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do lighter ,stiffer shoes make a difference

paul e w sanderspaul e w sanders Posts: 30
edited January 2015 in Road general
does buying expensive shoes make a significant difference to justify the price? im using mtb shoes because i was told there easy to walk in if you have to but they weigh 680 grammes there the dhb 10 mbt ones from wiggle,and are road bike shoes better at putting the power down im averaging 18mph at the moment but would it make any difference to my averages?


  • Dippydog3Dippydog3 Posts: 414
    No, as you can buy stiff and light SPD shoes anyway.
  • Dippydog3 wrote:
    No, as you can buy stiff and light SPD shoes anyway.

    What he said.

    Saying that, the SPD-SL pedal and shoe is a bit stiffer than the SPD due to the size of the pedals. There is more surface area to transfer the power through. I've got SPD-SL's and SPD's with my commuter bike, and switch them out depending on which type of ride i'm going for.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Stiffer and lighter will make a difference. How big that difference is will depend how flexy and heavy your existing shoes are. I'm sure there's no huge performance improvement between pretty decent and really high end shoes.
    Can't comment on MTB/SPD versus Road as I'm not familair with many MTB/SPD shoes. If MTB shoes are designed with additional flexibility to aid in walking then they will probably suffer a little on the bike as a result but I don;t think that's normally the case and otherwise the only difference is the tread on the MTB shoe which adds weight and a little drag but won't be a game changer. In theory a lighter & stiffer road shoe will be better but the margin is probably too small to worry about unless you're a competitive TTer
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Of course I tell myself that the expensive shoes justify their price!

    I used to think that once you've reached a certain level, there'd be little difference. I found little difference between mid-range Sidi and high-end Sidi - the soles were pretty much the same, the higher end ones had more buckles and stuff that actually made them much more of a faff.

    In a departure from Sidi, I am now using Bont Vayper (the SPD version) and blimey they are stiff. I thought Sidi were stiff, but the Bonts are something else. It probably makes little, if any, difference in reality - it's the same amount of power going into the pedal?

    Where it does make a difference is stuff like hot foot and general comfort - I ride in everything from a pair of £50 Spuik commuting shoes to the Bonts to SPD sandals (not with socks though.....) to my Northwave winter boots - I do get less comfort from the cheaper shoes on the bigger distances.

    In short - Bonts are brilliant, very comfy, not brilliant for walking miles in though and pretty pricey.

    Mid range Sidi would be where the sweet spot is - carbon sole but none of the superfluous buckles and stuff.
  • 'Road' shoes don't make you any faster or improve power transfer any more than 'extract of x' in overpriced energy products makes you faster. Road shoes, particularly at the lower end, can be stiffer than their MTB equivalents, but there would be no point making them flexible anyway. If you have shoes and pedals that are comfortable for your cycling, you have 95% of what you are looking for. In terms of the time you post, lighter shoes might well produce differences detectable in laboratory conditions. The bottom line is that nicer shoes are nicer to wear - just buy what you like best in your price range and enjoy your cycling.

    But what really brings it home in my view is that despite what Speedplay have to say about how much better their design is than the Look 3 bolt, these products have not become a quaint thing of the past. Moreover, the professionals will generally use what their team provides.
  • thanks very much for your answers very interesting on reflection i think i will stick with my mtb shoes and shimano 540 mtb pedals as there very comfortable ,ive spent a small fortune on kit since i took up road cycling 2 years ago it never seems to end, but dont tell the wife .
  • I don't think it makes much difference, as long as they aren't flexible touring style shoes that are designed to be walked in for a fair distance as well.
    The biggest effect would be the wider pedals that might have a slight advantage with power transfer.
    However, with the shoes themselves you can get MTB shoes that are just as stiff as the road equivilents, just with a little more weight that won't make a big difference. Road shoes might be able to bring the sole of the foot closer to the pedal axle as well which may be beneficial.

    A nice pair of shoes can help phycologically though- I like the ritual of tightening the strap of my carbon sole shoes before a race or TT and like the feel of them on race day.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,151
    marcusjb wrote:

    In short - Bonts are brilliant, very comfy, not brilliant for walking miles in though and pretty pricey.

    This. I have the Vaypor and Vaypor +. Ridiculously good shoes. Comfiest I've ever owned and fully mouldable as well.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • TheHoundTheHound Posts: 284
    In short


    Buy them anyway.
    Bianchi Intenso Athena
    Handbuilt Wheels by
    Fizik Cyrano R3 Handlebars
    Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow saddle
    Deda Superleggero seatpost
  • cswitchcswitch Posts: 261
    You may or may not struggle to see noticeable gains in time for that speed however it's not the only thing to consider. Bonts are noticeably stiffer and feel really connected to the cranks, however for me not comfortable. On the opposite end of the scale some Sidis I had felt like slippers, comfy at first but the shoe last rolled around and twisted all over the place (mid range ones), they turned out to be awful and gave me terrible hot spots. 'Feel' to me is what is most important.

    Can I tell if good stiff and light shoes make me faster, no, do I like how they feel when I'm hammering it in a sprint or riding at threshold for an hour, yes, but much to the detriment of my wallet!
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