Thursday, May 3, 2012

I have a shoe problem....

When I bought my road bike a couple years ago I decided to continue using my mountain bike shoes to save a little money.  When I got my bike fit a few weeks ago, I decided to get road bike shoes and cleats thinking maybe the shoes and cleats somehow had something to do with my knee pain.  The jury is still out, but I don't think the shoes or cleats had anything to do with my injury.

I wore these Shimano M075 for the last two seasons with Shimano SPD cleats and pedals. They worked out well as I was use to clicking in and out of the pedals since I was use to them from my mountain bike.  They were also pretty fast to put on in transition with the Velcro straps.

My mountain bike shoes
During my bike fitting, I tried on about 10 different pair of shoes and one pair stood out. These Sidi Genius 5 Pro shoes fit like a glove.
My new road cycling shoes
My bike fitter talked me into Look Keo pedals to go with the shoes.  This setup has been harder to get used to than I thought it would be.  First, it is hard to walk in these shoes because you have to balance on the ball of your foot.  I feel very unstable in them.  The best way to describe it is reverse high heels, though I've never actually worn high heels :-).
Reverse high heels
Second, the pedal is single sided vs. double sided like the SPD pedals. Third, the pedals default to being straight up and down making clicking in tricky.

Default Look pedal position
While the Sidi shoes are super comfy, they aren't super easy to get on.  The two Velcro straps are easy but sliding the top strap in is a little tricky.  It takes me several attempts to get the strap fed into the clasp correctly even while sitting on my couch.  I started getting nervous about trying to get them on and strapped correctly during my upcoming races where I may have numb fingers and will definitely have a highly elevated heart rate. So........ I bought another pair of shoes.

Shimano TR52 tri shoes
The one giant Velcro strap should work out well while racing.  We'll find out in 10 days......

Knee update: My knees are improving.  They no longer hurt 24/7 which is a big improvement, but I'm far from pain free.  Sometimes I'm pain free, other times there are little niggles here and there like you get during a good taper.  Sometimes while cycling one or both patella will tighten up and feel like stones at which point I back off even more.  I have new pains now too, but none are permanent.  I've had my left IT band at the knee get sore while running (never had that in the past, have had problems with my right IT band at the knee so I know what to do for it).  A little stretching helped that. I've had the inside of both knees start hurting while running and biking.  I backed off and the pain subsided.

So for now, I continue to run and bike but take it easy.  When I experience pain, I back off a little and so far that seems to work.  I'm also using compression and ice, but not as often as I should.  Need to fix that.


Patrick said...

I use Crank Bros pedals because they allow a little more movement of your feet. They are easier on the knees.

Raina said...

OK...just reading about the shoes. NO advice there, ha!
Glad to read your knees are getting better. Keep up on strengthening.

Kate Geisen said...

I like the SPD fine for my road bike, but when that day (far in the future) comes that I can afford to buy new bike shoes and pedals, I'm definitely getting different pedals for the MTB. I've had way too many times when clipping in has been a struggle due to mud, snow, etc.

Glad you're feeling better, wish it was all better.

Unknown said...

I think you will like the one strap setup. I use the Shimanos and using a single strap in T1 is a lot easier.

I also have the Look Keo pedals. Yeah, walking on those cleats are awkward. Not to mention running in them when taking the bike out of the corral from T1.

Btw, I feel your pain... literally!

KovasP said...

I have Keos and Sidis and that's all I've ever ridden - like everything else, you get used to them. As they soften up, they should be easier to get on and off as well.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

If you think your knee pain is from the bike, I do not believe they are from the pedals, I would recommend taking your bike in and have them look at your fit, after a year of racing and training, your bike could have shifted, example, my bike seat went down almost an inch from riding on it for a year. I would start their personally

Your cleat and pedal upgrade will take some time to get use to, but you will notice you will have a little more power and you wont develop hotspots as fast, like on SPD pedals

ajh said...

Sorry to hear that you are having knee problems.

This post is timely as I was thinking I might go buy shoes and cleats??? tomorrow. I want something that is easy to click in and out. I might be using the wrong terminology but you probably know what I mean.

Patrick Mahoney said...

What BBD said. Also, do you wear inserts in your running shoes? If so you should consider them in your cycling shoes too. Specialized makes them, maybe others.

Dave Lev said...

My compbo is Speedplay/Shimano shoes. I have always used Shimano cycling/tri shoes (20+ years) but my tri shoes are worn out.

Hope you get your knee issue resolved!

Anne B said...

Mike, I have the Keo Look pedals on my tri bike; you will learn quickly to "flip and clip". Good idea to get the tri-specific shoes.
Sorry about the knee pain, I hope it's a temporary flareup that resolves quickly.

XLMIC said...


J/K...I have no advice...but I understand the reverse high heels description. It is such a weird feeling, I know.

ajh said...

Thanks for the trying on the wet suit advice. Never think anything is too basic to tell me (like the zipper in the back). I know nothing. I did get out my new tri top and try that on but still waiting on the wet suit.
I also got my new clipless bike shoes today. I haven't gone for a ride as I have a half tomorrow and want to be rested but I did use them in the yard. I was able to clip in and out about 8 times without falling so I am quite excited.

Kathy said...

I'm just learning about biking shoes - wish I could offer some insight! I know that the knee pain won't magically self correct but I'm really glad to hear that you are noticing some improvement!!

Teamarcia said...

I am still so overwhelmed by bike shoes that I'm using the stupid basket thingies--still. I wish the bike fairy would just make those decisions for me as I am obviously incompetent on that front. Glad to hear the knees are mostly behaving and that you are backing off when necessary. : )