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Life expectancy for cycling shoes

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Life expectancy for cycling shoes

Old 07-06-22, 10:05 PM
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NoWhammies
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Life expectancy for cycling shoes

I did a quick search of the forum and nothing came up. But I am sure I saw this topic somewhere...Anyway. Here we go again.

Anyone have any insight into the life expectancy of road cycling shoes? Heck, do they even have a life expectancy? When do you know it is time to replace your shoes?
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Old 07-06-22, 11:10 PM
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My spd cycling shoes are some of my oldest cycling equipment. They’re close to 20 years old, and get used every ~2 days. They don’t look great (well, they didn’t new either) but unlike walking shoes they don’t wear at the sole nor at the toe bend (since they’re so stiff).
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Old 07-06-22, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
When do you know it is time to replace your shoes?
When there's something wrong with them that's not convenient to deal with.

A couple years ago, the soles on my MTB shoes started separating from the main body of the shoe. So I reattached them with contact cement. They were fine until my last gravel ride, when the sole on the left shoe started separating again. A couple days ago I used contact cement to reattach it. Perhaps that repair will extend the life of the shoe another couple years. If not, oh well.
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Old 07-07-22, 03:48 AM
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Too many variables to give a number in years or miles.

Replace when worn out. You are free to decide what that means.
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Old 07-07-22, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
When there's something wrong with them that's not convenient to deal with.

A couple years ago, the soles on my MTB shoes started separating from the main body of the shoe. So I reattached them with contact cement. They were fine until my last gravel ride, when the sole on the left shoe started separating again. A couple days ago I used contact cement to reattach it. Perhaps that repair will extend the life of the shoe another couple years. If not, oh well.
My touring/commuting shoes recently suffered the same fate. Tried Shoe Goo. It worked for nearly my entire week long tour last month but then failed, but not so badly that I could not finish.

The shoes are several years old and have been used a lot. In addition to a lot of walking on concrete I worn them for some moderate hikes to see areas of interest while touring. I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth considering how they have been put to use.
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Old 07-07-22, 06:20 AM
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I've a pair of Sidi Genius, first gen I think, that are around 25 years old. They look new.
It depends on the shoe maker and the user. I take care of my shoes. I clean them and treat them with leather cleaner whether leather or not...the ingredients work well for synthetics imo.
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Old 07-07-22, 06:38 AM
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I expect and get 5/50k on Sidi Genius

Carbon soles and buckles go
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Old 07-07-22, 08:26 AM
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For they last several years I was riding a pair of Shimano shoes which had Velcro straps and late last year I noticed that the straps were wearing thin. That was my cue to get a new pair.
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Old 07-07-22, 08:52 AM
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One of my two current pairs has carbon composite soles and uppers made of aramid mesh impregnated with polyurethane. The Boas may fail and the insoles may disintegrate, but I can't imagine the rest not lasting virtually indefinitely. The others have leather uppers and will still likely outlive my old ass.

I ride a lot.
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Old 07-07-22, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I did a quick search of the forum and nothing came up. But I am sure I saw this topic somewhere...Anyway. Here we go again.

Anyone have any insight into the life expectancy of road cycling shoes? Heck, do they even have a life expectancy? When do you know it is time to replace your shoes?
Silly question. All depends on how much you ride and what conditions you ride in. Could be anywhere from 2 years to 20 years.

You ever notice that the mailman will burn through brake pads in there vehicle in about 3 months? At 71,000 miles and 4 years later...I still have the original brake pads that came on my truck when I bought it new in 2018. Why do you think that is?
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Old 07-07-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You ever notice that the mailman will burn through brake pads in there vehicle in about 3 months?
I don't think this is a thing people commonly notice because how would somebody who isn't a mailman or their mechanic know how often they change their brake pads?
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Old 07-07-22, 11:28 AM
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I have a pair of 20-year old SPDs that are still usable. They got a little ratty, and even the soles started getting smooth, so I bought a new pair that will probably be my last pair of cycling shoes, ever. I intend to give the ratty ones to my son if he ever decides to take the clipless plunge, at least until he decides whether or not he likes clipless.
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Old 07-07-22, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I did a quick search of the forum and nothing came up. But I am sure I saw this topic somewhere...Anyway. Here we go again.

Anyone have any insight into the life expectancy of road cycling shoes? Heck, do they even have a life expectancy? When do you know it is time to replace your shoes?
My Shimano (SPD-SL?) shoes are ~12 years old. Looking a little ratty but functionally fine. I have replaced the insoles a couple of times and the rubber pad on one heel has come off, so I should replace it with something as I'm slowly wearing through the carbon
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Old 07-07-22, 11:39 AM
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My Shimano lace up shoes that I bought used at Goodwill Industries for $12 had the sole disbond at around 14-15,000 miles. I glued it back with Shoo-Goo. I bought a pair of Five-Tens. I have about 10,000 miles on those. I put another additional 5,000 on the lace-ups in the time since because some days I prefer one pair over the other.

Neither really show any signs of being "worn-out" but new insoles wouldn't hurt.
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Old 07-07-22, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't think this is a thing people commonly notice because how would somebody who isn't a mailman or their mechanic know how often they change their brake pads?
My mail is delivered by someone on foot. Maybe I will ask my letter carrier how long their shoes last.

As an aside, I have actually known two letter carriers who cycle seriously. One still rides. The other is dead.
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Old 07-07-22, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't think this is a thing people commonly notice because how would somebody who isn't a mailman or their mechanic know how often they change their brake pads?
My point was...Try using some critical thinking skills before asking silly questions.
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Old 07-07-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
When there's something wrong with them that's not convenient to deal with.

