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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Just started cycling and I'm looking for gear to complete my ride. I currently have a Trek 2100 road bike with clip on pedals... and I was wondering what's the difference in shoes?

What's the difference between a 50 dollar house brand versus a 300 dollar set of Sidi's? Is it durability, name, comfort? Typically how long does a set last? Currently I'm riding about 30 miles a week, and will start ramping up soon. Summer's basically here so I'm hoping to get to 100 a week.

Thanks a lot, this forum's been a great help to a noob...:)
 

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I dunno what a $50 house brand is...

...but it sounds like it might be Performance or something. Fit is what counts, and if you get that, everything else is going to fall in place. You'll get people who swear by Sidis and people who swear at them. I happen to ride Specialized, which a lot of people like, and are generally a lot less money than, say, Sidis, or DMTs, or Shimanos, or something similar. For your first pair, don't buy online. Go to a decent LBS, try on a bunch of shoes, and go with the one that fits your feet. If you have a choice between two, and one's more expensive, ask yourself what you're getting for the additional $$$. If the answer is "the color matches my bike", then save some $$$ and get some decent bib shorts...which is your next big decision...
 

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This is the order in which I look for shoes:
Fit
Stiffness
Weight
Ease of entry

Throw price in there any place you want.

90% of my wear comes from walking or abrasion from the ground. Limit this and they will last a long time.
 

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i'm shopping for my first pair of bike shoes (mountain) and have tried on everything from $40 closeouts to the Sidi's. Look at the quality of material (cheap plastic or a nicer synthetic leather?), poor stitching workmanship, the padding under your foot, the padding over the top of your foot, etc.

I talked with a guy that was looking to replace his Sidi's (dominators i think), which had lasted 5 years (including racing) and they still looked ok to me (i guess they had loosened up too much).

Try on everything, see how it fits, how is it put together, feel the inside of the shoe for pressure points. If you're just starting, you might be able to get away with a comfort type shoe instead of the dedicated road shoe (with hard, nearly slick bottoms)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hey SkiRacer55

that's what i meant. I live near a performance shop and was looking at their selection. 50 dollars for their shoes or more for other name brands.

i have read a few threads with people saying 'you get what you pay for', and those threads do worry me. Honestly i don't mind spending money somewhere in the middle range. I used to be a marathon runner and I do understand the value of shoes.

I just don't get why people pay for 300+ dollar shoes when a decent pair is like 100 dollars. My marathon shoes last 3 months each and i used to pay ~90 dollars each set. Are you getting diminishing returns above a certain price? Over 100, 150?

Thanks for the replies.
 

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Some good advice in this thread...

ketchup318 said:
hey SkiRacer55

that's what i meant. I live near a performance shop and was looking at their selection. 50 dollars for their shoes or more for other name brands.

i have read a few threads with people saying 'you get what you pay for', and those threads do worry me. Honestly i don't mind spending money somewhere in the middle range. I used to be a marathon runner and I do understand the value of shoes.

I just don't get why people pay for 300+ dollar shoes when a decent pair is like 100 dollars. My marathon shoes last 3 months each and i used to pay ~90 dollars each set. Are you getting diminishing returns above a certain price? Over 100, 150?

Thanks for the replies.
...most of which says fit is #1 and you're the best judge, with some help, of what fits. In general, Performance's house brand stuff, including shoes, is a very solid value. My tennis coach got a pair of Performance shoes last year, and they looked top notch to me in terms of fit, construction, and performance (joke, ha ha). If you're a runner, you'll know when something fits and when it doesn't. The other part of the deal is, if you get into biking, you're going to be upgrading...a new and more wonderful bike, better clothes, those $500 gold shoes that Sidi is making to commemorate the last season of...I can't remember, one of the Italians. So go with good and servicable the first time out, because you'll be buying again soon, most likely...
 

