortable shoe that fits well is absolutely essentially so it’s really worth heading to a well-stocked bicycle shop to try them on before you buy. Don’t assume that all brands are sized the same. Some are narrower and some come in wider fits.

Some brands, such as Shimano, cater for different foot widths with a ‘wide’ version of their regular shoes. There are brands that are known to suit narrower feet, an example being Sidi.

For this reason it’s really worth trying on a few shoes from different brands to find the ones that best fit you. When you do try on a pair of cycling shoes in the shop, remember to wear the same socks that you would on the bike.

Heat mouldable shoes, as the name implies are shaped by heat. You warm them up in an oven and then mould them around your fit. This offers a degree of custom fit without the expense of having shoes handmade, which is good for people who struggle to get regular shoes to fit comfortably.

If you’re put off by the prospect of clipless shoes, then clips-and-straps, which are still available, might be more suitable. You can even buy shoes, some retro inspired, designed for toe clips.

17 shoes from £45 to £900

Now you know the options and differences between the shoes and pedal systems, you can make the right choice for you. To give an idea of the available shoes, here's a broad selection from the road.cc review archive.

Lake CX301 — £225.95

Lake CX301 Road carbon Shoe.jpg

Lake CX301 Road carbon Shoe.jpg

Comfortable, light, airy and lairy, the impressive CX301s from Lake are great performers as long as the temperature is up and the sun is out.

Tipping the scales – barely – at 402g for the pair, they consist of a full-carbon sole, a thin and supple Clarino upper (a Japanese man-made microfiber material), and a single Boa dial and lace. They look and feel quality, the sole is very cleanly moulded with two meshed vents, one fore, one aft, a rubber toe bumper and a small, replaceable heel bumper.

As a lightweight warm weather shoe for days out in the hills or when pinning on a race number, they are a winner, and available in black or white if the yellow is a little too much. For the average UK climate you might want a sturdier pair of shoes for more everyday use – and you wouldn't want to ruin these anyway, would you?

Read our review of the Lake CX 301 shoes
Find a Lake dealer

Giro Prolight Techlace — £349

Giro Prolight Techlace Cycling Shoes.jpg

Giro Prolight Techlace Cycling Shoes.jpg

Giro's Prolight Techlace Cycling Shoes are ultra-light, attractive top-end shoes that will make a big dent in your bank balance but are a worthy purchase if you can justify them.

With a pair of size 46s weighing just 386g they're among the lightest shoes you can buy, but they're also remarkably comfortable, and after being adjusted — which is quick and easy — they feel just great. The lack of weight is very apparent too.

On the bike, they are stiff at the sole as expected, but the malleable upper allows a little movement and my feet never felt restricted. If you are after the ultimate in a 'clamped in' fit they may not be to your liking.

Read our review of the Giro Prolight Techlace shoes
Find a Giro dealer

Shimano XC7 — £142.48

Shimano XC7 shoes-1.jpg

Shimano XC7 shoes-1.jpg

Not long ago we tested the Shimano RC7 road shoes and found them to be excellent (see below). Turns out that the XC7 mountain bike shoes are excellent too. They're roadie-looking enough for the tarmac with enough versatility for the dirt too; cyclo-cross, gravel riding and mountain biking are all within their remit. As such, they're almost one pair of shoes to rule them all. You can pretty much do anything with these.

At first glance you might be forgiven for thinking the XC7s are road shoes: with Boa closures and an unfussy, shiny upper they have a pretty racy look. Unlike the RC7s, which have a very stiff full-carbon sole, the XC7s have a carbon-reinforced midsole that's a bit more forgiving. That means if you're off the bike jumping the hurdles in a cyclo-cross race or pushing up an off-road climb that's defeated you, there's enough flex to make walking feel pretty normal.

There's a full Michelin rubber outsole, too, to aid off-bike grip, and you can fit two studs at the front for extra grip. The SPD cleat is recessed enough into the sole that you get plenty of purchase from the rubber on cafe floors, although the XC7s are still a bit click-clacky.

Read our review of the Shimano XC7 shoes
Find a Shimano dealer

Lake CX301 — £225.95

Lake CX301 Road carbon Shoe.jpg

Lake CX301 Road carbon Shoe.jpg

Comfortable, light, airy and lairy – the impressive CX301s from Lake are great performers as long as the temperature is up and the sun is out.

