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My cycling is blighted by my feet going to sleep because the footbox of my shoes is too tight. I have short (size 41) feet that are wide at the toes. Like a Hobbit but not as hairy.

I am wearing cheap Shimano R32 SPDs because I didn't want to spend too much on my first pair of shoes. I want to move over to SPD SL shoes because I think they will offer me a larger surface to press down on maybe stop my feet from falling to sleep. But it might be the width of my shoes. It feels very tight against my little toes and my feet fall asleep. So I'm not sure whether it's the cleats and their small surface area or the narrow shoes.

The only wide shoe I can find is a Shimano R088 wide version but that only starts in a size 42.

If you're 100 per cent sure you have very wide feet and have had problems with shoes before changing models would you mind letting me know what shoes you've moved to? I don't want to spend more than £75 and I'm not bothered how inflexible they are. I just want some comfort on my bike.

32 comments

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OnTheRopes [181 posts] 3 years ago
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I am told Specialised shoes are relatively wide.

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darrenleroy [271 posts] 3 years ago
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OnTheRopes wrote:

I am told Specialised shoes are relatively wide.

Thanks for the personal insight.

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spin sugar [48 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a 41 as well with ridiculously wide feet (seriously, like flippers). I have a pair of the cheaper Specialized shoes at the moment and they're not wide enough for me. If you have properly wide feet, in my experience you can only comfortably get away with standard shoes if they are made out of lightweight materials and very flexible (so usually more expensive).

It would be worth hunting for wide fit styles, as they do seem to exist. Lake, Northwave and Sidi are on my list but I haven't got very far with it yet. Northwave tends to at least have a good range of prices. I'll let you know if I find something that works...

Failing that, if you find a pair you like that have some give in them but aren't quite wide enough, you might be able to get a cobbler to give them a stretch for you, which is what I do with normal shoes.

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feeling it [23 posts] 3 years ago
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Northwave, I have square feet as well, use them on the road and Spiuk for the MYB shoes, both wide fitting with a large toe box.

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ls3bvet [12 posts] 3 years ago
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I had the same problem with Shimano even though they were two or three sizes too large. I tried the Specialised which were wider but settled for Northwave and have had no problems since.

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massspike [139 posts] 3 years ago
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Specialized shoes typically come in 3 widths (wide, normal, narrow) but your retailer may not stock all of them. Sidi's Mega designated shoes are also wide (or maybe I should say wider since Sidi are notoriously narrow).

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OnTheRopes [181 posts] 3 years ago
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darrenleroy wrote:
OnTheRopes wrote:

I am told Specialised shoes are relatively wide.

Thanks for the personal insight.

I am sorry my reply didn't meet your high expectations.

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MattEdd [30 posts] 3 years ago
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Suffering from wide feet myself I tried Shimano and Specialized, I ended up buying Mavic Avenir's. Very comfortable.

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JimRT57 [7 posts] 3 years ago
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I have wide feet myself and started with a Specialised wide fit SPD SL shoe. They did me sterling service. I have now moved onto Lake, still using a Specialised BG fit foot bed and it is like cycling wearing your favourite slippers, only with a mega stiff carbon sole. Go try some shoes and you find ones that fit. A decent shop will be able to advise.

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therevokid [1020 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm slightly bigger @ 43, but paddle shaped !.
I've found northwave and spiuk have markedly wider toe boxes than
just about all the others I've tried.

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truffy [650 posts] 3 years ago
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I have wide feet and heard that SIDI are narrow. But the half sizes are wider. So I have 44.5 shoes and they're fine (wider than a 44, not as long as a 45).

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dazwan [323 posts] 3 years ago
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Take up climbing! squeezing your feet into impossibly tight shoes several hours a week really starts to deform them nicely. My only problem is that if I take a break my feet "relax" and the whole painful process starts again.

I consider my feet to be fairly wide and as an adult I'm still stuck with shopping at Clarks for my work shoes. As for on the bike, my first pair of shimano's were a little tight, but the MW81's I have at the moment are just fine. They were a little tight to begin with, but have since stretched to fit rather comfortably.

There was a similar thread a few weeks ago on this same topic. I think the OP in that case wound up with some Lake shoes. Other than binding your feet or surgery to remove a toe, the only other advice I have is get to a few shops and try on as many pairs as you feel you need to.