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If you ramp up your mileage significantly, your feet will likely feel better in a shoe with a stiffer sole at the end of a 2-3 hour ride than it will in a softer sole. I used to use Adidas shoes, but switched to Sidis about 4 years ago. I have had Genius 5s with a nylon composite all the way to the Sidi 6.6 with a lightweight carbon sole. I still have the 5s and wear them on shorter recovery type rides, but I wear the 6.6s on all the long rides. The cost of the shoe relates, at least in part, to the sole materials as well as the quality of the upper. Yes, a Sidi 6.6 is pretty expensive, but you don't start there with your first pair of cycling shoes.

If Performance has shoes in your price range, that's a good place to start. Try on all they have and pick the one that fits you the best. Also, I would suggest that you get some cleat covers for whatever style of cleats you have. I use Looks and get a lot of wear out of a set of cleats because I have covers on them almost all the time I am not on the bike.
 

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Shimano shoes

Ketchup,

The advice with going with the best fitting shoe is great advice. Before the season, I had some Specialized MTB shoes (comp line) that I used for about 8 years prior to my new pair. I found an LBS that was liquidating their inventory of the Shimano SH-M300 ($ 349.00 originally - reduced to $220) including the fitting! These are the ones that are heat moldable...I thought that this was a gimmick, but I went for it. Anyway, these are the MOST comfortable shoes that I have had period. With my old pair, I would experience numb toes and hot spots during long rides. Not any longer. Knowing what I know about these shoes, I would buy these for the $349 price tag if I had to. I would recommend that you get these, you will not be sorry.

Regards,

BWJ
 

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I am also new to cycling. I just bought the $50.00 dollar Fortes from Performance and in the three weeks I've had my bike I've ridden 23, 36, 28, 16, and 50 mile rides. I haven't noticed any hot spots on my feet or numbness or any other discomfort, so I'm well pleased with them. Time will tell about durability but they didn't seem any cheesierly constructed than any other shoes within $100.00 dollars of them in the store. The clerk threw on the cleats in the middlemost position with regard to the cleat slots vrs the shoe screw holes. They are SPD-SL style cleats; I think my pedals are Shimano R540s. The cleats were $19.99,
 

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The big difference between a less expensive shoe and a more expensive shoe is the stiffness of the sole. The stiffer the sole, the less chance of developing hot foot, where your foot goes numb or you have foot pain. Of course there's a difference between materials. I don't like to spend a lot of money but in shoes don't pinch. I prefer a carbon sole with a top buckle rather than straps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the advice...

I got myself a pair of fortes at performance. It seems ok. I tried about 10 pairs of shoes and my conclusion is that between 50-150... there wasn't much difference. Again, it's my opinion... I did try on a 300 dollar pair of SIDI's and yes there was a difference. There's less flex in the sole and the material just seemed to cushion and mold to my feet better.

I, too, have wide feet and the SIDIs i tried felt really nice. But 300 dollars was a bit much. So with a 100 dollar budget, I got a 50 dollar pair (since i couldn't tell the difference between 50 and 150 dollar pairs...)
 

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lawrence said:
The big difference between a less expensive shoe and a more expensive shoe is the stiffness of the sole. The stiffer the sole, the less chance of developing hot foot, where your foot goes numb or you have foot pain. Of course there's a difference between materials. I don't like to spend a lot of money but in shoes don't pinch. I prefer a carbon sole with a top buckle rather than straps.
Also you'll generally get better constructed shoes for more $$. My Sidis wear like iron. Not sure what Lorica is, but it wears like iron. Someone told me it was kangaroo.
 

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Lorica is some type of synthetic "leather" and it does wear like iron. I've crashed in my Sidi's an scubbed toes pretty bad, but never worn them through. Also, you can get it wet, dry it out, and its a soft as ever. I used to wear Addidas Frosco's that were made from Kangaroo leather, just like Addidas' best soccer shoes. It is incredibly comfortable and long wearing, but I'm not sure any production manufacturer makes bike shoes from leather, but some of the really high end custom makers may still use leather.
 
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