Straight out of the box I was impressed. They stunned first with the luminous yellow glow, and then by just how remarkably light each shoe was minus cleats, bolts and insoles. Tipping the scales – barely – at 402g for the pair, that's an impressive figure. As a lightweight warm-weather shoe for days out in the hills or when pinning on a race number, they are a winner.

Read our review of the Lake CX301 shoes
Find a Lake dealer

B'Twin 500 Road Cycling Shoes — £39.99

B'Twin 500 shoes.jpg

B'Twin 500 shoes.jpg

The B'Twin 500 road cycling shoes are designed for regular road riding and entry level racers. They hit the mark nicely when long, steady miles or competitive stuff's involved.

As the price would suggest, the materials are tried and tested, rather than particularly exotic but they're made in Italy to a decent standard and come complete with the brand's two year warranty. The rigid outer sole is a polyamide/thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) 60/40% mix. These are drilled for Look Delta, Keo and Shimano SPD-SL cleats.

Read our review of the B'Twin 500 shoes
Find a B'Twin stockist

Giro Trans — £127.99

Giro Trans Road Cycling Shoes.jpg

Giro Trans Road Cycling Shoes.jpg

Giro's Trans Road Shoes offer phenomenal all-day comfort with a carbon sole and stylish design. These are so versatile, they'll appeal to beginners and racers alike.

The Trans is a very impressive shoe indeed. Within the modern design, features of the more expensive Factor shoes can be found. The upper is made of microfibre, which moulds around the mid-foot and heel; the lack of breaking in that these shoes need is astonishing – they really are super-comfy from mile one.

The price above is from a retailer that still has a decent size range, but shop around: there are stockists with restricted size ranges doing them from £101.99.

Read our review of the Giro Trans Road Shoes
Find a Giro dealer

Fizik R5B Donna Women's — around £111

Fizik R5B Donna Womens shoes 2.jpg

Fizik R5B Donna Womens shoes 2.jpg

Great value for money for stunning-looking, well-featured and genuinely comfortable women's performance shoes.

The R5B BOA Donnas are some of the most instantly desirable cycling shoes we've had the good fortune to slip our feet into. First off, they mark a departure from the usual solid black or white/silver colour schemes, being a slatey grey with hot pink accents that some will doubtless hate and others love.

They also have a raft of performance features to keep even the most demanding rider satisfied. The BOA system and single Velcro strap are designed to optimize both comfort and performance, while the overall lightness of the shoe and stiffness of the carbon reinforced nylon outsole also contribute to enhanced power transfer.

The men's R5B Uomo shoes are also excellent, as are the slightly more expensive women's R4B shoes.

Read our review of the Fizik R5B Donna Women's shoes
Find a Fizik dealer

Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex shoes — £160

Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex road shoes

Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex road shoes

These Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex road shoes offer the sort of protection you need if you're determined enough - or should that be mad enough? - to keep cycling through really bad weather.

As the name implies, there's a Gore-Tex membrane inside the shoe. This delivers impressive rain and road spray protection, and feet stayed dry even in prolonged downpours, or riding through flooded roads. Our tester didn't find himself in any conditions when the G.Winters couldn't cope with the rain and water.

Read our review of the Gaerne G.Winter Road Gore-Tex shoes

Shimano RC7 — £118.99

Shimano RC7 SPD-SL shoes.jpg

Shimano RC7 SPD-SL shoes.jpg

Shimano's RC7 shoes are a favourite at road.cc. They're comfortable, stiff and incredibly quick to put on and take off. And they look pretty good too.

They're a step down from the top-end S-Phyres, with one Boa closure and a Velcro strap in place of the pair of Boas used on the S-Phyres. Neither shoe is heat mouldable, unlike previous top-end Shimano shoes. Despite that, we found the fit with the RC7 was excellent, nigh-on perfect in fact.

Read our review of the Shimano RC7 shoes
Find a Shimano dealer

Shimano RP9 — £149.99

Shimano RP900 shoe.jpg

Shimano RP900 shoe.jpg

Shimano's RP9 shoes are a really excellent race and performance shoe that brings much of the quality and fit of the pro-level 300-series shoes down to a much more affordable level. It's less of a trickle down, more of a flood. They're great.

