Advantages of Look-type pedal systems

secretsam Posts: 5,098
edited March 2014 in Road beginners
So, what are they? I've used SPDs since switching from clips 'n' straps when I came back to cycling, but occasionally get aching feet around the cleat area - would full fat road shoes and pedals help?

I use basic Spesh MTB-style shoes with Shimano SPD pedals

It's just a hill. Get over it.


  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Are the shoes not very stiff ? If the sole is OK then it should spread the pressure ?

    Look cleats will give you a bigger pedal area - it might help - but I'd look at the shoes first ?
  • As above - if your feet hurt, get better shoes. Some people do find that a bigger platform helps, but you can get SPD pedals that provide just that.

    But using 'road' kit carries the sole (pun not intended) advantage of being good for nothing else, and it's good for road cycling because someone in marketing has told you so. Had SPD been released as the universal pedal system, we might not be having this discussion. Nevertheless, there aren't any road shoes designed for comfy walking because they have big cleats sticking out of the bottom. Low end road shoes are likely to be more rigid than the equivalent MTB shoes, which are often more aimed at leisure use and commuting.
  • w00dster
    w00dster Posts: 880
    I have to completely disagree witg Simon, I have both type of cleats, spd and Look Spd SL, the main advantage of the Look cleats is you can generally buy better looking shoes and look more "pro". Also, my missus lets me walk on the wooden floor in Look Cleats but not in metal SPD's. Two very big reasons for SL.
    In all seriousness I don't notice any difference, I'm sure at a higher level there may be marginal gains to be had by having the larger surface area, plus I've noticed most road pedals are lighter. So maybe some small gains there.
  • The published weight of the Ultegra level A600 SPD pedals is - or was, last time I checked - actually slightly lower than the Ultegra SL model, interestingly...
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,844
    Is this your shoes:


    If so then I would agree that a stiffer sole would be better. I get a hot spot under the cleat when I do any serious distance in them - 40 miles on road on my MTB last summer.

    That said I use Look on my road bike and for road biking prefer the bigger platform.
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    Which shoes? I use a pair of Spesh Expert MTB with the carbon sole, I only ache if I tighten them too much.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098
    Which shoes? I use a pair of Spesh Expert MTB with the carbon sole, I only ache if I tighten them too much.

    The boggo version of the MTB shoe - the Sport, maybe?

    Could be my feet are too wide, someone told me recently that Spesh are narrow fitting? I know little about how shoes should fit, people say "they should be snug but comfy, like slippers" which is utterly meaningless!

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I've done a >100 mile ride on the Shimano MT43 spd shoes (on my CX Felt bike) without a problem (or at least not with the shoes my knees were killing me!)


    I do find the Look cleat shoes I own *better* for the longer rides but the above were perfectly fine
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter