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  • fletch

    Why is the complaint about virtually every pair of bike shoes on the market seem to be about them being too narrow? Who are all these narrow footed people that they are making shoes for. I cant find a decent pair of wider to shoes to fit me, and most stores dont carry wide fit, if the brand makes them. Bont’s are the ideal shape but just dont work for me. They all seem to be designed like Italian dress shoes, with a narrow v-shape.

    • slowK

      Completely agree. I just don’t get the reasoning behind “higher performance means narrower feet”. Maybe for clothing, but for feet?

      I found Lake shoes to be the widest fit (even their standard fit is wider than shimano wide fit and Specialized). Ended up ordering some wide fit ones from overseas as they weren’t available in Australia.

      • That Strava Support Guy

        According to their size chart, their normal width is 103mm for a 45, and wide is 118mm. I believe standard D width is about 105mm and E is about 110mm. So I would think Shimano would be wider?

        • slowK

          Yep. But it depends where along the shoe its widest. My Shimano XC-70 wide fits were very wide at the toes, but the Lake MX-237s are wide more proximally, where the lateral metatarsal head is (where you get bunions, about 1/2 to 2/3 along the lateral side of the shoe. So I found the Shimanos still tight across the metatarsals yet my toes were swimming around with too much space. I also think the leather upper on my Lakes are more accommodating than the synthetic material on my Shimanos. Guess it depends on where your foot is widest as to what fits you best – it’s very personal.

          (Yes – they’re MTB shoes, but I wanted to only spend money on only one high-end shoe that I could use for everything – road/MTB/commmuting).

          • That Strava Support Guy

            Interesting. I am currently looking at the Lake MX237 or a Shimano XC90/60 in wide. Diagonally across the met head, my foot is a weighted 110mm, and maybe a couple of mills narrower across my toes

            • slowK


              Using the Lake sizing method (which I think was transverse/not diagonal) my feet are 107mm wide and 255 long. I went with the 41.5 wide and they are perfect – I just don’t even think about the shoes when I’m wearing them. (Had tried the 41.5 standard, and my 3rd and 4th toes rubbed at the end of the shoe.) There’s a lot of volume too – I use the Specialized BG +++ insole with two wedges and the Boa dials accommodate that fine (it was also fine with standard insoles – lots of adjustability).

              I got mine from Trivillage.com on sale. Good luck!

      • Jessy Vee

        I read a lot of reviews before I try and buy and I constantly see Specialized touted as a wider fit brand. I don’t understand how anyone can call Specialized a ‘wide fit’. I’ve had two models (S-works male and female) and they’re the narrowest buggers I’ve ever had my feet in! Am I missing something? Or just not trying on the correct models?

        P.S. Lake, Shimano and Northwave wide+++ :)

        • Stompin

          SIDI have a wide option too

    • As I have narrow and low volume feet I can tell you that it is very hard to find a fitting shoe. Especially when your heel is narrow and skinny. I have to modify every shoe I own. And I tested nearly every model that was called narrow and low volume. One I never tested was Scott.

    • pedr09

      I’ve been told most shoes are narrow because children growing up in Europe don’t spend as much time running around in bare feet like we do in Australia and as such have narrower feet as adults. Not sure about the science there but it’s the only theory I’ve heard.

      As for shoes, I was advised by a sports podiatrist to get Northwave as they have a wide toe box. They’ve been a great fit for me.

      • philipmcvey

        That’s precisely what I’ve heard, and having grown up in England I before moving here in my teens I have narrow feet (and therefore no problems finding cycling shoes that fit). Shoes are a very personal thing, but having tried Shimano, Specialized, Bont and now Giro I can say that the Giro shoes are by far the best fitting and the only ones that feel like ‘shoes’, rather than ‘cycling shoes’. Very nicely made uppers and sole but the ratchet has broken on both shoes.

    • CC


    • Jamesjames

      I have wide feet too fletch and found the Bont models work well, especially when you go the extra mile and heat-mold them in the oven (carefully…). Have you tried any of the other brands that sell heat-moldable models?

    • I’m reviewing some Bonts now… interested to hear why they don’t work for you.

      • velocite

        I bought some Bonts a year or so ago and they were terrific shoes, light and stiff, made me feel like I was delivering more power. Unfortunately, after a few hours my feet hurt. Turned out I had a bunion, which I hadn’t known about. I spent a lot of time heat moulding them, but no cure. Great shoes, but not if you have a bunion.

