MTB vs road cycle shoes

by Dunluce   May 20, 2013  

Looking through some forum topics I saw one about cycle shoes and the main difference being that MTB shoes are recessed (making it easier to walk) and road shoes are not. Why is this; do non-recessed shoes give some sort of advantage for road cycling?

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By having the extra material around the sole to protect the cleat would add a lot of weight, plus I dont know if it is really feasable with the larger cleat design on road pedals. The larger cleat itself increases the contact area between the cleat and the pedal and the design/material (at least in my pedals) gives a nicer float.

For a lot of people a mtb pedal makes more sense than a road pedal. If you are going to the shops or even stopping for a pee in muddy winter conditions they are great. The gains from a road shoe are small. However I notice the difference and use road pedals 90% of the time apart from my commuting bike where I use flatties.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
20th May 2013 - 8:24


Have used MTB pedals on my road bike for years with no issues whatsoever.

That said im changing to road shoes to allow me to wear my own stuff when riding the velodrome.
Also because i like new things. Big Grin

posted by stepho [102 posts]
20th May 2013 - 8:51


Road shoes:
light weight, stiff for the best transfer of leg power to the pedal
MTB shoes
They work in the same way. have more aggressive soles for grip if you have to get off your bike and cleats are recessed so as not to interfere with walking off the bike or collect too much dirt.


posted by Ashleyhoaken [37 posts]
21st May 2013 - 9:10


I have both. The exposed cleats on road shoes give a slightly better sense of being firmly attached to the pedals (there's less 'play'), but there's no advantage unless you're racing. Even then most SPD shoes are just as stiff as their road equivalent.

MTB-style SPDs win hands down the rest of the time.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2296 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 21:11


I have both. The SPD MTB are way easier for commuting in but hurt the balls of my feet as they sort of push though the sole. The Road shoes and pedals are a ballache to get in. Sometimes its first time, other times I can be mid junction gliding and stamping like a madman. However they feel amazing and sometimes it feels like someone elses legs when tanking along. Its worth the times I slip over in them in the kitchen trying to get them on!

posted by dunnoh [201 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 22:37


Trackstands...never uncleat...

posted by jellysticks [92 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 23:44


dunnoh wrote:
The SPD MTB are way easier for commuting in but hurt the balls of my feet as they sort of push though the sole.

I've read this before but I've never found this with either pair of my SPD shoes. I can only guess that they have floppy shoes or ones ill-suited to their foot shape. A pedal with a larger surface area might help, such as Shimano A520 or A530.

I have both road and MTB versions of Specialized BG Sport and they are virtually identical in feel on the bike.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2296 posts]
24th May 2013 - 9:17


The A600 is good for SPDs too, it's an upgraded A520. I do too much commuting and walking from bike park to work to justify proper road shoes and pedals. I don't feel like it's ever held me back. I'm doing the Tour of Wessex this weekend on SPDs and A600s.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [345 posts]
24th May 2013 - 23:14

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