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  1. #1
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    If I wear MTB shoes for my road bike, what is the worst thing that will happen?

    Just curious - the main difference that I'm seeing for road bike shoes are that they are more expensive, lighter weight, and less comfortable than MTB shoes. This is kind of a generalization, of course, but what are the benefits of a road shoe over a MTB shoe?

  2. #2
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    I used my mtb shoes and pedals on my road bikes for 3 years, mostly because I was cheap and also to use my mtb winter boots on the road bike as well. I mainly switched to get a more solid platform, plus my road shoes are slightly more ventilated for the summer. I got a road specific winter boot as well.

    Use whatever combo works for you.

  3. #3
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    I will laugh at you...just kidding.

    Wear what you want, but road shoes and pedals do provide a better pedaling platform. MTB shoes however are easier to walk in.

  4. #4
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    You will be scoffed at at shunned by real "pro-looking" roadies for being in violation of Rule # 34.

    Seek the Velominati for guidance pedalwan!



    Seriously, the only advantages of road shoes over MTB shoes is in most cases weight, and compatibility with road specific clipless pedal designs. If you have an MTB with clipless pedals, and good shoes, than get the same ones for your road bike. When you get more serious and have some money to burn, then look into better shoes and pedals.

  5. #5
    Call me a Fred
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    I wear MTB shoes on my road bike about 95% of the time that I ride the bike. I use SPD pedals for all my bikes.
    Mike

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  6. #6
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    The worse thing that will happen is that you'll realize that with MTB shoes you can walk the X miles back to your house with a flat pushing the bike along, and *not* get blisters or wear out your $200 road shoes.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by taralon View Post
    The worse thing that will happen is that you'll realize that with MTB shoes you can walk the X miles back to your house with a flat pushing the bike along, and *not* get blisters or wear out your $200 road shoes.
    i'd be way more embarrassed that i wasn't prepared to fix a flat by myself and had to push my bike home than i would be about wearing mtb shoes on a road bike.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    Nothing bad can happen that couldn't also happen with road shoes. The benefits to road shoes are, on average, they are lighter and the sole is stiffer and the pedal interface distributes the pressure over a wider area. again, that's on average, some Mt bike shoes probably do those things better than some road shoes.

  9. #9
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    I use MTB shoes on my road bike that's set up for touring/long distance stuff and the around-town bike. Easy to walk with, no problems pedaling. Bikes meant for biking to somewhere.

    Road shoes on road bike, meant for biking. Walking sucks.

    If you're really not sure what you want, get MTB shoes.

  10. #10
    Lost in translation
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    Less likely to get laughed at with unshaven legs, a fanny pack, and helmet-mounted mirror.

  11. #11
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    I've been buying mid- and high-end gear too long. I don't see mountain bike shoes as any cheaper, or more comfortable. Probably still some swing in weight from the sole.

    I say, unless you have a specific reason (Speedplays seem to agree with my knees, for example) to use a road pedal system, just use MTB shoes. Especially if you already have a pair.

  12. #12
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    Just some odd looks from the hardcore roadie crowd. I ride Shimano PD-A530 pedals (noob SPD pedals) with my MTB shoes. Having the time of my life.

  13. #13
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    Folks covered most of the issues above. The only "problem" I can think of is your feet might get sore on longer rides (5+ hours).

    The wider platform on a road shoe is there for a reason. The soles are stiffer and the pedal platform distributes the force across more of your shoe.

    I commute about 10 miles in my MTB shoes--no big deal. But after 6 hours of MTB endurance racing my feet are more sore than a typical century ride.

    Just something to consider. Might not be an issue for you, especially on shorter rides or at low-to-moderate intensity.
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  14. #14
    Yo no fui.
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    I've hear people say mountain bike shoes are not as comfortable as road shoes. However, people wear mtb shoes in 24 hour races and long, long mtb rides in the middle of nowhere. So, guys like "velocanman" in this thread are likely just extrapolating from their own experience and reaching a general conclusion about mtb shoes that is not true.

    I've hear people say road shoes transfer energy more efficiently because of a bigger contact surface. However, this would mean pro mtb-ers are riding substandard shoes in high stakes races, like the Olympics, where they're not walking anyway. You get the point. There's lots of threads on this issue.

    The differences between road and mtb shoes are minimal, and most of it is hype and nonsense. Pick road shoes if you like the style. Pick mtb shoes is you want to walk in them, don't care about the roadie look (or looks you may get), or want one type of shoe and pedal for all of your different types of bikes.

    The thing that is actually important is that your buy shoes that fit your feet. For example, try them on in the late afternoon on a hot day when your feet have swollen.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

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  15. #15
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    NADT. I've shown up for group rides in MTB shoes and a Cx bike.
    Last edited by Egads; 04-28-2012 at 09:51 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pablo View Post
    I've hear people say mountain bike shoes are not as comfortable as road shoes. However, people wear mtb shoes in 24 hour races and long, long mtb rides in the middle of nowhere. So, guys like "velocanman" in this thread are likely just extrapolating from their own experience and reaching a general conclusion about mtb shoes that is not true.
    I did say that it was my experience.

