Shoe tightness
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Thread: Shoe tightness

  1. #1
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    Shoe tightness

    How tight should cycling shoes be? And I don't mean for the toe space, but rather, how tight should the buckles, straps, Boa cables, etc be?

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    What ever feels right the the user. If they 'need' to be tight than you need to work on your pedaling technique or shoes are to big.

    I've broken boas on a ride and it's barely a factor.

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    I have Sidi Genius shoes. Having tight shoes just feels right to me. The issue is that it tends to make some of my toes go numb. I am working through which straps are the culprit.

    If they are not tight, then they feel a little sloppy, but maybe that is what is "normal" and I have not been doing it right for, about, ever (even with everyday shoes)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by billiegoat View Post
    I have Sidi Genius shoes. Having tight shoes just feels right to me. The issue is that it tends to make some of my toes go numb. I am working through which straps are the culprit.

    If they are not tight, then they feel a little sloppy, but maybe that is what is "normal" and I have not been doing it right for, about, ever (even with everyday shoes)?
    Only you can answer this question.
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    EIt doesnít really matter, what ever you find comfortable is fine. You should have some basic stability but honestly, you could damn near screw your cleats to a hard sole flip flop and it wouldnít matter.
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    Loose enough to be comfortable and not to cut off blood circulation or cause numbness. Tight enough to feel responsive, especially when pivoting to unclip from the pedals.
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    For me it is pretty obvious if a shoe is too small or too big.
    Also certain manufacturers don't work for me.
    Shimano in general feels too loose, Sidi's are too narrow in the forefoot.
    I have used a lot of Specialized, but the heel cup is too aggressive. My favorite shoes right now are Gaerne.

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    Personal preference - I like a snug heal and roomy toe box.
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    I like my shoes to be pretty tight, but I have to be careful not to make them so tight that my feet go numb later in the ride. Now I usually have them a little more loose than I actual prefer, just so I make sure I don't have numbness. I think it's a trial and error sort of thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billiegoat View Post
    I have Sidi Genius shoes. Having tight shoes just feels right to me. The issue is that it tends to make some of my toes go numb. I am working through which straps are the culprit.

    If they are not tight, then they feel a little sloppy, but maybe that is what is "normal" and I have not been doing it right for, about, ever (even with everyday shoes)?
    Having your toes going numb is not good. Maybe the toebox is too narrow. Loosening straps won't solve that. I take some slight looseness over pain and numbness any day

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    Wow....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Personal preference - I like a snug heal and roomy toe box.
    If you injure your heel, how long does it take to heal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Personal preference - I like a snug heal and roomy toe box.
    Have you found any shoes that actually provide this? I too, would like some wiggle room in the toe area but have come-up with no shoes that really allow it. Bont is probably the closest, but I found their shoes uber-rigid and not very comfortable. Seems that almost all cycling shoe companies that offer a "wide" shoe not only make the entire shoe wide, including the heal, but they also put in a really high arch... neither of which work for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billiegoat View Post
    How tight should cycling shoes be? And I don't mean for the toe space, but rather, how tight should the buckles, straps, Boa cables, etc be?
    Tight enough so that your heel does not move in the shoe. I've found that is the key. The toes can be a bit loose, but that heel connection needs to be firm.

    If that makes your foot fall asleep, wrong shoe for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Personal preference - I like a snug heal and roomy toe box.
    Greg LeMond used to have his shoes custom made: size 8 1/2 in the heel and 10 in the toe box.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    EIt doesnít really matter, what ever you find comfortable is fine. You should have some basic stability but honestly, you could damn near screw your cleats to a hard sole flip flop and it wouldnít matter.
    Ditto

  17. #17
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    if you need to tighten your shoe to stop your foot from moving around in the shoe, then your shoe is too big. A properly fitting shoe should not require much tension in the fasteners to feel secure. This depends on matching the volume of your foot to a shoe that is designed around a similarly volume foot. You can partially make up for this by using a footbed that has relatively high volume (like a solestar).

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    Quote Originally Posted by billiegoat View Post
    The issue is that it tends to make some of my toes go numb. I am working through which straps are the culprit.
    Very often there is a strong correlation between hand and feet issues.
    Addressing one can influence the other.
    So you might want to revaluate your position/fit and make some tweaks at the saddle or bar.
    Numb toes can indicate something off with your hands and vice versa .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by davesupra View Post
    I like my shoes to be pretty tight, but I have to be careful not to make them so tight that my feet go numb later in the ride. Now I usually have them a little more loose than I actual prefer, just so I make sure I don't have numbness. I think it's a trial and error sort of thing.
    Yep. Depends on how you want to ride. If hard, tighten the shoes so they don't flip around on the feet. If riding easy, loosen the laces a little. The feet swell slightly riding hard. The shoes get tighter. So adjusting laces on a ride is usually unnecessary.

