Another shoe thread - MTB vs Road?

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Right, after doing some longer rides than my little 6m e/w commute and a 52 mile ride from Brum to Shrewsbury, I think I need to get some shoes that actually fit properly (yes, it was a newbie online purchase..).

Current shoes are Diadora Geko MTB shoes - easy to walk in and look nice but are a bit too small really.

I'm tempted by road shoes because of the greater amount of float I presume is offered by time/look/spd-r compared to my spds; and it is something that I really noticed as a limitation with the spds as my commuter has traditional flats/toe-clips which allow a lot of movement!

However, I'm really not comfortable with the prospect of not being able to walk in road shoes (I like to stretch the legs a bit and not have to hobble to the shop!), so this leads me to pose some questions to you guys:

1. Is there any difference between mtb/road shoes other than cleat compatibility and the ability to walk?

2. In terms of fitting size/shap2 - are there any brands which are better suited to those with moderately wide feet?

3. What is the difference between the different types of road pedals/cleats?!

4. Are the big chains like Evans the best bet for carrying a wide range of stock?
I'll be in Bristol and probably London in the next few weeks so should be able to squeeze some bike shop visits in to sort me out.
1 - On the whole, road shoes are stiffer than MTB shoes (though some MTB shoes are quite stiff), this can make them even harder to walk in.

2 - I have very wide feet and find that Specialized are the only shoes that fit me at all well. Shimano also do a wide fitting, though it's not wide enough for my flippers.

3 - Look = variable float, cheap cleats, good pedals, okay to walk in. Shimano = as look but probably better to walk in. Time = good float, expensive cleats, good pedals, hard to walk. Speedplay = best float, expensive cleats, hard to use (my experience only) horrid to walk in.

4 - As good as any other, I guess, but don't rely on the advice you get from staff.

In the end, I wouldn't worry too much about walking in road shoes, you get used to it pretty quickly. My look Keos came with cleat covers, which make walking a slightly harder but less slippery experience.


Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
Well, I think there are benefits of using mtb shoes for much of what people call 'road cycling'. Unless you need the ultimate efficiency for racing, then the perfect stiffness of very high end road shoes can be a source of foot ache on long rides. I find high end mtb shoes (SIDI) to be stiff enough (only bettered by £150 plus road shoes) and I find the Speedplay Frog pedal to be an adequately supportive 'platform' with these sorts of shoes. They also give me the benefit of doublesided entry and plenty of float. They do me for all my riding including continental sportives and long Audax rides.

However, I have just switched Mrs TB's Time road pedals off her race bike as she thinks there might be some walking to be done on the Three Counties Challenge later in the month. She says she much prefers to walk on tarmac in her mtb race shoes especially as there is no real difference in their riding efficiency. I then ventured to ask, that if her mtb shoe / Time Attack combination was so good, why did she need road shoes and pedals as well: Silly me, it's because you can't get mtb shoes in white.

So apart from the colour and the fact it's just wrong to wear mtb shoes in the eyes of some roadies, you actually have to trade off very little if you choose to go with mtb shoes.


Comrade Member
Limoges or York
In June I used a pair of Lidls MTB shoes - £13 a pair - for the 10 day Raid Pyrenean. They were excellent and almost good as new afterwards. What's more they look quite like a certain brand of much more expensive shoes:biggrin: I also have a pair of Shimano mtb shoes but are not so good a fit and therefore less comfortable. Any shoe that can get you up the cold de Bargargui on a wet day can't be bad.


Cycling in the sun
I went into Bristol Evans yesterday.... (no where brilliant to leave your bike), to look at their ladies shoes in my quest for going clipless.... and they had very little stock in - none in my size - 42 ... "new stock is about to be delivered very soon", but the guy was helpful. Mud Dock had nothing either. Going back to Garlands at lunchtime today at least they had some Specilized shoes that fitted.
Won't help you in Bristol but ...

I was at Rutland Water recently and their shops had a good range of shoe types and sizes. Probably the same at their Graffham water shop.

caveat: Sodt's law states that they will have every style and every size ezcept the one you want.


Thanks all - if I can't find what I want then I'll just try a load of different brands on to see what works for me.


I've got wide feet, NorthWind were the fit although still a bit long

they're walking around type shoes and seem a good trade off between stiff as and flexible enough to walk around in a bit


Cheers for that info Asterix, I'd see Lidl shoes in the store on occasion but never could quite bring myself to test the waters in case they were utter rubbish.
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