    BTW, I ride Sidi Dominator 5 MTB shoes so its not like I'm riding cheap shoes. They cost more than my commuter bike.

    Show me a road team that races MTB shoes. There is a reason they don't. MTB shoes are heavier and most are less stiff.

    If you want to have a sole to walk around on, be aware that you are rotating that sole with every pedal stroke. Its actually kinda a cool badge of courage if you ride with shoes a half pound heavier than everyone else.

    As stated, this has been covered extensively in the forums.
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  17. #17
    tlg
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    what is the worst thing that will happen?
    You will pi$$ off bike snobs.
    Oh wait, that may be the best thing that will happen.

    There is very minimal difference between the two, that the average rider will never discern. If you're asking the question, you're most likely not at a level where you'd see any benefit.

  18. #18
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    Hell, I not only wear mtb shoes on my road bike, but I also wear a Giro Section urban commuting/mtb helmet. I dont care what looks I get. Some folks probably think I'm wearing soccer cleats with my full back helmet.

  19. #19
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    It doesn't matter. I stopped wearing road shoes when my foot changed sized and wear mtb shoes that are just as stiff, lightweight and comfortable as road shoes. If they can see the bottom of your soles, that means the riders are behind you. :-)
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Just curious - the main difference that I'm seeing for road bike shoes are that they are more expensive, lighter weight, and less comfortable than MTB shoes. This is kind of a generalization, of course, but what are the benefits of a road shoe over a MTB shoe?
    What they said. Stiffer. But MTB shoes are more comfy to walk in.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Just curious - the main difference that I'm seeing for road bike shoes are that they are more expensive, lighter weight, and less comfortable than MTB shoes. This is kind of a generalization, of course, but what are the benefits of a road shoe over a MTB shoe?
    BTW, why do you think road shoes are less comfortable? I'm not being argumentative, just wondering where that comes from.

    In my experience, I think my road shoes are actually more comfortable because they are lighter weight and conformed to my feet. I wear Sidi 5.5 road shoes and Side Dominator 5 MTB shoes, so the uppers look very similar. The difference is in the sole.

    For what's it's worth, I use Shimano road pedals, and the cleats are easier to walk in than Look and others. There are "pontoons" on the Shimano cleat that you walk on so you don't wear out the cleat surface.

    If money is an issue and you have both MTB and road bikes, the choice to ride your MTB shoes on the road is pretty easy.
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  22. #22
    PhotonFreak
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    i'd be way more embarrassed that i wasn't prepared to fix a flat by myself and had to push my bike home than i would be about wearing mtb shoes on a road bike.
    What if, hypothetically, you were to start pedaling too soon coming out of a tight right turn and accidentally bottom out your inside pedal causing your bike's rear wheel to lift off the road then slam back down at a weird angle resulting in a pinch flat. Then, in the process standing up and shifting your weight forward in an effort to straighten out your bike (which would be willdly fishtailing at this point) you end up violently blowing out the already compromised tube and rolling the tire across the rim thereby irreparably shredding the sidewall.

    In the ridiculous scenario I just described even if you had a spare tube and pump you might have to carry a bike on your shoulders for two miles to the nearest bike shop to buy a new tire in order to complete the ride. In that case if a rider were dumb enough to own, say, Shimano SPD-SL pedals on road shoes instead of MTB shoes they had better make an effort to, say, walk on the dirt shoulder rather than the road as to not wear down the plastic cleats.

    To add insult to injury all the smug roadies* passing you during your long walk would probably assume you were some moreon that doesn't know how to fix his own flat.


    After what didn't happen to me this morning I'm giving serious consideration to both getting MTB shoes, and actually carrying an entire spare tire with me on rides that take me >10mi one way away from civilization.
    Last edited by PhotonFreak; 04-16-2012 at 11:22 PM.

  23. #23
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFreak View Post
    In the ridiculous scenario I just described even if you had a spare tube and pump you might have to carry a bike on your shoulders for two miles to the nearest bike shop to buy a new tire in order to complete the ride.
    Two miles? On 99% of my rides, a 20mi walk home would be quicker than a walk to a bike shop.

  24. #24
    PhotonFreak
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Two miles? On 99% of my rides, a 20mi walk home would be quicker than a walk to a bike shop.
    Well, where I live (Tucson), at least within town bike shops are almost densely packed as Starbucks... I actually know of over 15 within an 8 mile radius of my place. It's kind of ridiculous and I'm surprised so many are able to stay in business to be honest. In my case it would be almost impossible for a walk home to be shorter than a walk to the nearest bike shop.

    Of course, on a fair amount of my routes I'm >10miles one-way outside of town altogether in the middle of the desert, hence my thought about bringing an outright spare tire.
    Last edited by PhotonFreak; 04-17-2012 at 11:44 AM.

  25. #25
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    I've been thinking about MTB shoes because I have to walk a few feet in one part of my commute to work. The problem I have is aI need about 12 mm of cleat spacers on my right leg (shorter leg + bigger sit bone on that side), and putting 12 mm worth of spacers on a MTB shoe would just render the whole "walking advantage" useless. It would also be quite comical, since you would hear the jangle from the clean every time I would step with my right foot. For me the best compromise is Shimano cleats and cleat covers for longer walks.

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