Can someone explain the different types of cycling shoes

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by urbanrider, 21 Aug 2007.

  1. urbanrider

    urbanrider New Member

    Can someone explain the different types of cycling shoes :blush: and what type of cycling is suited to the shoes :ohmy:
    Thanks :ohmy:
  2. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    cycling shoes with exposed cleats such as look, time, spd sl etc are the best shoe for actually cycling in, as they allow a better transfer of power from foot to pedal. you can get cleats with 9° of float which will stop you getting sore knees. the drawback to these shoes is that they are awkward to walk in (and it wears the cleats out). they are exellent for any road riding where you don't spend too much time off the bike, and are the choice of any racing cyclist.

    cycling shoes with recessed cleats such as shimano spd are a lot easier to walk in, and still provide a better transfer of power and are also safer than traditional toeclips. they are excellent for touring and also mountain biking. the disadvantage is that they are less efficient in power transfer than exposed cleat systems.

    in both instances, the cleats are specific to the pedal (and are usually supplied with the pedals, not the shoes). not all shoes take all cleat types, so check this carefully when buying pedals and shoes.

    my preference: look. but there are better cyclists than me who will happily ride the saturday club run with spds on account of the café stop. horses for courses.

    hope this answers your question.
  3. Big T

    Big T Veteran

    Been a Look user for years but recently changed over to SPD-SL's. They are better because you don't actually walk on the bit that comes into contact with the pedal, so the cleats don't wear out as quickly as Looks. I use road shoes at the weekend and for evening rides and normal SPD's and trainer type shoes (M032) for commuting.
  4. DustBowlRefugee

    DustBowlRefugee Über Member

    Sussex, England
    If you use Look cleats and a have a terracotta tiled floor in your house as I do you will never need to buy ice skates and can practice a triple sowcow whilst walking to the front door.
  5. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Bury, Lancashire
    Depends on yer feet an' all. Some people don't get on with small cleats/pedals such as SPDs, especially on long rides, or in hot weather as the feet swell and they find they get sore feet from pressing onto a small area. Larger cleats/pedals such as Look or SPD-SL spread the weight/pressure over a larger surface area and so you are less likely to have this problem with a larger cleat/pedal combination.

    Note - Some makes of cycle shoe are narrow and some are wider - same as with ordinary shoes, so do try them on and walk about in them before you buy. Cycling shoes that are too tight lead to numbness and tingling and/or painful feet, despite the fact that you hardly walk in them and therefore may think you ought to be able to 'get away with' slightly too narrow ones - don't do it!
  6. DustBowlRefugee

    DustBowlRefugee Über Member

    Sussex, England
    Regarding Look red cleats. I have just bought a new bike and have bought new shoes with the adjustable red ones on cx-6 pedals which are supposed to adjust from 0-9 degrees float. My problem is that when on anything other than 0 degrees I have to twist my foot so much to dis-engage them that it become somewhat difficult and a bit dangerous when trying to do it quickly. I am used to using SPDs on my mountain bike and one quick twist and I'm out. It seems that anything over 0 on the Looks and most of my normal twist to dis-engage is taken up by the float-play. Is this normal? BTW the pedals were secondhand but appear in good nick. Also the extra twist needed to unlock seems to twist my knee so much that it defeats the object of the float play in the first place!

  7. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    might just take a bit of practice. if you're only twisting your knee to unclip, it's not the same as twisting in 80-90 times per minute riding along.
  8. OP

    urbanrider New Member

    thats why i'm wanting some really xx( dont even own a bike :biggrin:
  9. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    the ones with recessed cleats are the best (SPD / 'mountain bike' style shoes / pedals) . People will say the ones with sticky-out cleats (SPD-SL / 'road' style shoes / pedals) are better, because you get more power transfer. But this is only because they have totally rigid soles, and the MTB shoes still have semi-rigid soles and the power difference between them is infinitessimally small, probably similar to that of investing in a carbon seatpost clamp to save 8 grams, or cutting your hair to save weight and improve aerodynamics.
    But the benefit of MTB-style ones is you can treat them like normal shoes, walk around all day in them in comfort yet still clip in to the bike's pedals reliably.
    I guess it's up to you whether you want to sacrifice the ability to walk around in comfort and use the shoes for things other than cycling in favour of a power increase that might add 0.00001mph to your average speed.
  10. spire

    spire To the point

    If you are serious about road bikes you must get Keos or similar and tolerate the discomfort/inconvenience.

    If you are less serious, SPDs are much friendlier!
  11. Membrane

    Membrane New Member

    Surely that depends on the shoe, the only flex that the soles in my MTB shoes exhibit is due to the fact that they're entry level shoes.

    I cant walk comfortably in my shoes, let alone all day. They're ok for going into a shop on a long ride or some such. But to walk comfortably the sole needs to flex.
  12. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Another advantage of a racing shoe is that they are generally lighter and so for longer rides this is a big positive for using them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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