IRONMAN 70.3 is just around the corner, so if you haven’t yet got yourself a pair of good quality cycling shoes, you better act quick! But deciding which shoes to buy can be a lengthy process – there’s so much to consider. One thing that should be at the top of your list though is fit.
Many people buy their cycling shoes with the notion of ‘wearing their shoes in’, which is a big mistake. Always buy shoes that are a comfortable fit out of the box. Riding in uncomfortable shoes and waiting for them to break in can lead to discomfort or even injury, because the way cycling shoes are made, they do not break in.
Sidi hand-build their shoes from solid lasts, basically a mould, and are well known for having a comfortable fit straight out of the box.
Any discomfort is most likely linked to choosing a shoe that isn’t the correct size, so the best option is to return them for an alternative size. Different people like shoes to fit in different ways: some like the shoes to be tight, however, the majority of riders like approximately 5mm of movement in the toe box.
Triathlon racing cycling shoes are designed without compromise to provide the optimum power transfer between your foot and the pedal. A good quality triathlon shoe is a wise investment – it will give you massive gains in performance and weight saving. High-tech materials and precision manufacture keep weight down and stiffness up, which means your rotational mass is lower and power transfer is higher, resulting in more forward momentum for your effort.
The main difference between a tri shoe and a road shoe is the number of straps found on the uppers. Tri shoes tend to have one large strap for quick and easy removal during transitions, whereas a road shoe will have three or even four straps. For longer distance events like a half or full IRONMAN, a road shoe, like the Sidi Wire Carbon, is also a good choice.
When you’re fitting on shoes to find the right size, a good tip is to stand in them and lift your heels up. If there is a gap between the heel and back of your ankle, the shoes are too large, and will feel sloppy when riding, especially after long periods of time.
If any toes touch the end of the shoe when full weight is applied, then the shoe is more than likely too small. Again, this depends on preference, but the majority of cyclists like a small amount of room in the toe box. If you can wiggle your toes too freely, however, the shoes are likely too big for you.
Sidi T4 Air Carbon Triathlon Shoe
This is really the best pick for triathletes looking for top performance as well as comfort in their shoe. The reinforced Sidi Heel Cup stabilises and supports the heel. Anatomically shaped plastic reduces heel slip and provides increased power transfer as well as additional foot protection in the event of a crash. The Twelve Carbon Composite Sole is made from a unique blend of nylon and carbon fibre. It is made out of injected carbon fibre in a matrix of nylon. The nylon used doesn’t absorb water and doesn’t lose rigidity in hot or humid weather or as it ages. The result is a significantly lighter and stiffer sole.
It features a super-perforated triathlon-specific upper for maximum drainage and ventilation, with a plush, brushed interior for sock-free comfort for fast transitions and supreme comfort on the bike leg. A large pull-tab on the heel and the two wide hook and loop fastener straps, placed mirror-inverted, help to change shoes on the fly.
Source credit: http://guides.wiggle.co.uk