A couple years ago, the soles on my MTB shoes started separating from the main body of the shoe. So I reattached them with contact cement. They were fine until my last gravel ride, when the sole on the left shoe started separating again. A couple days ago I used contact cement to reattach it. Perhaps that repair will extend the life of the shoe another couple years. If not, oh well.
I had a pair of Sidis that did this. Eventually bought another pair, the newer model had the body screwed onto the soles(through the insoles in the heel area).
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Old 07-07-22, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I did a quick search of the forum and nothing came up. But I am sure I saw this topic somewhere...Anyway. Here we go again.

Anyone have any insight into the life expectancy of road cycling shoes? Heck, do they even have a life expectancy? When do you know it is time to replace your shoes?
When you're no longer comfortable in them! I put 5000km on my RC7s and the only thing I noticed is that they feel a little looser. Probably due to excessive heat for an extended period of time. It's not like regular shoes that sees pavement and all kind of harsh surface throughout its life. Our shoes are clipped and don't usually rub on anything.
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Old 07-07-22, 02:25 PM
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I have a pair of Giro Republic that I am not even sure how old they are, but old they are. They were originally an kind of dark green color, but I used black shoes polish to dye them. They have many thousands of miles on them and still look really good. I touch the heel and toe are with polish when I notice rubbing on them. IIRC, I have replaced the cleats only once. I suspect lace up shoes will last longer than Boa dials or velcro straps.
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Old 07-07-22, 10:31 PM
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Sidi's (and others) come with replaceable heel pads. I use "claw nuts" to Sidi-fy my Shimano shoes so that the heel pads can be replaced, and use table leg pads with normal plus drive bolts to attach them. At first I just used pieces of rubber but the table leg pads are better.
https://www.bikeforums.net/20060688-post66.html
I use the same table leg pads on my Sidis too because they are cheaper and no worse
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...l#post22302202

Here are the pads on aliexpress (no affiliation)
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001364276979.html

If I have worn through the carbon sole a bit before replacing the pad, or at the toe of the shoe, I use a bit of carbon fibre usually with epoxy (rather than proper carbon fibre epoxy which tends to be toxic and is more difficult to source) to patch it first. In the past I have used proper carbon fibre epoxy from Carbonology in the UK but I don't think they sell the kits anymore.
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...l#post19470005

Buckles sold as roller skate buckles can be used to replace cycling shoe buckles.
https://www.bikeforums.net/22043213-post103.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003311108436.html

If the cleat nut goes (becomes bonded to a cleat bolt) then they can also be replaced with a claw nut.
https://www.bikeforums.net/22309060-post131.html

If the sole parts from the uppers, I use a file to rough up both sides (perhaps scraping old glue out first) and then AB epoxy, and G clamps or sprung clamps or both to glue them back together.

When the heel interior becomes frayed I sew them up again.

My shoes generally look awful (other than the Sidi's which wear very well) but last pretty much forever.

There are also some very indestructible SPD-SL cleats (that are dangerous when new because they are slippery) available from China now.When they are a bit roughed up, I don't find them to be too dangerous and they last twice or three times as long at about 1/5 the price of Shimano's cleats. Nice colours too
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000409970751.html?

And, looking through my repairs, I had forgotten I use heel pads to replace helmet liner pads. They are good and cheap so I just ordered some more.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002857176293.html

Last edited by timtak; 07-07-22 at 10:47 PM. Reason: cleats link
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Old 07-08-22, 04:30 AM
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I have some Sidi (not sure what entry level model they are) with about 30k and now they are my rain shoes often covered by velotoz.

I also have a pair of Sidi Wire 2 with about 35k that look damn good. Almost new (ish). They’ve been in the rain plenty when I don’t plan ahead.

I put both in the washing machine a couple times a year and they just hold up to anything.
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Old 07-08-22, 07:57 AM
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I have a pair of Sidi Drako MTB shoes that I've had for 5 years. These shoes have been abused through many muddy/rainy CX races and MTB riding.

Aside from some scratches on the carbon soles, they're good as new and are by far my favorite shoes, to the point where I wear them on the road as well. One of the best $300 bike gear purchases I've ever made. My only complaint is that the fit is too snug for winter socks.

Also noteworthy that with Sidi you can replace all of the buckles, straps, tread and heel retention. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't get at least another 5 years out of these shoes.
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Old 07-08-22, 10:47 AM
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Those Shoe Goo products must have been designed for old leather shoes/soles, they don't last for long on modern shoes. I use epoxy, never had to redo a shoe repair if done well with epoxy. It is not supposed to work since epoxy is rigid but it will fracture into many small well-held joints. Also bike shoes are themselves rigid in the soles. MMA or Gorilla Glue (the classic stuff) should also beat out Shoe Goo.

My bike shoes seem to go forever. A 25 year old pair of Sidis finally had the buckle go bad a few years ago. The inserts do need to be changed periodically.
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Old 07-08-22, 11:23 AM
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This is what is wrong with forums particularly bicycle forums which are among the worst forums of all. All the stupid posts like this one. Great question but it was answered multiple times good shoes last 20-25 years what more is there to know or talk about? Put your screens down and go outside and do something where I would be but I am so offing bored sitting here with covid that I have exhausted all internet and resorted to checking this forum. lol
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Old 07-08-22, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by trstahly View Post
This is what is wrong with forums particularly bicycle forums which are among the worst forums of all. All the stupid posts like this one. Great question but it was answered multiple times good shoes last 20-25 years what more is there to know or talk about? Put your screens down and go outside and do something where I would be but I am so offing bored sitting here with covid that I have exhausted all internet and resorted to checking this forum. lol
That's pretty much what's wrong with all forums. People write stuff, others read it.
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