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pcaley [40 posts] 3 years ago
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I have very wide feet so always have difficulty finding any shoes. I can get my feet into some styles of size 6 extra wide from Clarks, but found Shimano RO75 size 42 cycling shoes were wide enough. Don't worry if the shoes are a little long at the front as it won't matter when either cycling or walking in them. I am in the market for a new pair this year and will likely go for RO88 wide fit shoes. Don't forget to wear thin socks. If using overshoes get ones with a velcro closure under the sole so as not to add unwanted tightness.

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darrenleroy [271 posts] 3 years ago
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I've finally found a pair of Shimano shoes that do a size 41 in a wide fit:

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/shimano-sh-r088-e-road-shoes-extra-wi...

SHIMANO SH-R088 E road shoes extra-wide
£ 72.57 £ 84.66

On the Wiggle site they didn't go down to a 41. Why is it so flipping hard just to buy a pair of shoes????

The R0-75 shoes seem to be unavailable at the moment.

I'm not going to get the R0-88s in time for visiting my new LBS (to fit some new bars to replace the hideous ergo ones that are anything but) so in the meantime I've taken my SPD Shimano shoes to the cobblers to see if he can stretch them out for me enough that I can ride on Saturday.

Then I'm going to get the R0-88s, fit my SPD-SL pedals and see if that helps. Cheers for the advice, everyone.

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darrenleroy [271 posts] 3 years ago
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JimRT57 wrote:

I have wide feet myself and started with a Specialised wide fit SPD SL shoe. They did me sterling service. I have now moved onto Lake, still using a Specialised BG fit foot bed and it is like cycling wearing your favourite slippers, only with a mega stiff carbon sole. Go try some shoes and you find ones that fit. A decent shop will be able to advise.

What is a Specialized BG fit foot bed? And does it come in wide?

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massspike [139 posts] 3 years ago
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darrenleroy wrote:

What is a Specialized BG fit foot bed? And does it come in wide?

BG = Body Geometry (Spec's marketing/brand for their kit)

He removed the foot bed from his wide width Spec shoes, so it would be wide. Don't think you can just buy the foot beds but you can buy generic foot beds in various widths (in some case you cut them to size).

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BonerFide [7 posts] 3 years ago
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I share your pain (literally!!), or at least I did. I have very wide feet, with a wide and high arch. I've tried every single manufacturer I can think of and I have two pairs of Lake in 45 Wide - CX170 for winter and CX236 for best, which are about the best I can find, albeit with a replacement insole because the ones they come with are awful. These both might be hard to get hold of now though and Lake's latest shoes aren't right for me, not because of the width of the toebox which is still great, but because of the width of my arch area - they have a lovely piece of immovable carbon fibre that digs into the inside of my arch a treat. I thought Bont might have been the answer and again, nice wide toebox, but again the same issue with a wide arch and carbon digging in and they're expensive. Unfortunately with the Bonts (and any mouldable shoe I've seen), the arch area is pretty much immovable, so that won't help. Giro ACC weren't bad actually, but weren't quite right for me. Forget Sidi Mega - if they're wide I'll eat my bike. Specialized just weren't wide enough for me, but wider than many. Shimano were pretty good, but the mouldable ones were megabucks. Mavic, Northwave, Fizik, Time, Spiuk, Suplest and DHB all tried and rejected, but it really depends on how truly wide your feet are. Nike used to do great SPD shoes, but they're not available anymore and I don't use SPD's anymore either.

Basically, you need to find a helpful/co-operative shop/website and try different shoes until you find the ones that are right for you. Unfortunately, nobody offers low end shoes in wide, so getting them for under £70 might be a challenge.

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GREGJONES [299 posts] 3 years ago
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Northwave are fairly wide, and a good price too in my opinion

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Swami Dave [58 posts] 3 years ago
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OK, they're £100 but Bont's Riot may help. Massively wide toe box and the arch *can* be bent out with their heat-moulding. Giro's HV (high volume) series are plenty wide too.

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njkacher [6 posts] 3 years ago
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I've found Bontrager to be pretty roomy in the forefoot - tried a pair of Specialized Pro that felt too tight in the toe box, but the Bontrager RL of the same size were prefect. I've also had Northwaves that fit well, but the Bontrager ones seem better quality (lighter, more durable), although some of that might be down to the specific model.