      • Nathan

        Bonts in my experience fall into a 50% love, 50% hate shoe. The naure of the “tub”style design that goes significantly up the shoe means your foot it basically sitting in a carbon fibre boat. If this shape does not work with you, you’re going to have issues. I have spoken to a a few well known sports podiatrists in the country and they say they are a very polarising shoe. The heat moulding in my opinion may give you the ability to move a bit here and there, but you can’t change the shape of the design. People love them, but so many people can’t get Bont shoes to work. I tried the Vaypor+, Blitz another one across 2 sizes.

      • fletch

        I tried a pair of Bont Vapour 44.5 wide and just kept getting numb feet by the end of the ride. Also had Northwave in a 44, which in hindsight was too small. Recently bought a pair of 45 Specialized Pro shoes with the green footbed. These seem to be ok but find some movement around the heel. The 44 is too small. I seem to stuck in middle of 44 & 45 in most brands. (Specialized only do half sizes in the s-works).
        On the last ride in the Speci shoes, they were really biting on my lateral metatarsal head. I basically only need to flap the 2 velcro straps over without tightening it, or they end up too tight. My feet are 107 & 108mm wide by Bont sizing, so right on the edge of their standard/wide fit.
        I just bought another pair of Bonts in standard 44 to try again but get the numb toes. I dont have the green footbed in these, as they are smaller and i’m hesitant to cut up a $50 innersole if they dont work for me.
        The other issue i tend to find in shoes (for me), is if i find one that fits in width, they tend to have a high volume in the toe box.
        Seems i have a high arch, wide metatarsal, and flat across the toes. Got any shoes to fit that?

        • I normally wear size 44 yet Bont recommended a larger size for me, delivering size 46 for my review. I was skeptical at first but the shoes are designed to work differently. Whether they actually work as intended may be a matter of luck (see other comments posted here) but your problems with numb toes suggest the shoes are too small (though there is an alternative explanation related to cleat position and/or saddle position). I’d recommend comparing the fit of your 44s with 45s and 46s, remembering to spend some time with your weight on the toes rather than walking around the showroom floor.

          • echidna_sg

            given most people buy their shoes online, the concept of trying em on and seeing how they fit before buying is a thing of the past = cue complaints across the board.
            I fall into the love bonts mould (no pun intended) – I heat em up for 15+ minutes at 60 degrees, put on 2 pairs of thick socks and reshape those suckers to my feet in 10 minutes. If you have got a particularly sore spot (e.g. bunion), I was advised to cut a piece of corregated cardboard to suit and put on my foot over the painful area before the socks and then mould em… took two rounds of heating, moulding, cooling on my feet and have never had a problem since (5 years and counting across multiple pairs)

      • philipmcvey

        Hi Matt, fantastic work on the site. I have a pair of Bonts – the toe box is very roomy and the soles incredibly stiff. For power transfer the best shoe I’ve tried, but… like the other posters here I had numb toes after every 2 hour+ ride, which was odd given how much room there is at the front of the shoe. Perhaps it’s because of the absolute lack of give across the sole? The leather is OK, but not in the same league as the Giros I’m using now, it’s not supple and it’s very prone to scratching and cuts.

    • Jessy Vee

      Bonts will allow you to order a custom fit, but maybe you need to get a cycling specific podiatrist to custom fit some inner soles for you?

      Did you see the Shimano R321 review? https://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/02/shimano-r321-and-r171-shoe-review/
      I tried on a pair at bikebug a few weeks ago and fell in love. My feet don’t work with many shoes (I get hot foot really easily), but these felt comfortable, and will be even better when I mold the inners.

  • Derek Maher

    Got to agree with fletch,Seems a heck of a lot of shoes are made for midget feet when it comes to width.A few Ks down the road and your feet tend to expand a little forcing you to release the center retaining straps.Plus add that to cleat positions which seem to restrict you to cycling on your toes.Pure agony.

  • mt

    I’ve never been able to get my wide feet into a women specific shoe ( there is a real untapped market here) I now have a pair of Shimano 321’s E-width and they fit like a glove, lovely stiffness and a “ride all day” feel; hese are now my summer riding/racing shoe. Bonts are about to become my winter shoes (more enclosed, re ventilation in the cold, and again good width). I previously wore Men’s S-Works but found these really tight across my feet once they swelled slightly.


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August 20, 2017
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