The RP9s use a very similar carbon fibre sole to the top-end shoes, with Shimano rating its stiffness as 11/12 on their own scale. Certainly it's plenty stiff enough for racing, but it's not uncomfortable for it. That's got a lot to do with the insole, which is excellent, and also features an adjustable instep section with two different heights to tailor your support. The sole is drilled for a 3-bolt cleat only, and there's plenty of fore-aft adjustment available. There's a vent at the front and decent rubber bumpers that do a good job of keeping the sole free of scratches.

Read our review of the Shimano RP9 shoes
Find a Shimano dealer

Dromarti Race — £156.59

Dromarti race shoes

Dromarti race shoes

Beautifully crafted shoes that combine retro style and the best of modern technology. The natural leather upper and lace closure conform exactly to the shape of your foot after a few hundred kilometres of riding, while the carbon fibre sole efficiiently transfers power to the pedal.

Read our review of the Dromarti Race shoes

Giro Empire SLX — £197.49 - £247.48

Giro Empire SLX road shoes

Giro Empire SLX road shoes

Impressive comfort, low weight and stunning looks — as close to a pair of slippers as you can get in cycling shoes. At just 408g for a size 45 pair, the Giro Empire SLX are among the very lightest shoes available. This low weight is backed up by incredible comfort from the lace-up uppers and a super stiff carbon fibre sole that doesn't waste any of your power when sprinting for the line.

Read our review of the Giro Empire SLX shoes
Find a Giro dealer

Specialized S-Works 6 — £310

Specialized’s new S-Works 6 road shoes 1

Specialized’s new S-Works 6 road shoes 1

These S-Works 6 shoes from Specialized, the latest in a long line of top-end carbon fibre-soled race models, are among the best performing and most comfortable we've ever tested. They're very light, very stiff and, I repeat, really rather comfortable. They're not cheap, but if you can find the money, they're among the very best performance/race shoes currently available.

The shoes feature a new FACT Powerline one-piece carbon fibre sole, completely redesigned from the previous S-Works shoes. The profile is lower, so less stack height, and the rear section is tapered in a way that sees it providing better support for the back of the foot, with a new moulded heel cup that Specialized calls the PadLock heel. It really does work, they cup and support the back of the foot extremely well. There's no heel lift at all.

As well as the redesigned sole, there's the all-new upper. Specialized has used a fabric called Dyneema Cubic Light. A fancy name, and apparently it's the same stuff used by NASA for its space shuttle parachutes. Certainly an impressive fact for the club ride.

Read our review of the Specialized S-Works 6

Find a Specialized dealer

Specialized S-Works 6 XC — £280

Specialized S-Works 6 XC MTB Shoe - Packshot Top Bottom.jpg

Specialized S-Works 6 XC MTB Shoe - Packshot Top Bottom.jpg

If these high-end mountain bike shoes look familiar, it's because they're the two-bolt version of the S-Works road shoes above. In effect, they're the uppers from those shoes combined with a walkable sole that's nevertheless very stiff. Specialized say it has their stiffest and lightest FACT plate with a Stiffness Index of 13.0. This differs from the road shoe that has a FACT Powerline carbon plate but still has the same Stiffness Index, although there's no mention of how high the Stiffness Index actually goes, or what it actually means in the real world. Rest assured, it's a stiff sole.

The grip on the sole isn't actually very, um, grippy. It feels very solid and not overly confident, and that's not aided by the stiffness. There's still a certain degree of clumpy ballerina stepping required when walking around in the 6 XCs. 

The S-Works 6 XCs pretty much need to be treated as if they're road shoes that happen to have two-bolt cleat mountings and a bit of tread on the sole. They're stiff, efficient and uncompromising, designed to be clipped in, ridden (hopefully fast as...) and then clipped out at the end. If your mountain biking or gravel biking involves lots of getting off and hiking across rugged terrain, or you walk up hills a lot, or you kick around in the dirt then these probably aren't the shoes for you; these are performance shoes for the off-road roadie. They're equally applicable for a cyclo-cross race, as long as there's not too much scrabbling up muddy banks, and they'd make a very good long distance gravel ride shoe, if gravel shoes are a thing.

