Author Topic: touring shoes  (Read 13093 times)

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Offline Badger

touring shoes
« on: November 11, 2005, 08:23:43 pm »
I am relative new to touring but not to cycling.  My issue this time is touring shoes.  I have some mt. bike shoes with spd cleates but there is got to be something a little better when these. What is are you seasoned tourers wearing?


  • Guest
touring shoes
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2005, 08:24:21 am »
I like the lighter MTB shoe with shallow tread as a compromise for riding and walking. You'll do much more walking in your bike shoes when touring. Some folks like sandals.

Recessed cleats or no cleats are important to avoid damage to nice floors.

I went back to good old clips and straps for my ride across for those reasons and also for simplicity, reliability, and ease of repair. Having seen cyclists stranded, once by a broken pedal mechanism and once by a lost cleat bolt, the simplicity was appealing.


Offline DaveB

touring shoes
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2005, 10:42:58 am »
Shimano makes a specific touring shoe (SH-T092 is the current version) that is styled like a road shoe but has a recessed cleat pocket in an otherwise flat sole.  It doesn't have the awkward lugs of an MTB shoe but allows easy walking and accepts all SPD-type and Speedplay Frog cleats.  

I've been using the previous model (SH-T090)for several years. They work extremely well and are durable. The sole is stiff enough for good pedaling and to avoid "hot spots" from cleat pressure and they are a comfortable fit, at least for me.    

They don't seem to appear in any of the mail order catalogs but any LBS can get them for you.

Lake makes a sort-of universal touring shoe that accepts both SPD and Look road pattern cleats in a recessed sole but it is a lot heavier and clunkier than the Shimano model.  

As to the simplicity of "good old" (IMHO, more old than good) clips and straps, the comfort, efficiency and reliability of modern clipless pedals are so good that I would never consider going back to them unless I was touring in the darkest reaches of the third world.    

Offline wanderingwheel

touring shoes
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2005, 12:03:09 pm »
What would you like to improve on your mtb shoes?  I think they are generally the best option for touring because of their walking ability and they ae what I normally use.  

If you spending a lot of time off the bike, toe clips may be a better option.  There are only a handful of toe clip specific shoes made anymore and they are very hard to find.  I simply use a pair of running shoes with a thick sole.

I have never tried them, but some people are big proponents of spd sandals.  The benefit is that you can layer on socks and waterproof covers for nearly any environment.  However, the sandals tend to be very wide and may hit your crank or chainstays.



  • Guest
touring shoes
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2005, 08:50:54 pm »
Of course, any touring or MTB shoe will work in clips and straps if you do not install the cleats. Or replace the cleats with the plug that came with the shoes if you can find it, ho ho ho.

Like DaveB, I prefer the clipless, primarily when pushing hard at high rpm on a local ride. For the steady all-day pace of a long tour, that's less important to me than the reliability I mentioned above. Your preference may differ, of course.


Offline John Nettles

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touring shoes
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2005, 11:24:47 pm »
My LBSs don't carry cleats (or the shoes they nail to) anymore.  Where do you get them.  I especially miss the really comfy Italian shoes which, to me, are like what a Brooks saddle is to the fanny.

Happy Trails and may be wind be always at your back!

Tulsa John

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Offline biker_james

touring shoes
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2005, 07:44:23 am »
SPD sandals are the best. They can be used in nearly all weather that you'll be touring in, and they are comfy, and easy to walk around in. Rain doesn't matter, because you feet are dry as soon as the rain stops. Warm days its nice to get the wind through your toes.
Some kind of SPD shoe/pedal makes sense with the recessed cleats, as opposed to a road shoe that you can't walk in comfortably.


  • Guest
touring shoes
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2005, 09:19:31 am »
My LBSs don't carry cleats (or the shoes they nail to) anymore.  Where do you get them.

I have not seen the classic racer's cleats in years, either. I meant--and suppose DaveB meant--the modern replacements: the Look, Speedplay, Time, or SPS parts that bolt into the sole.


Offline roadrunner

touring shoes
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2005, 02:19:04 am »
I like to keep my gear simple, light, and comfortable when touring.  The combination I've settled on for footwear/pedals is a pair of tennis or running shoes with relatively hard soles and Power Grip pedal straps.  I take along a pair of regular Teva sandals for off-bike wear, showers, and river swimming and find them fine for riding up to about 25 miles on layover days.  Power Grips provide a very secure attachment to the pedals with virtually any shoe.

I've tried several "touring" shoes, including Shimanos, but haven't found any really confortable for extensive walking, especilly after several day's riding.

I prefer wool sweatshocks for touring.  They provide much more cushioning than nylon socks, dry faster than cotton, are warmer (particularly when wet), and keep one's feet warm when the sleeping bag isn't quite up to the night's chill.

These items have worked well for me on self-contained tours up to 2,500 miles.  I'll never make it as a bike catalog model, but my feet are happy.

Offline jackkessler

touring shoes
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2005, 03:10:42 pm »
I disagree with Fred Hiltz.  Toe clips are dangerous.  I took a fall and my foot caught in one and wrenched my knee in a direction that knees don't go.  There is a reason they are called 'traps'.  It took years before that knee was fully OK.

Standard SPD step in's are perfectly reliable.  They are nothing but a pair of metal jaws held in place by good quality steel springs.  I have never heard of them failing.  I would mention however that single release SPD cleats (the black ones) are even more dangerous than toe clips.  Use only multi-release cleats (the silver-gray ones).

Offline jackkessler

touring shoes
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2005, 03:18:03 pm »
Oops.  I wasn't disagreeing with Fred Hiltz, I was disagreeing with Roadrunner.  Sorry, Fred.

Offline judyrans

touring shoes
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 04:25:31 am »
I avoid shoes with laces. You don't want a shoe lace getting caught in your chain.