    On shoes with standard laces, mated to toe clips and straps, rider can adjust the straps on the shoe initially, and on a ride tighten or loosen the toe straps at will, depending on demand.

    Micro-adjustable laced shoes are now the latest thing. Massive velcro straps are so '00s. What goes around comes around. If rider likes to spin hard, he needs toe straps, preferably attached to the pedals! Guys who think attaching cleats to flip flops is all they need, must not pedal very hard.

  20. #20
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    Fred, I ride sidi mtn shoes.

    Even on my steepest ascents, where I'm standing and pedaling so hard I worry about breaking a crankarm, I could have the Velcro straps on my shoes undone and I probably wouldn't notice.

    Hence why I agreed that bolting cleats to hard soled flipflops would work for me.

    As long as the ball of my foot stays in contact with the sole of my shoe on the upstroke at the back of my spin, I don't need any further snugging into my shoe.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    Fred, I ride sidi mtn shoes.

    Even on my steepest ascents, where I'm standing and pedaling so hard I worry about breaking a crankarm, I could have the Velcro straps on my shoes undone and I probably wouldn't notice.

    Hence why I agreed that bolting cleats to hard soled flipflops would work for me.

    As long as the ball of my foot stays in contact with the sole of my shoe on the upstroke at the back of my spin, I don't need any further snugging into my shoe.
    I love Fred, but I think he did too much acid back in the hippie days. His argument is one big fail. He argues for cages. Keep in mind the reason for clips isnít a performance improvement, itís a shin safeguard. there is no data to suggest clipping in improves performance. In fact, the flats people have the advantage in the argument. A hard sole on a flip flop would be equal to a cage with a solid shoe to bolt the cleat. Yes, Iím being facetious to some extent, but not dramatically. The shoe in this sport isnít particularly important. Just get comfortable. Done.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    Fred, I ride sidi mtn shoes.

    Even on my steepest ascents, where I'm standing and pedaling so hard I worry about breaking a crankarm, I could have the Velcro straps on my shoes undone and I probably wouldn't notice.

    Hence why I agreed that bolting cleats to hard soled flipflops would work for me.

    As long as the ball of my foot stays in contact with the sole of my shoe on the upstroke at the back of my spin, I don't need any further snugging into my shoe.
    Ok for pushers, which is what you'd have to be doing frequently on a mountain bike. Nothing worse when trying to pedal roundly on the road, than having the shoe flex on every downstroke. It steals the energy. Stiff soles work better in all instances, IMO. The center of pressure is still on the ball of the foot and pedal spindle. The soles of the shoes complement the pedal, providing a wider surface to push down on.

    I can't imagine riding anywhere in flip flops. I immediately feel the difference when going from tennis shoes I wear on grocery runs to nice stiff cycling shoes. Much more efficient.

    But I'm not a pusher. Jamming ruined my knees years ago. Those days are long gone. I'm fully recovered.

    Ok, wooden clogs, better yet, sandals, would work if you never pull up, as in unweighting the pedals on the upstrokes. Without toe straps my feet always come off the pedals, usually when I need the power most. Very frustrating.

  23. #23
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    Fred, I wear my sidi mtn shoes on my road bike.

    I can spin perfectly even with the Velcro straps undone.

    Granted, it takes me a few milliseconds longer to clip in than a pitbull pedal would. So it's not 110% perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Ok for pushers, which is what you'd have to be doing frequently on a mountain bike. Nothing worse when trying to pedal roundly on the road, than having the shoe flex on every downstroke. It steals the energy. Stiff soles work better in all instances, IMO. The center of pressure is still on the ball of the foot and pedal spindle. The soles of the shoes complement the pedal, providing a wider surface to push down on.

    I can't imagine riding anywhere in flip flops. I immediately feel the difference when going from tennis shoes I wear on grocery runs to nice stiff cycling shoes. Much more efficient.

    But I'm not a pusher. Jamming ruined my knees years ago. Those days are long gone. I'm fully recovered.

    Ok, wooden clogs, better yet, sandals, would work if you never pull up, as in unweighting the pedals on the upstrokes. Without toe straps my feet always come off the pedals, usually when I need the power most. Very frustrating.
    Huh? You have a fixed bottom bracket and a crank. It goes around. And it goes around. The limits of travel are pretty fixed and they are determined by the components. There is no such thing s pedaling style. It is simply how fast can you turn how hard a gear until you blow up. Science is our friend. And... No one pulls up. Thatís why flats work just as well.
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  25. #25
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    My feet demand a loose enough shoe to keep the shoe from being too tight when my feet inevitably swell up, but by the same token I don't like it at all when my feet move about inside the shoe. It's something that both tires my feet out and irritates the skin. The solution to these two conflicting problems? I ride sockless. My bare toes allow me to get good grip on the insole. At the same time I can move my feet within the shoe to keep them cool and prevent foot cramps.
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