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Bike shoe - life expectancy?

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Bike shoe - life expectancy?

Old 07-28-19, 06:54 AM
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Bike shoe - life expectancy?

My shoes have 9,000 miles on them which equates to about 600 hours of use. How long do shoes normally last? How do I tell if they're getting worn out?

I'm trying to justify some new ones . . .
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Old 07-28-19, 06:57 AM
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Heel cups and outsoles on my Diadoras are starting to look a bit knackered, but they have at least 25,000 miles on them, in service since Father's Day 2016. Hopefully they'll make it to 2020, I'd be over the moon to get 4 years out of a pair of shoes.

So long as the shoes are mechanically sound and don't feel weird on your feet, they're still good to go. But if you wanna buy a new pair of shoes, by all means, buy a new pair. No judgements.
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Old 07-28-19, 09:40 AM
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When I blow out the upper from the sole. I suppose the stiff soles could begin to flex a bit, but being a rec cyclist, I'm not too concerned about that.

I have some toe overlap scuffs on my almost 3yr old shoes that I might shoegoo over.

I want some with boa closures, but I'll wait a while for that.

Last edited by Wileyrat; 07-28-19 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-28-19, 11:28 AM
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I use MTB pedals on my road bikes and had a pair of Specialized BG Pro MTB shoes that lasted me 28,000 miles and a pair of LG Terra MTB shoes that lased 21,700 miles, Both would have lasted much longer but I tend to wear out the outside of my heals pretty fast and rivet heads were just about worn off. I think the heals on road shoes would have worn out long before either of my other shoes did.
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Old 07-28-19, 11:44 AM
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I usually get about 4-6 years out of my shoes. I have one set for the indoor trainer and one set for outdoor riding.
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Old 07-28-19, 01:47 PM
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I have a pair of Giros with about 31,000 miles in them. They are probably getting near the end of their lifespan but they are still comfortable, so I keep wearing them.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
When I blow out the upper from the sole.
Luckily I was close to home when my shoes started flapping in the wind.
Tried to shoe goo them back together, but it was a no go.
Probably about 15,000 miles on them before they gave out.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:33 AM
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My cycling shoes generally seem to last forever, but the ones I'm currently riding on my road bike (Northwave) are separating at a seam after about 10.000 miles. I went to a shoe repair place but they said they could not fix them.

So, I bought a pair of Lake shoes as a backup (that is my way of justifying buying a new pair!) and now just them on the indoor bike Zwifting. The seam on the Northwave has been holding, so still using them on the road for another 2,000 miles or so!

I also have a pair of old leather Specialized biking shoes with SPD (two hole) cleats that I use on my old hybrid bike and at spin classes. Those shoes are 25 years old and still hanging in there!
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Old 07-29-19, 05:10 AM
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I was digging through some boxes of spare bike parts in the garage a while back, and came across a pair of fairly nice Diadoras that used to be my (favorite, most comfortable) racing shoes. But, not sure if it was their age, or the heat in the garage over several years, but they had started to come completely apart and had gotten gooey (like wet and oily), with solid chunks coming off.
But another pair of Diadoras, that were a lower-end model, and that date back to the same purchase point (2001 or so), were my regular training shoes, are still in service. One sole had started coming loose years ago, but I used some shoe repair glue, and fixed it right up. Then, last year, while at a water break halfway through a long-ish ride, I realized the other sole was coming loose. I nursed it home without issue, and re-glued that sole, and it's been good-to-go ever since, and they look to have a fair bit of use left in them.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
When I blow out the upper from the sole.
Former speed skating Olympic gold medalist Eric Heiden lost any chance of winning back to back U.S. Professional Cycling Championship races (he won the first ever one) when he ripped his shoe upper from its sole during the final sprint to the line in 1986.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:25 AM
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I use MTB shoes and find that the soles wear out from walking is one of the indicators I use. I also have issues with my toe nail on my big toe cutting into the under side of the toe box. Still the final indicator that I need new shoes is when I see some that I MUST HAVE. LOL
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Old 07-29-19, 08:47 AM
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Depends....Some fall apart fast, some last a really long time.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:41 AM
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I have an old pair of Diadora with carbon sole and ratcheting straps. I bought them in 2002 or 3.

I raced and trained on them through about 07'. Then a put them through a couple seasons of pedicab riding. The last three years have seen a steady increase in miles and intensity and also gravel. Same shoes through it all.

