What are the benefits of better bike shoes?

by samjackson54   May 29, 2012  

Ive been riding my road bike for around 3 years now and im still using my first pair of bike shoes, some Scott model which were approximately £40/£50 when I bought them. I have no complaints with these shoes, but I have heard more expensive better shoes would make any rider faster? Does anybody know if this is true, and if so how much, or any reasoning for this? Thinking I would imagine, its down to stiffness and weight? Cheeeeeeers Smile

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nail and head, more expensive shoes are lighter and stiffer, I got a half price pair of sidi five cc shoes in the sale and they are a league above my specialised mountain bike shoes. Carbon gives the stiffness without the weight, but adds the cost.
I used to mountaineer and there where B1-B3 boots, B3 boots had a steel shank along the length of the sole, so they didn't flex, my sidis aren't quite that stiff, but they don't flex when I put my power down Big Grin I notice it most when climbing.
I also think they look nice too

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

zzgavin's picture

posted by zzgavin [208 posts]
29th May 2012 - 15:02

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alright, nice Smile Thanks for the confirmation. Might have a browse at wiggle or chain reaction then! Big Grin Having said that, im sure nicer pedals would help power transmission too as my current ones feel very loose. Thinking

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
29th May 2012 - 15:49

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Thats probably your cleats, if you haven;t replaced them.

Or just do up the tension on the back with a tiny allen key.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
29th May 2012 - 16:37

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Just remember to keep your old shoes for winter, because lightweight racing shoes DO NOT insulate. I've been stuck using my Bont A-0nes all winter and even with winter socks and goretex overshoes my toes freeze after about half an hour.

Sq

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posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
30th May 2012 - 16:46

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I found my £50 shoes were amazing until I started training for a triathlon and went from 3 hours a week in saddle to 10 hours, however the £50 shoes in question were the flexible trainer type (specialized tahoe), not the stiff £60 variety (specialized sport). the way I noticed they were not stiff enough is that my feet were aching from putting more power down for longer and it was interfering with my running and even swimming!

However I have colleagues who do epic rides in the £50 stiff sport shoes, both the road and MTB varieties and I now do the same in £120 specialized carbon expert, however I chose it because it fitted the best rather than the price. If the £60 sport had fitted better I would have got them, but they seemed narrower at the time and I have wide feet. I then chose some £300 shoes because they looked nice...

I am convinced that the right fit, especially width of shoe is the most important, as the difference in stiffness and even weight between carbon and nylon soles does not seem that huge. I say this based on my experience of specialized shoes (have been the widest available in local LBS among friends) and also they seem to have a lot of R&D invested in them across the range.

in terms of stiffness, yes the £300 shoes are stiffer, just like a carbon frame is stiffer, and you can feel the more direct power transfer, however in terms of cost per stiffness ratio, buying expensive shoes to go faster is up there with buying £20-a-pop titanium bolts to go faster; I still get overtaken by fitter people on £500 bikes with £50 shoes, mostly specialized allez and spesh sport shoe combo. I mostly train and race in the £120 ones that fit like a glove.

slightly off topic: What is it about the allez, is it me or are there a LOT of fast youngsters on them?

roadie come mountain biker come single speeder and back again

posted by cborrman [84 posts]
31st May 2012 - 8:56

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Thanks for all your feedback folks Wink

cborrman wrote:

slightly off topic: What is it about the allez, is it me or are there a LOT of fast youngsters on them?

Im glad somebody has mentioned seeing lots of Specialized Allez! Ive seen them all over the web and in shops but never anyone riding one! Round here most people seem to go for a Trek 1.2 as their first bike. Thinking

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
31st May 2012 - 9:44

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cborrman wrote:

I chose it because it fitted the best rather than the price. If the £60 had fitted better I would have got them ... I am convinced that the right fit, especially width of shoe is the most important

Couldn't have agreed more .... went from Sidi Genius 5.5
to Spesh Carbon experts as the fit was truly superb and
"slippers" like even after a weekend of long rides Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [919 posts]
31st May 2012 - 10:26

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