The 6 XCs are also excellent for the road rider, tourister or audaxer who wants performance shoes but likes or needs to saunter about a bit. If you want top-end shoes but actually get off your bike during a road ride then these could be the shoes for you.

Read our review of the Specialized S-Works 6 XC
Find a Specialized dealer

Giro Factor Techlace — £217.49 - £299.99

Giro Factor Techlace  - 7.jpg

Giro Factor Techlace - 7.jpg

The Giro Factor Techlace shoes are lightweight and comfortable, and the novel closure system – a hybrid lace and Velcro strap, plus a Boa dial – makes it easy to adjust the fit on the fly.

Read our review of the Giro Factor Techlace
Find a Giro dealer

Bont Vaypor S — £270

Bont Vaypor S.jpg

Bont Vaypor S.jpg

Bont's Vaypor S shoes are super-stiff yet they provide an excellent level of comfort... but you do have to stump up a whopping great wad of cash if you want to enjoy them!

The soles are handmade from unidirectional Toray carbon fibre and they just don't flex. There are quite a lot of stiff-soled shoes out there these days if you're prepared to pay top-end prices, but the Vaypor S takes things to another level. For what it's worth, Bont claims that the sole boasts the highest strength to weight ratio of any cycling shoe currently available. I don't know if that's true, but I can detect absolutely no flex at all.

Read our review of the Bont Vaypor S
Find a Bont dealer

Mavic Comete Ultimate — £900

Mavic Comete shoes.jpg

Mavic Comete shoes.jpg

No round up of go-faster shoes is complete without Mavic's staggeringly expensive Comete Ultimates. Almost everything about the Comete Ultimates is outside the shoe-box, from the ultra-stiff  carbon fibre sole and shell, to the two-part construction to the low ankle that makes for an easier, more fluid pedalling action.

Tester Dave Arthur was impressed: "They're incredibly stiff, stiffer than any other shoe I can recall testing in recent years. Press down on the pedals and there's no hint of flex from the one-piece carbon shell, and that translates into a phenomenal feeling of speed and acceleration. You feel like you have any extra 80 watts at your disposal.

"Ankle movement is the other big factor and a key differentiator to almost all other high-end shoes. Ankle movement is unhindered compared with other shoes. Because of the low cut ankle of the carbon shell and the flexible tongue of the bootie, my pedalling stroke – which does have a reasonable degree of ankling – felt freer and less restricted than with other high-end shoes that wrap higher and closer to the ankle. This freedom of ankle movement is the biggest takeaway for me of the Mavic shoes and goes some way to supporting Mavic's claims for 'rounder' pedalling."

That enormous price tag is the big issue, though. You can get two or three pairs of most manufacturer's top-line off-the-peg shoes. Heck, you can get a pretty decent bike for that. But if you must have the latest and greatest, and the fit and shape suits your feet, then the Comete Ultimates are the shoes for you.

Read our review of the Mavic Comete Ultimate shoes

[This article was last updated on August 31, 2017]

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

31 comments

Avatar
Alessandro [157 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes

No Sidis? Shoe of choice for a number of the top pros, including the Tour winner for 3 of the past 4 years. 

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
AST1986 wrote:

No Sidis? Shoe of choice for a number of the top pros, including the Tour winner for 3 of the past 4 years. 

 

Choice?

Avatar
Alessandro [157 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Double post.

Avatar
Alessandro [157 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:
AST1986 wrote:

No Sidis? Shoe of choice for a number of the top pros, including the Tour winner for 3 of the past 4 years. 

 

Choice?

I'd say so, yes. I'd imagine that Froome (and other big names) would be able to demand pretty much the same from all of the big brands (Sidi, Giro, Fizik etc.) for wearing their shoes so it must come down to which ones he likes the best. 

Avatar
Chris Hayes [174 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

I'd put my Northwave Extreme Tech Plus shoes against any of the top-end shoes here.  Seems to be an unreasonable bias in favour of Shimano, Giro and Gaerne..... Any reason for this?  

Avatar
Bontie [28 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Yes, choice. I believe Sky does not have a shoe sponsor, hence the variety worn by the team.