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rnick [145 posts] 3 years ago
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I've a similar problem and for many years used shimano mtb shoes....until hotshot pain with the small spd pedals became a big problem. I've bought some specialized comp spd sl which do the trick. The shop spent 20 minutes sorting the fit, insole, cleat so great service from the harrogate concept store....I also picked up the 105 pedals and a set of rollers so spent a little more than planned  1

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DanTe [190 posts] 3 years ago
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You can buy Specialized footbeds and they are very good. I never realised how high my arches were until it was pointed out. The Sp BG footbed turned my feet flatter and alleviated a very similar problem to what the first poster mentioned as my toes were getting rolled to the edge of the shoe.
I have mega wide Norfolk inbred feet and Sidi Mega's fit really well once they've given a bit..

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SaltDogCycling [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Recommend staying away from Specialized and Sidi if you have wide feet, as they tend to be a bit of a narrow fit. Lake and Northwave are wider fitting brands.

Lake do make a wide fit shoe for SPD cleats the Lake MX160 which come in size EU42 to EU50

http://goo.gl/2jrxGP

Lake are fairly true to size so if you wear a EU42 in your trainers and everyday shoes a EU42 should fit in Lake, In Northwave you are best going up a size from what you normally wear in the larger sizes EU43 and up.

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darrenleroy [271 posts] 3 years ago
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So I took the shoes to the cobblers and they stretched them out for 24 hours and there is a difference. I took the bike up to Bala on the train and they were definitely more comfortable. The conditions weren't, however...

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ronin [279 posts] 3 years ago
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So, a happy ending of sorts, but for some of us the quest continues...  102

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
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Shimano R171W

The W means wide, and has meant I can buy shoes in the correct size rather than buying a size up.

//images.cyclingtips.com.au/content/uploads/2014/12/2N4A8277.jpg)

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stevie63 [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Unfortunately I found that Shimano Wide are no wider than Specialized standard which means that they are no good for me which is a shame as Shimano are the only company that make different width shoes at a low price point.

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jiberjaber [32 posts] 3 years ago
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I think everyone's feet are different so as an example, I was trying Specialized shoes last week, ranging from 46 to 45 as having made the jump from SPD to SPD-SL last week, I discovered my '1-size-up to get it to fit a wider foot' size 46 Shimano shoes didn't allow enough movement on the SPD-SL compared to the SPD so I cant get the right cleat position for my fit.

That's the issue with sizing up, you run the risk of the cleat holes not being in the right range of adjustment.

What I did find was that a 45E Shimano shoe fits like a glove, unfortunately its white, so not too keen on it at the moment... presently pondering still so interested in the suggestions coming up in here  1

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kaizoku0506 [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Specialized shoes do come in Wide (E and EE), but there is more to think about here. I fought numb and painful feet for years before I finally developed a morton's neuroma that I couldn't ignore any longer and went in for a professional fitting. In my case, the repetitive stress of having an ill-fitted shoe led irritation and inflammation of a nerve between the third and fourth metatarsal. This translated into numb feet while cycling, pain that lasted for nearly a month while walking, and a popping sensation every time I took a step.

What I found was that, while my shoe width was correct, my insoles were not. They had been fitted to the shoe rather than my foot. This lead to my arches collapsing when I rode - flattening my feet, and putting unnecessary pressure on the ball of my foot. Furthermore, specialized shoes make the assumption that riders' toes slope outward while mine were actually neutral. All of this was solved with new insoles and a few wedges, but the difference was tremendous!

During the fitting, we also found out that I was riding the wrong pedals (or at least the wrong spindles) for my body. I have always ridden SPD-SL pedals and until just a few weeks ago had a SPD-SL Dura Ace pedal set on my Tarmac. These pedals have incredibly short spindle length which put my feet / ankles well inside my knees instead of directly below them (I suspect this could be the source of reoccurring knee pain). I'm currently testing a set of SpeedPlay Zeros to see if they feel any better.

My first few bikes, I did everything online and as cheap as possible. It wasn't until I upgraded to the Tarmac that I bothered with fittings at all. Still, I made a few assumptions about the fit of my shoes and pedals. In the end, it has cost me a lot of pain and a few lasting injuries! While you can certainly do trial and error, you really are better off finding a reputable bike shop with a trained fitter (or a pediatrist who works with cyclists) and have them help you out.

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griffly16 [5 posts] 2 years ago
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I couldn't get on with Shimano or Specialized so eventually (after trying quite a few pairs - thanks Evans and Wiggle for their return policies!) I've gone for Giro Trans E70 HV (High volume). These are great for me, but not cheap.

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