I promised Jayne some new cycling shoes for Christmas. She has a few pairs for different stuff. A pair of Shimano boots with SPD’s for winter tandeming.
A pair of Mavic Creuze’s we bought in April for our Isle of Man trip, again SPD’s and again for the tandem.
Her favourite shoes are an ancient pair of flat soles Avocet shoes we bought about 20 years ago. The Avocets have been glued back together several times and are getting beyond repair.
They don’t look too bad but the soles are becoming brittle and the heals have split, so we decided to get her some new ones to replace them.
The big (little) problem is that she is a size 36 or 37 and it is very difficult to get shoes that size. The other problem is that for the solo bike, she doesn’t like SPD’s and wants flats to go with her half cup toe clips.
I know, we can get SPD shoes and not cut out the clip cover area. To fit the toe clips, the shoe needs a fairly pointed, a big bump toes MTB shoe will not fit in the clip. They also need to be fairly smooth soled so that Jayne can slide her foot over the ridges of the pedal cage into the cup. Together with the small size this was a huge challenge.
We tried Evans in Manchester before Christmas. They had two shoes in a 37 and one in a 36. The Specialized Tahoe in a 37 fitted well, but the other 37 was a proper road shoe, requiring a cleat. We also tried Hewitt’s, who are a touring specialist and from whom we got the Mavics, but they had no shoes that fit.
W went to Leisure Lakes on Boxing Day and rather than asking for specific shoes, we just said bring out all of your size 36 and 37 shoes, no stipulations about type or sole or SPD/Look/Whatever compatibility, just any 36 or 37’s. One shoe, a size 36, was found and was too small!
I the end, we decided to go on the Evans’ website and see what shoes with flattish soles and size 37 were available. We then rang our local (ish) shop and asked them to get them in. We requested three Specialized models, the Tahoe, Sonoma and Spirita Touring. The Tahoe is a casual/mtb shoe that Jayne had already tried and liked but was a bit concerned about the aggressiveness of the sole. The other two have fairly smooth soles and are very much touring oriented.
This morning we went out on the solo’s with Jayne wearing her Mavics with the SPD’s removed and the cover replaced. It is a little more aggressive sole than the Tahoe, so it was a good experiment. She got on fine with them although the toe was a bit big for the cups, which confirmed our feelings about the more MTB oriented shoes.
We headed out to Evans this afternoon and tried all three. The Spirita was a no go right from the off, Jayne barely got her foot in one before dismissing it. The Tahoe and the Sonoma were a closer call. The Tahoe had the MTB sole and more nylon/mesh in the uppers but fit nicely. The Sonoma had a much smoother sole, suede uppers, off set lacing and was generally a better built shoe, but it was wider than the Tahoe, didn’t quite fit properly and was a bit weird to walk in.
In the end she went for the Tahoe’s. I suspect we’ll save them till the summer, use the Mavic’s with the cleat cover over the winter for the solo and the Shimano’s on the tandem. We’ll see where the new ones fit in.
One weird thing we found was the sizing. Euro 37 should be a 4 or there abouts. These were listed on the size as follows
I think it might refer to a UK children’s size.