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

Gobsmacking naivety in here. Athlete gets money, athlete wears latest product to shill accompanied by cringey social media video. Choice is nothing to do with it. An agent may choose, based on who's paying the most cash.

 

In fact, if you look at recent retirees, they often quote having choice over kit again as being one of the advantages. I think Gaimon is a good recent example.

 

Does this look like a guy who made a 'choice'?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfxXM9L3B0s

 

They'll wear anything, and if it's pants, the sponsor will simply customise the product for them. And even then if it's still pants they'll still wear it - London Marathon last weekend being a perfect example. 

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1569 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Gobsmacking naivety in here. Athlete gets money, athlete wears latest product to shill accompanied by cringey social media video. Choice is nothing to do with it. An agent may choose, based on who's paying the most cash.

Same with motorsport. Some riders even have even ridden in competitors helmets stickered up to look like their sponsors.  I bet the stuff the pros where is tailormade anyway and just more unobtanium. I doubt the like of Froome wear anything you can buy from CRC.

Avatar
Alessandro [157 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Gobsmacking naivety in here. Athlete gets money, athlete wears latest product to shill accompanied by cringey social media video. Choice is nothing to do with it. An agent may choose, based on who's paying the most cash.

 

In fact, if you look at recent retirees, they often quote having choice over kit again as being one of the advantages. I think Gaimon is a good recent example.

 

Does this look like a guy who made a 'choice'?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfxXM9L3B0s

 

They'll wear anything, and if it's pants, the sponsor will simply customise the product for them. And even then if it's still pants they'll still wear it - London Marathon last weekend being a perfect example. 

I don't deny that Froome etc. will be handsomely compensated for wearing a particular brand but assuming that he is offered the same by each brand then there has to be an element of choice as to what he actually wears. I'm sure he could turn around to Shimano (particularly because they already supply Sky) and say that Sidi are paying me £X so match that and I'll wear your shoes. The fact that he's still in Sidis (and the rest of the team are in various other brands, as highlighted by Bontie) suggests, to me, that he has chosen to wear them even if he is being paid to do so. In other words, he's being paid because he wears them as opposed to wearing them because he gets paid. 

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

" In other words, he's being paid because he wears them as opposed to wearing them because he gets paid." 

Yes, the company prepared to pay the most just so happens to be the same company the athlete wants to wear the most.

//3.bp.blogspot.com/-v7FyvVD_b_I/TeE-Q0eO11I/AAAAAAAAAEg/t8Kp9mo--xo/s1600/bridge4sale3sz.jpg)

 

 

 

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rjfrussell [413 posts] 7 months ago
5 likes

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Avatar
iso2000 [82 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes
rjfrussell wrote:

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Agreed, I'd like to see an article on SPD road shoes. It wouldn't need to be road specific shoes either. When I replace my current Shimano RT82s I will look at lightweight XC shoes with carbon soles as made by Mavic and Sidi.

Avatar
ClubSmed [486 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
unconstituted wrote:

" In other words, he's being paid because he wears them as opposed to wearing them because he gets paid." 

Yes, the company prepared to pay the most just so happens to be the same company the athlete wants to wear the most.

//3.bp.blogspot.com/-v7FyvVD_b_I/TeE-Q0eO11I/AAAAAAAAAEg/t8Kp9mo--xo/s1600/bridge4sale3sz.jpg)

 

The last few times I have been looking to change my place of work I have been lucky enough to have more than one option. This resulted in me having a choice, on one occasion I CHOSE to go where the more money was and on the other occasion I made the CHOICE that money was not the most important factor.

Regardless as to whether there is money involved or not, there is still choice if it is not enforced.

Avatar
Alessandro [157 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

" In other words, he's being paid because he wears them as opposed to wearing them because he gets paid." 

Yes, the company prepared to pay the most just so happens to be the same company the athlete wants to wear the most.

//3.bp.blogspot.com/-v7FyvVD_b_I/TeE-Q0eO11I/AAAAAAAAAEg/t8Kp9mo--xo/s1600/bridge4sale3sz.jpg)

 

The last few times I have been looking to change my place of work I have been lucky enough to have more than one option. This resulted in me having a choice, on one occasion I CHOSE to go where the more money was and on the other occasion I made the CHOICE that money was not the most important factor.

