Monday, 27 June 2011

Not exactly a scientific survey but it seems I am not alone in thinking that choice of cycling shoes makes a big difference

Today at work I went round asking my cycling colleagues if they think that the choice of cycling shoes makes a really noticeable difference.  The reason for my interest was that the other day when I tried out my Bont carbon fibre racing shoes for the first time, I felt a big difference compared to my old mountain bike shoes.  I even put my record time round the Z├╝richsee down to the new shoes.

Each of my cycling colleagues answered that they really believed it made a big difference, especially when like me you make the switch from riding a road bike with mountain bike shoes to riding a road bike with road shoes.

Today after work I made my first attempt at moulding the shoes to the shape of my foot.  If you recall, my new shoes are fully heat moldable, and by heating them up in the oven or with a hairdryer and then applying pressure with the blunt end of a screwdriver you can start to alter the shape.  The shape they came in straight from the shop was not 100% ideal for my feet.  The shoe feels a little tight width wise, but the owner of the bike shop reassured me that they can be widened when heated.  He also said that I can try them out for a few weeks and if they still don't feel correct I can take them back, as not everyone gets used to them.  He offered to help me mold them better to my feet if I was having trouble doing so.

I used the hairdryer to heat them up, as I was a little nervous about putting them in the oven.  Before heating them up you first need to remove the insoles, as they are very thin and can melt easily.  Once they were getting hot I started to push the blunt end of a screwdriver on the parts I wanted to widen.  I also put my feet inside and heated the shoes up with my feet inside a few times to try and push with my toes on the points I wanted to widen.

I am not sure how successful I have been yet in changing the shape to the one I desire, but I will ride my bike to work tomorrow and try it out.  My first feeling was that they were a little wider where I wanted them to be, but at the same time I was a little cautious when heating them up, and maybe I didn't heat them up as much as I should have.  Let's see how it goes.  One thing is for sure though - I really want to wear them in the Marmotte if possible as they are much lighter and stiffer than the old shoes.  If they don't feel quite right though it will be a risk as I will have to ride in them for something close to 10 hours.

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