Cycling shoes!

Looking at a good pair - any suggestions?!

1 to 20 of 79 messages
05/03/2013 at 13:46

Hi guys - I have just purchased a half decent bike (that I can afford anyway!).  Its a Carrera Zelos!  I am changing the pedals to Shimano SPD Pedals (PD-M520s) and would like to know the best compatible shoes I can look at for the bike? Ideally I would like a pair of shoes that if necessary I can at least walk a little in when dismounting the bike!!  I have been told Shimano 'SH' models are good, but I really have zero budget left now and need a cheap-ish pair but a pair that you guys could recommend me.


I am hoping to take part in a Triathlon this summer (my first!), but need to improve my cycling big time as I have never had a decent bike nor trained cycling wise before!!


Any help would be grealy appreciated so thank you

cougie    pirate
05/03/2013 at 13:54
I'd go with comfort for bike shoes - so you have to try them on.

How long is your triathlon ? You might find that swapping shoes takes more time than you gain from clipless pedals.

If you want shoes to walk in - you need mountain bike shoes. They're 80% as good as road shoes, but a bit heavier and not quite as stiff. I use them for all of my winter rides when I'm more likely to stop for cake.
05/03/2013 at 14:05

Hi Cougie - many many thanks for your response.  I am an utter NOVICE with all of this and have no idea where to start?  What would be your recommendation then? My plan would be to train and use the same shoes in a race competition I guess? I would like what, 1 min tops changing shoes? The problem I have is that currently if I try to stop on my bike, I cannot get my foot out of the pedals and its a bit dangeours!  I am hoping that instead I can do the 'twist and click' to get out of clips/cleats?

05/03/2013 at 14:21

SPD shoes do allow you to walk quite normally when you get off the bike.

I have Shimano shoes (can't remember which ones), you can walk perfectly normally in them as the cleats are recessed.

05/03/2013 at 14:22

I use basic Specialised mountain bike shoes for triathlon - they are a bit heavier, as cougie says, but they have a ridge on the sole either side of the cleat that makes it a bit easier to get them clicked in - and also means that you can actually walk around in them if you need to. Since I don't do the "jump on the bike with the shoes already attached and then slip them on with a nonchalant grin while having a drink and blasting past people at 30mph" bit at the moment, I sometimes have a fair bit to run in the shoes, and those ridges make it a lot easier.

05/03/2013 at 14:40

Great responses thank you.  SO in a nutshell, so long as my shoes have a recess, it doesn't really make that much difference as they can both be walked in? 


Any suggestions for specific models of Shimano shoes I should be looking at??

05/03/2013 at 14:46

Any mountainbike shoe should fit your shimano cleats - the cleats will come with the pedals rather than the shoes.    If I were you I'd just try some on in the local shops - get some that are shaped like race shoes - so they'll look similar to road cycling shoes but with tread on the bottom and a recessed bit with bolt holes for your cleats - rather than ones that look like casual shoes.   

Like Cougie says you really should try them on in a shop first - but if you want to shop on line pick somewhere with a good returns policy as with cycling shoes there is every chance they wont fit right - Chain Reaction are excellent in that regard - though very often if you look at a local independent shop they aren't always much more expensive and can even be cheaper.

05/03/2013 at 16:00

Geez there are 100s I have no idea where to start!!...

I have tried to narrow it down to Shimano (just because they look nice colour wise, and they are the make of pedals etc) but even so - so many different types lol..geez!....

05/03/2013 at 16:02

I would definitely try some on in a shop - I had to have two sizes bigger than normal, just to get my feet in them.  I guess Shimano sizing is a bit, er, different!


05/03/2013 at 16:08

Right - what about something like these for the beginner??....


Your thoughts??

I presume most of your go for different shoes between different disciplines in the Tri?

05/03/2013 at 17:22

They would be fine - Shimano shoes are well made and comforatble, even at the budget end. As said above - go a size bigger than you would usually take.

Personally I wouldn't use MTB pedals / shoes for a tri / road bike, but if you are just starting out you might find them easier.

Have fun!


05/03/2013 at 17:28

those shoes will be fine M

and yes - us more seasoned triathletes have different shoes for tri, road and MTB riding.   you can now get tri specific MTB shoes as well!

05/03/2013 at 17:57

Malakite - if you want Shimano why not tell us what size and make trainers you take - say you wore Adidas in a UK 12 that would be a 47in Shimano shoes (because that's what I've got).   

05/03/2013 at 19:15

Ahhh right thanks guys...

My running shoes all differ slightly but pretty much I am a size 9.5UK/10.5US/44-45EU by the looks of things

Tri specific shoes crikey - what would you all recommend I do then, and Teddy, what pedals/shoes do/would you recommend for cycling then?

05/03/2013 at 19:36

My Shimano R077 shoes with SPD cleats have done farrrzands of miles on bikes & spinners, they are indestructable.  That said I have a pair of Lakes & some Mavic's & a pair of Specialized S-Works road shoes as well.  What?  A man can like shoes as well you know.

cougie    pirate
05/03/2013 at 21:47
My winter shoes are some cheap Adidas MTB ones that I must have got over 15 years ago. ??20 I think they were. One lace has snapped since - so they might not have been such a bargain.

I use time atac pedals - metal cleats and I've never had to replace a set yet.
the pedals are reliable too.

I'd not bother with tri shoes - they tend to be very lightweight as you usually race in the summer. If you train through winter in them you might lose a toe to frostbite.

Specialised s works shoes are what I use on the road bike for racing. Very comfy for me.
05/03/2013 at 23:38
Final RV wrote (see)

My Shimano R077 shoes with SPD cleats have done farrrzands of miles on bikes & spinners, they are indestructable.  That said I have a pair of Lakes & some Mavic's & a pair of Specialized S-Works road shoes as well.  What?  A man can like shoes as well you know.

These look great but they dont have the 'ridge' either side of the cleat so I am not sure how you can walk in them? Would someone mind explaining kindly please?  I see some shoes have like a recess in the soles, whereas looking at the RO77's they do not - they are flat?  What does 'SPD' actually stand for (sorry to sound so dumb!)

06/03/2013 at 10:38

Can I still walk ok in the RO77s then?

06/03/2013 at 10:41

SPD = Shimano Pedal Device - Shimano developed the clipless MTB pedal.  and SPD  aka Spuds tends to get used as a general term for clipless pedals (which itself is a stupid term as you are clipped in!).

fyi - most road/tri riders use "standard" clipless pedals such as those from Look, Shimano, Speedplay, Time etc. the cleats are large and when on the shoe they do make it more difficult to walk in.  

but roadies tend not to walk as much as mountain bikers - terrain issues - so to make MTB shoes easier to walk in Shimano developed the SPD system with smaller, recessed cleats and ridge soled shoes for extra grip when walking off-road.

the KEY differences are:

  • road cleats and shoes are stiffer (carbon or glass fibre soles)and allow more pressure through the pedals so increased speed
  • MTB shoes have softer soles for walking so aren't as stiff so do not transmit so much power through the pedals 
that's why you end up having 2 types of shoe - one for road, one for MTB.  but many will use MTB cleats on both so they don't need different shoes but you'll rarely see a road pedal used off road due to the walking issues
06/03/2013 at 10:44
Malakite wrote (see)

Can I still walk ok in the RO77s then?

not so well - they are road shoes so won't take a SPD (off road) cleat.  the Shimano road system is known as the SPD-SL just to confuse matters!!!

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