They did sit for 6-7 years but still, I would estimate they have 75-100k miles on them. The sole still has no flex and the Velcro works great. Last weekend the ratchet tore off of the shoe. It only took a few minutes to find the proper piece of road trash to tie the shoe up and ride another 70 miles.

I think I could fix them but after everything we've been through together (Cat 5, 4 and 3, Ironmans, a few countries, and maybe 10 bikes) I am going to let them retire.

Sidi 6.6 Mega are in the mail!
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Old 07-29-19, 12:19 PM
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I have a pair of SIDIs that I have owned for 12 years and replace the heel bumpers several times over the years and keep the uppers clean. They still look pretty good and are very comfortable. I did just buy a new pair of Fizik that I like too, but doubt they will hold up as good as the SIDIs have.
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Old 07-29-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
My shoes have 9,000 miles on them which equates to about 600 hours of use. How long do shoes normally last? How do I tell if they're getting worn out?

I'm trying to justify some new ones . . .
As long as they are not coming apart or damaged to the point that function is affected, and they maintain the fit around your foot when applying the fasteners.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:37 PM
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I have 8 pairs, most bought used. I think they have a long life.
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Old 07-29-19, 05:41 PM
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I still wear the same OLD Detto's that I bought back in '85 when I purchased my last bike. Both are still going strong, although I recently had to introduce Mr. Shoe Goo to said Detto's.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:09 AM
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I expected the Scott Road Pro shoes I bought in January 2018 to be worn out pretty quickly. They're incredibly comfortable, with reasonably rigid soles (Scott rates the stiffness 7 on a scale of 10, plenty stiff for my arch support needs) and well made overall.

But the upper is basically like Roman sandals -- leather-like structural pieces where sandals would normally have them, supplemented with mesh fabric on non-structural parts of the upper. And generous metal mesh vents in the soles. Wonderful summer shoes, but I figured that like most summerweight shoes with mesh fabric uppers, they'd wear out in a about a year. But, nope. They look like they'll have years to go. I should have bought a second pair while they were still available.

In contrast my Fizik Tempo Powerstrap R5 shoes have solid fabric uppers with tiny vent holes. They're okay for summer wear. But they'll probably outlast me.

Ditto, those old school Detto Pietros. I had a 1970s pair that was still fine 15 years ago when I gave them away (at the time I thought I'd never ride a bike again, since my neck and back had been broken in a car wreck). The uppers were soft and light as moccasins, but durable.
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Old 07-30-19, 07:02 AM
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Recently, I had a sole on pair of Northwave MTB shoes separate from the upper. At first I thought the cleat was loose, then I looked down and only the front of the shoe was still attached to the sole. I think I got my moneys worth on that pair, bought in the '00s. I still have them and will probably repair them with some shoe goo. Aside from the sole delaminating from the upper, it's still in decent shape. BTW, I have four other pairs of bike shoes I keep in rotation and one pair I keep in the trunk of my car along with a spare helmet and pair of gloves for those times I need them when I forget them at home.
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Old 07-30-19, 07:13 AM
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I have no idea how long shoes will last, I've had these for 15+ years and still use them on wet rides and for bike-errands.

I'd hate to try to count the number of hours/miles, but they've been out in some crazy conditions - reference the aftermath of the 2014 Westside Dirty Benjamin:

I buy new shoes when I want and keep the old ones for getting messy.
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Old 07-30-19, 08:21 AM
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I have some Pearl Izumi mountain shoes purchased in 2013 that will last 20+ years easily. So this means I'll be 60 years of age when I need to buy new shoes.
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Old 07-30-19, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
How do I tell if they're getting worn out?
You can see your toes sticking out the fronts.
The soles come unglued.
Straps tear off.
Holes are worn through the uppers

I think like food, they have a way of clearly telling you they've gone bad. If you have to ask, assume they are still good.

That said, it would be easy to justify buying a new pair keeping these as back-ups in case the new ones don't work out or you leave them on top of your car one day.
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Old 07-30-19, 08:41 AM
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One things for sure. Cycling shoes last much longer than running shoes.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:37 PM
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Detto's were my first pair of cycling specific shoes. Man, they were really good shoes. Got rid of them when I when clipless. My first pair of Sidi's lasted 16 years and the sole cracked. My second pair of Sidi's are now 16 and going quite strong. I average 2000 miles a year plus roller and trainer time in the winter. Good stuff lasts a long time.
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Old 08-01-19, 04:18 PM
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I have a pair of Sidi's, bought in about '89, when Look pedals came out. Besides replacing cleats, I recently had the Velcro replaced. KB.
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