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Carbon Sole shoes

JimboMJimboM Posts: 380
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm preparing for a 250mile ride over 2.5 days in July and currently using a set of M520 SPDs and Lidl shoes. As I've been hiting bigger distances I've found my knees have started to hurt a bit and I can't seem to find the sweet spot for cleat setup so am probably going to get a proper bike fit. However before I do I might as well treat myself to a pair of Speedplay Zeros and some new shoes - hoping the psychological boost will out weigh the lack of training :D

I understand that carbon sole shoes are stiffer and that should help to eliminate hot spots and increase power transfer but are there any disadvantages to them. Are they really only for racers (which I'm definitely not!) or would another type of shoe be better suited for me.


Cannondale Synapse 105
Giant FCR3
GT Avalanche 3.0
Canyon Nerve AM 6.0


  • mallorcajeffmallorcajeff Posts: 1,489
    I have two pairs and notice the stiffness difference makes for a much more positive ride. Obviously total no no for walking in but i love mine. I have mavics and sidis. I read about horror stories of being too stiff etc. put in 15 k miles in 14 months on mine and never had a single issue. If you get sidis get some decent foot beds or insoles as most shoes come with a sole so thin its pointless. I used the northwave ones from wiggle having footbeds made and transform the shoes 1000%.
  • in my opinion shoes that fit well are the best shoes. That means supple uppers and a good retention system, those are key aspects to removing any unwanted movement of your foot in your shoe when your trying to pull up and push down. And a good fitting shoe increases comfort over the long run which is what you'll gonna be needing the most!
    Carbon in shoes is not necessarily used for it's lightweight means but for it's increased stiffness and reduced thickness (compared to an already good nylon sole). The stiffness of of the sole and the reduced stack (distance from the ball of your foot to the spindle of your peddle) will really make your foot feel and act like the peddle itself. This is maybe hard to imagine as a big advantage when trying different shoes at your LBS but it's very noticeable when riding. You really don't need to be a pro to feel the difference. That said look for a shoe that in the first place supports your foot well, and fits snugly yet comfortably. If you can afford it (because you will have to vector in road specific pedals too, which is the other have of the equation) then go for carbon, if not you'll still be alright!

    Good luck with training too.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    Beware that carbon soled shoes are not necessarily stiffer than resin/fibreglass/polyamide (nylon), it depends on thickness of the section. Some unscrupulous sports cobblers believe that adding the word carbon into a sports item means they can get an extra £50 for said item from the unfortunate customer. It's like frames and forks - there's good carbon construction and there's a token nod to carbon with no benefit in performance but an increased price tag (dare I mention bottle cages?). Weight-for-weight a well constructed carbon and epoxy composite can be made stiffer than its polyester/fibreglass cousin but will be a lot more costly. What I'm trying to say is that its not necessarily the material used, but its more to do with the construction.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    If you are getting some Speedplay's, it might be worth getting Speedplay specific shoes :wink:
    I fancy the titanium ones with Lake shoes but the cost has always been prohibitive :|
    MTB is going on ebay shortly though :D
  • Just moved from M520s with shimano shoes on the winter bike over to some Speedplay Zeros with Bont shoes on the new bike and the difference is incredible. The bonts are an absolute cnut to try and walk in, but once you get on the bike, it all makes perfect sense. Even though I'm only on the A-threes, the entry level ones, they're still amazingly comfy.

    Just don't do what my mate did with his. He skipped over the instructions and put them in the oven at 150deg c instead of 70. OOPS. :lol:
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    I just got round to putting my new Lake 331's in the oven at 90'C. They say 4 minutes, but I was pretty nervous while they were in there...I had this kind of nightmare where I accidentally flipped the dial to Pyrolyse, which then locks the door, and takes the oven up to 450'C or so............

    Toasty warm when you put them on, but I don't think I changed the fit much by pressing on the mouldable parts.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    As above, decent shoes made the world of difference but don't expect that buying a road shoe setup will make you fly. I am more than happy with M540's and Spesh MTB Expert shoes (they get 9/10 on a stiffness factor so they are pretty blinking stiff). No hotspots despite some long rides and I get to walk around cafes rather than mince.
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