Remember those Shimano M56789-m86L2-whatever shoes? Well, they didn’t work out as well as I would have hoped. After three months of use, I came to the conclusion that they just didn’t fit and the searing foot and toe pain wasn’t going to work out in the long term. I believe the problems I was having all relate to the shape of the toe box. The Shimanos have a very low and very tapered toe which was creating a lot of pressure on my toes on long rides.
After searching and looking into several different shoes, I decided to go back to a shoe that I’d previously used, a Specialized MTB Comp. Actually, I had my eye on the MTB Pro, but the Comp was on sale at a local shop for about half the cost od the Pro. Anyway, I had a pair of Specialized MTB Comp shoes from the late 90s or so, and they were great. Like my old pair, these new shoes have a very tall and square toe box as well as a very comfortable insole.
I’ve ridden a couple weeks and several hundred kilometers of road and off-road riding in these shoes, and I am quite happy. I don’t have any complaints at this stage, and I’m confident that these shoes will do well in my enduro race this weekend.
I still have some foot pain lingering from the Shimano shoes, but it is slowly fading away, and I can almost wear my regular street shoes without hobbling! Here are some comparison shots of the Shimano and Specialized shoes: