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Buying new shoes online...

Old 07-11-21, 08:53 PM
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BrazAd
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Buying new shoes online...

I live in a one-LBS town and it's small in size and in inventory. Trying to find new shoes online and it's been a frustrating search! Reviews are good and bad for each shoe, it seems. I don't mind paying to get a pair that will be worth the investment as I spend more time in my cycling shoes that anything other shoes that I wear.

Seems I should buy 2 pairs of whatever I pick out, in different sizes, so I can see which fits me better and then return the other pair.

Anyone else share the frustration of buying online where you can't touch them or try them on first?

Gary
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Old 07-11-21, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
I live in a one-LBS town and it's small in size and in inventory. Trying to find new shoes online and it's been a frustrating search! Reviews are good and bad for each shoe, it seems. I don't mind paying to get a pair that will be worth the investment as I spend more time in my cycling shoes that anything else that I wear.

Seems I should buy 2 pairs of whatever I pick out, in different sizes, so I can see which fits me better and then return the other pair.

Anyone else share the frustration of buying online where you can't touch them or try them on first?

Gary
All-benny GA
thats the new norm ime.

you should really consider wearing pants more often than shoes.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
...buy 2 pairs of whatever I pick out, in different sizes, so I can see which fits me better and then return the other pair.
Sounds like a plan if ya have free returns. I live 35 miles outside of Austin in a small town. Driving into Austin then around Austin looking for special shoes in my size that fit and are in stock... is expensive. Yep, if ya found the ones ya want I would order two sizes and make use of the free return on the pair that did not fit.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
Reviews are good and bad for each shoe, it seems.

Seems I should buy 2 pairs of whatever I pick out, in different sizes, so I can see which fits me better and then return the other pair.
Online reviews are worthless - some folks love everything they buy, some folks gripe about everything they buy. None of them have your feet.

Yes, you should buy pairs in different sizes and return the ones that donít work. I thought thatís how online shopping was supposed to work.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:28 AM
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Yeah, with long, narrow feet and high arches, I'm hard to fit. I usually prefer to buy in meatspace -- especially for running and walking shoes -- but that isn't always possible.

I bought both pairs of clipless cycling shoes online, one, a pair of Scott Road Pro summer shoes from Jensen USA in early 2018; the other, Fizik Tempo R5 Powerstraps from Amazon in 2019. Not high end pricey shoes, both under $60.

Scott must have a copy of my feet in plaster somewhere to build their lasts, because their Road Pro shoes fit like they were made for me. Couldn't be happier. If the buckle closure ever breaks I'm gonna farm-rig that closure with Velcro or something to wring out every gram of life from those shoes. Strava says I have over 10,000 miles on my Ironman since summer 2017, and most of that was wearing these Scott Road Pro shoes.

Because the Scott Road Pro is built like a Roman sandal, but with very breathable mesh fabric rather than being an actual sandal, they're really comfy in summer. Snug enough that I wear very thin socks -- actually a woman's anklet from the dollar store, because I couldn't find any men's socks thin enough to suit me until fairly recently when I found some Russell ergo socks, the kind designated left and right foot pairs. The fabric is a bit thicker but so comfy I don't mind the slightly snugger fit.

Only thing I did with the Scott shoe was the same thing I do with 90% of my shoes: replace the original insole with ProFoot Miracle insoles. Best I've ever worn, and I've tried everything from Dr. Scholl's to custom made orthotics since I was a kid. I've gushed before about how good these are, but because they cost only $8-$10 at Walgreen's or anywhere else, just buy a pair and try 'em. They aren't gel, maybe more like memory foam that gradually adapts to my pressure points, prevents hotspots in my metatarsals, yet never loses the arch support I need. And they're easy to customize with scissors.

The Fizik shoes were... oh-kay. Excellent quality for what I paid, well under the MSRP because I bought navy blue, the cheapest color Amazon had at the time. But they're for "normal" feet: way too wide for me. To make them work I had to scrap the original insole (as I usually do anyway), and add two pairs of insoles: one to build up some width, and thicker on one side just a bit to compensate for my slight leg length discrepancy (actually my legs are the same length but a hip and lower back injury from a car wreck caused a hip tilt, blah-blah-blah); then I trimmed the top ProFoot Miracle insole to fit.

More recently, tho', I stole the insoles from one of my pairs of running shoes (Under Armour or Adidas, I don't remember) to try for awhile in the Fizik. They're oh-kay, but raise the heels too much so it compromised the fit a little. No heel rub, but it feels a little loose when I'm spinning 90-100 rpm in an easy gear on climbs, where I pull up as much as push down. So I'll either trim the insole or go back to the ProFoot.

And I wear thicker socks with the Fizik, again, to take up some of the slop in any shoe designed for a normal width foot on my skinny clown ice skates that pass for "feet." Again, I really like the Russell and Under Armour ergo socks with compression for the feet. I usually get ankle high socks because I'm a rebel and I like my ankles suntanned, but I have a few normal socks in case the other kids laugh at me. Joking. I won't hear them laugh because I'll be a mile behind them after getting dropped on the first climb.

Anyway, short version... yeah, buying online was risky, but it worked out okay for me despite my weirdo feet.
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Old 07-12-21, 05:56 AM
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My last four pairs of cycling shoes were purchased on-line. Each fits fine for what it purports to be. And no returns necessary. Know your size (measure your feet) and any other peculiarities (high arch, etc.), and use every on-line resource you can to determine how the manufacturer's shoe will fit.

Edit: Also think about what type of sock you intend to wear. Are these for seasonal use, or year round? Will the sock change significantly from June to February? Will you want shoe covers or neoprene booties over top? All of these may inform the style (especially fasteners) and size that you select.
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Old 07-12-21, 07:35 AM
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Do you ever travel to other cities? In the past I have made it a point to visit LBS's in other towns I'm in for work or pleasure, just to look at things they don't have in the shops here.
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Old 07-12-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
Anyone else share the frustration of buying online where you can't touch them or try them on first?
It can be frustrating at times, but I mostly enjoy buying online because it opens up so many options.

I try to buy locally when its in stock and similar price to online.
But I end up buying a majority of my cycling gear(for me and bike) online.

- I wear size 14 shoes so I buy online. Buy a few pairs and return what doesnt fit/you dont like.
- Last fall and winter I went thru a helmet buying frenzy and ended up with probably a dozen different mid-high end helmets because I am super picky. Just kept ordering and returning them until I got what I liked. I checked local shops first and they had models and/or colors I didnt want.
- All my clothing is purchased online. If I want a screaming yellow jersey, Ill buy it at a local shop. But since that is atrocious, I buy online. So many options and returns are cheap(free or maybe $8) if I dont like the fit/cut).

I think jerseys are the most difficult to buy online since cut(race or club) is so varied depending on brand and some seem to have their sizing numbers based in anything but reality. Usually it just requires a return and different size so it takes a week or so and I have what I want instead of buying the same screaming yellow bontrager jersey as so many others.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:33 AM
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When i bought new shoes I got them from Backcountry and ordered size 44.. they were tight. I called and after speaking to the customer service person he said he's send me a 44.5 and a 45. Once I decided I can send back the other pairs and they paid the shipping both ways.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:41 AM
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I just had to go through this as I wanted another pair and something different to the black pair of LGs I currently wear. I found the user reviews and size guides next to useless, first pair were a pair of Sidi Carbon shoes that (according to user reviews and Sidi size guide should 'fit like a glove') were way to small, I also didn't like them as they were in my opinion too stiff, next I ordered some Rapha shoes, again using the website size guide and user reviews which were too small, but I preferred theses so returned and ordered the next size up which fitted. I had to size up from my current LG's.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:49 AM
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This is why I like Specialized. They allow 30 day returns, even on merchandise that has been used - so you can try the shoes out and see how they work. Youíll have to pay return shipping, but thatís no big deal. And, in my experience, they make excellent shoes.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...I wear size 14 shoes so Ö
Don't hurt me, please.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:54 AM
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Most local sources of cycling shoes have small inventory of styles & sizes, even in big cities,

so buying online is arguably actually the less frustrating approach.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:02 AM
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I got some golf shoes from Zappos.com website. As I recall, I needed a half size larger, and return was free, replacement prompt. Very pleased with the experience. I haven't bought cycling shoes there, but I know they sell them. Just one option among many.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
I got some golf shoes from Zappos.com website. As I recall, I needed a half size larger, and return was free, replacement prompt. Very pleased with the experience. I haven't bought cycling shoes there, but I know they sell them. Just one option among many.
Yeah, zappos is amazon, basically. so much clothing on amazon is free returns for the very reason- they have to make it convenient and limit risk in order to entice people to buy online.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
...

Scott must have a copy of my feet in plaster somewhere to build their lasts, because their Road Pro shoes fit like they were made for me. Couldn't be happier. If the buckle closure ever breaks I'm gonna farm-rig that closure with Velcro or something to wring out every gram of life from those shoes. Strava says I have over 10,000 miles on my Ironman since summer 2017, and most of that was wearing these Scott Road Pro shoes.

...
An easy fix - go to Tandy Leather (I'm sure they are on-line) and get grommets and a grommet kit. (Get the brass 2-piece grommets. I run the smallest and go one size larger at the topmost. When you are finished, you will have the system you now have to pay about $300 for to get pre-installed. Laces. Like we used for over a century. Comfortable! I have very different feet and lace the left shoe very tight at the toe to keep my foot from sliding forward and the higher arched right quite loose. I have comfort I never knew with the left shoe (and no curled toenails) and I no longer have to re-adjust the straps to shift from too much sliding around and blisters to too tight and feeling like my foot bones are in danger of cracking and toe infections. (My fix gear riding accentuates this a lot! Long hard uphills are a foot/shoe challenge like geared riders never see. Rode yesterday on a 1500' ride including one climb in a 42-12/95 inch gear rather than do two stops to flip the wheel. Feet felt fine the whole ride, after and today. In fact I never thought about them until this thread. With straps, they would have been a primary concern that whole ride.)

This is kinda expensive. Each of those grommet kits will set you back about $10 and each pair of shoes will require $5 laces (that need to be replaced every 5 years or so) and $5 of grommets. In return, I get to put my feet in some of the most comfortable shoes I've owned; Lakes I paid no more than $110 for. (You do Scott, I do Lake.)
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Old 07-12-21, 10:17 AM
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I use E-Bay. A little practice, and one figures out the shoe sizes, and what one likes. Perhaps review shoes to see if others say they run big or small. Widths?

Prices can be half new (for very good shoes), or even less.

I find metric sizing is much more representative of bike shoes than standard sizes (45, 46, 47, etc).
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Old 07-12-21, 10:33 AM
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I'm anxiously awaiting a new pair of shoes (laced) that I haven't bought before. Hopefully, they fit well because, while relatively inexpensive, I bought them from wiggle on the other side of the Atlantic, so returns are more difficult. Prior to this, I stuck with shimano shoes because I knew how they fit. This time, I was switching from 2 bolt to 3 bold clipless and really wanted to try laces. At the same time, I didn't want to pay the premium for Giro Empires or whatever, so I went with the dhb Dorica Carbon shoes from wiggle. Even if they are the wrong size and I can't return them, at about 1/3 the price of the fancy Giro shoes, I thought it was a risk worth taking (plus, I also wanted a new Campagnolo Record threaded headset, wiggle had it for ~$20-30 less than any American sites and buying them together got me free shipping).
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Old 07-12-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, zappos is amazon, basically. so much clothing on amazon is free returns for the very reason- they have to make it convenient and limit risk in order to entice people to buy online.
On top of that, they refund your CC the moment the return package is scanned into the USPS system. Couldn't be easier.

Slightly OT, but I frickin' HATE boa closures. I've had my MTB shoes for maybe three years, and have replaced those boa dials about 4x. The last couple of replacements were short-lived: with the most recent pair, one of them stopped retracting within about six weeks. They do replace them for free, but c'mon.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:23 PM
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I do like not having to worry about laces and pedal spindles, or making sure I tie my knot to the outside part of the shoes.

I have a few velcro shoes.

Recently I've been using a shoe with a funky ratchet plus velcro.
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Old 07-13-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, zappos is amazon
To quote Johnny Carson, "I did not know that."

Also, shoes with two Velcro straps are quick and work fine for my recreational/fitness cycling. Laces could get wrapped around pedals; HELLO! But
I use toe clips with straps loosened, so YMMV.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:43 PM
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Unfortunately it looks like it has become a self fulfilling prophesy that the local stores donít have enough sizes in stock. Previous pair I got at LBS but only one pair was near my size, and it was not the best fit in retrospect. So for my most recent pair I got them online. As more and more people buy online the local ships can afford to keep less and less in inventory since they are not selling. Ah well.

I got my most recent pair on eBay, barely used and half price. Definitely worth having a look there.
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Old 07-14-21, 05:48 AM
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One lbs had the size but not color for a pair of shimano sh-rc9 s-phyre's, they said it shows a pair in my desired color within the store, but was not able to find them. Thankfully two things prevented the purchase. 1. It requires the adapters. 2. they didn't have the color in stock. The lbs was very willing to discount the needed adapters, but they couldn't accommodate for the color option. Bought some tubes & was on my way before they might happen to find it.. lol
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Old 07-14-21, 08:35 AM
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Many moons ago I needed new shoes, and the LBS didn't even come close to my size. I ordered three pairs, tried them on, and had to pay shipping for the "not size 49" to return the other two pairs. Lucky for me, that size has held across three (so far) shoe makers.

It's the downside of "I can get it cheaper on the web."
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Old 07-14-21, 11:44 AM
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I have wide feet and buying locally isn't really an option - no shop carries appropriate sizes and the back-and-forth, of placing special orders to try on, takes longer than it would doing it from home, on my own (I've done both). As such, I've really come to value shoe manufacturers that that have measuring instructions and detailed fit charts, with both length and width measurements, for each size of shoe last that they offer. With all this in mind, and for the foreseeable future, Lake shoes are where it's at for me.
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