8 September 2010 - 8:15Shoes
I’ve got a little bit of a shoe problem. I like shoes. Especially good ones. Cycling shoes have been somewhat of a problem for me as I have not been able to find one that fits my odd shaped foot.
I’ve had just about all of them, my first “real” MTB shoes were Answer Accelerators, which at the time were supposedly the real deal. They were just OK, but my riding style back then was nowhere near where it was today. I tried Shimanos, I had a pair of those really sweet sneaker looking shoes, white soles, with tan and green suede uppers. So not a technical shoe, but it looked cool.
I had Nikes. More Answers. Then I got my first pair of Sidis, which was not that long ago actually. Not owning a bike shop, I had a hard time justifying $250 for a pair of bike shoes, but as soon as that was an option, I had a set of Dominators on my feet.
This went well for a couple of seasons. Sidis were supposed to be the absolute top shelf shoe on the market, and for a couple of seasons, I was pretty happy. Until I started getting foot pain. I was getting serious hot spots around where my cleats were mounted, and it turned out that the sole of my shoes had broken down to the point where you could almost bend them in half backwards. This was not so awesome. Sidis were supposed to be indestructible right? And for $250 they ought to be.
So I got a set off Sidi Dragons next, because they had carbon soles, and carbon is stiff – and I have a carbon problem too. I was hoping that a $450 pair of shoes was going to be the answer I was looking for. It was not. Not only did I flex the soles out over a summer, the weird middle closure dial hit my foot in a really uncomfortable manner. I have a lot of weird boney bumps on my foot. Plus, I found the fit to be just a bit too narrow vs the fit of my old blown out Dominators. My feet were falling asleep on even the shortest rides, and this was straight up making me mad.
I was on the prowl for some new shoes. I decided to give the Lake MX330 a try. They have a full carbon sole, kangaroo leather and mesh uppers (kangaroo leather is very soft, light and strong), the model I chose features a neato closure device (BOA), and REAL RUBBER TREAD. I can’t tell you how many times I have landed on my ass, or slid down some rock because of the hard nylon lugs on the soles of some of my other shoes. Best of all, these shoes are made to fit American feet, and they also come in widths, in case your feet are extra American sized.
These have been the only shoes I have worn that make my feet happy. I totally dig the Boa closure, getting in and out of the shoes takes seconds, adjusting the fit while riding is very easy, and they are so amazingly stiff, that my feet don’t get hot spots. I’ve done some quality hiking in these shoes too, the rubber treads are durable and grippy. The only thing to keep in mind, is that the Boa system does not like mud that much, and replacing the laces before the plastic coating gets torn up is something that should be done to ensure the shoe will last many seasons. I won’t lie, I’ve had 3 pairs of these shoes over the last 2 seasons, lace neglect being the root cause, but thankfully, being who I am has afforded me certain luxuries others might not get (warranty).
The best part, is that you get Sidi Dragon (or better than IMO) for $289.