The Long Journey to the Perfect Road Cycling Shoes

When I decided to give road cycling a try some years ago one of the first things road specific I got were road cycling shoes. I visited my local bike store slipped in some fancy Specialized shoes and chose a pair in size 46, a good chunk bigger than my regular shoe size (44). Why? Because that’s what I was used to from when I bought running or basketball shoes. As I know now it was a mistake.

Road cycling shoes should fit like a glove. When stomping the pedals you want as much energy as possible to be transferred into acceleration. On the other hand comfort is equally important. Aching feet won’t make you faster and demotivate. That’s why finding shoes with proper fit should be taken seriously.

When I realized last year that my shoes where too big I started searching online. The Northwave Flash Carbon shoes cought my eyes. I ordered them in sizes 45, 45.5 and 46 and went with size 45. They ticked all my boxes black, slick looks, proper length, easily adjustable closing system, stiff sole and a reasonable price. The first few rides were sobering. On rides with higher intensity I felt a stinging pain in my outside foot. Loosening up the shoes helped but defeated the purpose of the shoes. Since the shoes didn’t widen on the next rides I had to admit that I chose the wrong shoes a second time.

So I’m on my third pair of road cycling shoes now. I pretty much tried on any shoes my local bike shop and friends with the same shoe size had to offer, Sidi Mega, Suplest and Lake. In the end I went with Giro Empire E70 Knit in size 45,5. That Giro offered a “60 days to decide” guarantee made it an easy decision. Cleats are mounted and weather report for tomorrow looks promising. It’s gone be an interesting ride.