Regardless as to whether there is money involved or not, there is still choice if it is not enforced.

That's precisely my point. If Sidi offer £1m to wear their shoes and Shimano offer the same, then it will be the rider's preference that is the determining factor. For all we know, Shimano may have offered Froome more than Sidi but he still chose to wear Sidis. 

Avatar
peted76 [796 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Regardless of who's getting paid to wear what. I don't think anyone who's tried on a pair of high end sidi shot's would argue against them being in this list, I tried on a pair acting all posh innit, they were like a pair of adjustable, secure marks and sparks slippers! Ergo they should be on the list...  however there is the matter of the OMFG price £350!! 

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abrooks [21 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
rjfrussell wrote:

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Why do you say that? Genuinely curious.

Avatar
MarkiMark [56 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes

On my second pair of Sidi Dragons. Admittedly a mountain bike shoe with SPD cleats, but for any normal person who rides, gets off and walks, shops, walks, puts bike in car and drives, this is the best 'road' shoe. Sidis rule! 

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
abrooks wrote:
rjfrussell wrote:

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Why do you say that? Genuinely curious.

Because generally I can't ride through the controls buying provisions. I must get off and walk a short way without being like a duck in horseshoes.
On club rides I always clip in quicker than those in road shoes, and I also get better traction pushing against the road when I want to pull out after stopping at a junction.

I've tried the other style in the velodrome, I honestly can't feel any benefit.

Did I mention the cleats last more than 2 months before being worn away and needing replacing?

Or you could suffer the walking difficulties and replacement costs so you can look more pro.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1095 posts] 7 months ago
1 like

Couldn't agree more with the above post. Another SPD user here.

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rjfrussell [413 posts] 7 months ago
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abrooks wrote:
rjfrussell wrote:

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Why do you say that? Genuinely curious.

 

The ability to walk rather than hobble.  Particularly important it you do any touring/ leisure riding/ commuting as opposed to just focussed fitness rides.  Don't want to have to change pedals for different usages of the same bike.

 

Metal cleats that don't need to be replaced.

 

I don't see any downside in performance or, really, choice.  Eg the Giro Empire also come in an SPD model.

 

Turning it around, I really don't see any reason to ride with SPD-SLs instead other than habit/ it's the done thing.

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Random Rouleur [11 posts] 7 months ago
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rjfrussell wrote:
abrooks wrote:
rjfrussell wrote:

You're all mad.  SPDs are the way to go.

Why do you say that? Genuinely curious.

Turning it around, I really don't see any reason to ride with SPD-SLs instead other than habit/ it's the done thing.

I ride Speedplay pedals on my road bike, because my body dynamics require the adjustability - the extensive float and lateral adjustment.  SPDs are very limited in this regard.  If you are lucky enough to be a 'macro-adjuster' whose body can handle these limitations, then that's great. SPD-SLs offer considerably more adjustment (although not enough float and precision of setting for my purposes).

I have used SPDs in the past (for about two years) for commuting but they always gave me knee pain. So much so, that when it came to doing a 10-month dirt-road tour recently, after much experimentation with different SPD shoes, I chose flat pedals instead.

They are a great option for some people and for some uses, but the (essentially) 'one size fits all' nature of SPDs will not work for everyone.

 

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fenix [835 posts] 7 months ago
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unconstituted wrote:
AST1986 wrote:

No Sidis? Shoe of choice for a number of the top pros, including the Tour winner for 3 of the past 4 years. 

 

Choice?

 

Riders usually can sort out their own shoe deals - so yeah - he'll have chosen to ride Sidi.

 

If they were cack and jepopardising your chances of winning - you'd not wear them if you were paid. 

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abrooks [21 posts] 7 months ago
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Interesting thoughts, thanks everyone.  My rides are exclusively fitness without much walking, I suspect I do appreciate the float that yellow SPD-SLs give thought it is annoying how fast they wear out.

Would love to hear from more roadies who use SPDs.  I second the idea that it would be an interesting article.

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BehindTheBikesheds [971 posts] 7 months ago
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after about 10 years of toe clips and straps i tried SPD single sided and double sided in the mid 90s, still have a pair wellgo magnesiums that replaced a pair of Dura Ace, mainly because the DA cleats were expensive and getting harder to find.

