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I know fit is probably the first most important thing when considering shoes. Are carbon soled shoes really that great? I currently ride mountain pedals and shimano mtb shoes, but bought some road pedals and now need road shoes.

My budget for shoes is no more than 200. Don't have many bike shops local to see how different brands fit. I have a 10.5-11 size foot, and my feet are narrow. Any suggestions on what brands might fit best?
 

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Carbon just makes for a stiff, and sometimes light, shoe. Thats it. Do you find your shoes too flexy? Then look for a stiffer pair. Doesn't have to be carbon.

Thats it. Nothing magical.
 

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I started out on my CAAD 10 with the Specialize Tahoe mtn shoes that I got for my mtn bike. Towards the end of the year (2012) I started to notice the amount of flex in the soles of my shoes when riding the CAAD. While I didn’t want to give up the walk ability of the mtn shoes, I decided to go with the Giro Trans (HV for me) and thus far do not regret it.

Granted I don’t have a lot of miles on them as of yet, but I can already tell the difference in my pedal stroke, I’m not getting that little bit of flex I felt before.

The best piece of advice I can give you is, to go as many shops as you can and try on the different shoes that interest you. When you find the right pair, you’ll know it. Other than being attached to the pedals when on the bike and walking funny when I’m not, I don’t notice the “feeling” of wearing shoes with mine. I wound up buying them at a shop that is not one that I am willing to do a lot of business with, the employees tend to be standoffish and make it seem like they are doing you a favor by allowing you to spend your money there. But they had the shoes I wanted and my go to shop didn’t carry that brand.

Enjoy!

EEC
 

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IME the Giro Factor seems kind of narrow. You can find them under $200 on ebay right now. Another narrow fitting shoe is the Diadora ProRace Carbon. Should be able to find the Diadora well under $200 as well.

I'd just like to add that while a good fitting shoe is important so is proper insole support. Having the right insole can change the way a shoe feels and fits. JMO and IME.
 

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I second that. JMO and IME.
I'm pes cavus and use orthopedic insoles in Bont Vaypors. Shoes don't come much stiffer and comfortable, btw. On the wrong side of $200 though.
 

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Stiff, light, carbon soled shoes make a difference over heavy, flexy, walkable mountain shoes. It's up to you if you prefer one over the other. Both types can be remarkably comfortable, or equally uncomfortable.
 

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Carbon just makes for a stiff, and sometimes light, shoe. Thats it. Do you find your shoes too flexy? Then look for a stiffer pair. Doesn't have to be carbon.

Thats it. Nothing magical.
This. I've been doing fine with nylon soles. They're probably on the heavy side - it takes more material to make them rigid enough - but they're rigid enough for me.

If you're used to casual MTB shoes with a lot of flex, you'll notice a big difference in cleat/pedal pressure. You might perceive a small difference in power transfer, but I suspect power loss to flexy shoes is negligible - for me, it's really about comfort on a longer ride or one where I'm exerting a lot of force.

If you're used to a fairly racy MTB shoe, you'll notice that it's a lot harder not to fall on your ass. :D Probably nothing in terms of on-bike performance, though.
 

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This. I've been doing fine with nylon soles. They're probably on the heavy side - it takes more material to make them rigid enough - but they're rigid enough for me.

If you're used to casual MTB shoes with a lot of flex, you'll notice a big difference in cleat/pedal pressure. You might perceive a small difference in power transfer, but I suspect power loss to flexy shoes is negligible - for me, it's really about comfort on a longer ride or one where I'm exerting a lot of force.
Key word being negligible...
 

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I've noticed a difference since switching to shoes with CF soles. I'm certainly not claiming any speed increase & frankly don't give a hoot about the weight of the shoes, but the comfort factor improved a lot. After riding other shoes, then changing to CF, I bought a pair of Sidis for an unbelievable bargain. They didn't have CF soles & after about 30+ miles it felt to me like the pedal was coming through the bottom of the shoe. As long as I can afford it I'll be wearing CF shoes.
 

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Ive heard people say that carbon-soled shoes will remain stiff over time whereas nylon soled shoes will eventually begin to flex a bit.

I have both. I cant really tell much of a difference but im a lightweight and ive only been on the carbons a year or so.
 

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I think they make a difference. I'd been riding clipless pedals for years and have tried several different shoes. The last pair I bought, with carbon soles, was quite a bit stiffer. I really like them. I switched to carbon mountian bike shoes a month or two later as well. I think fit is the most important aspect of the right shoe, but stiffness is up there, and the carbon soled shoes I've tried are nice.
 

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go around to several of you lbs, you should be able to find a last years model discounted pretty heavily. I bought my wife's cf shoes last year for $57, they were originally $250. I got my Lake's off Amazon for $129, down from $200. I love my Lake's, I'll never buy anything else again. But I also have a wide foot and they build a perfect wide sole.
 

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Have both carbon and a fiberglass nylon blend soled road shoes. Can't tell any difference between the two, they both feel equally stiff.

But what do I know, I'm no racer, or wannabe.

Regular sized Shimano's are a little narrow.

As already suggested, shop the sales. Should be able to get a quality shoe for around $100.
 
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