I then tried LOOK Laurent jalabert PP396s that were so easy to get in and out of and used in conjunction with a pair of DMT/LOOK branded full carbon soled shoes (early 00s). they were a typical narrow Italian last, tight as a nuns snatch, so they hurt after a couple of hours but they were fackin stiff as and looked the bomb in metallic blue, eventually though I had to sell them.

decided to go down the Shimano 'glass fibre' road shoe and SPD-SL route only cos i got some mint used Shimano shoes and new shimano pedals for £50 all in, my conclusion is that Shimano road pedal/cleat interface sucks, the pedals are okay in themselves, i tried Dura Ace and they are a nice enough pedal but comparatively to SPD and to the LOOks they are by far the most cumbersome clipping into.

As the shoes are 3 bolt only, I can't use them for other types so managed to accquire some full carbon Shimano shoes with 2 and 3 bolt fittings so i can go back to using the Wellgo mags as well as my other double sided SPD or I might give the crank bros eggbeater 3s a go. the thing with the Shimano SPD system is that you can find other pedal brands cleats will work so cost peanuts to keep your feet in

Recently also bought some reasonably stiff Shimano MTB shoes that were unworn cast-offs, nice ratchet to secure the foot, think these are going to be my audax shoe so that I can still have a reasonably stiff shoe but be able to walk in them.

Every day shoe is a pair of Northwave's with a vibram sole, as good as a pair of walking shoes.

I may give LOOK another try sometime in the future but for now SPD is by the easier and more reliable/less costly option, I can put down a 1000watts and I never had issues with regards to pulling out (nor SPD-SL) so in terms of outright performance for me at least there's not much if anything in it.

just different shoes for different rides but at least all the same pedal/cleat interface.

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Chris Hayes [174 posts] 6 months ago
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Consumerism is all about personal choice, I guess, but I'm at at loss to see how anyone would revert to laces on cycling shoes - apart from retro aesthetics.  They are way down there from an ease of use perspective compared to boa, ratchet straps and velcro: I have a lace / velcro combination on my old NW winter boots and find it irritating... 

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maviczap [105 posts] 6 months ago
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Why did people start posting about pedal systems, this article was about shoes?

Another Sick user here, fit like slippers and comfy all day.

Also have Diadora but a tad wide, and the uppers are soft and stretch, so don't support or hold my foot in the secure way my Sidi's do.

Had some Addidas when I came back after a 10 year break. Cheap but served me well.

Tried Bont but felt I had flipper feet. 

I have Shimano MTB shoes, which are fine, but not in the same comfort league as my road Sidi's.

I also like that sidi use the cleat position memory thingy, so when I swap my Leo cleats, there's no faff.

To those wearing out cleats, get some covers for when you're walking on them.

My only gripe £20 for genuine Keo cleats at full price for a bit of plastic.

Get them from Decathlon for a tenner.

 

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Trekpro [144 posts] 6 months ago
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It's summer so I have on my custom ultalight VentMax (tm) invishoe with minimal contact fix system and ultra quick Tri-entry.

Flip-flop to you...

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zanf [966 posts] 6 months ago
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fenix wrote:

Riders usually can sort out their own shoe deals - so yeah - he'll have chosen to ride Sidi.

If they were cack and jepopardising your chances of winning - you'd not wear them if you were paid.

Shame that doesnt apply to bikes  3

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ianguignet [29 posts] 4 months ago
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road shoes are stupid. 

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 4 months ago
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MarkiMark wrote:

On my second pair of Sidi Dragons. Admittedly a mountain bike shoe with SPD cleats, but for any normal person who rides, gets off and walks, shops, walks, puts bike in car and drives, this is the best 'road' shoe. Sidis rule! 

 

I have to disagree.  I have a pair.  It is collecting dust. 

 

Shimano RP9, RC7, R171 are all suprior to any SIDI's in terms of comfort, fit and price. 

I say RP7 and R171 is one of the best value for money shoe you can buy hence I have all three models and two of each model.  

Pair it with Speedplays and you can't beat them for any road riding for power, ease of clip in and out, infinite tweak to the flaot. 

So the report doesn't include SIDIs I am not suprised or even complain about. 

 

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