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Thread: Cycling Shoe Design

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    Default Cycling Shoe Design

    Does anyone benefit from a metatarsal strap on a cycling shoe? A lot of shoes in the $150-250 range (if they don't have laces) seem to have a BOA-type closure and then a strap over the metatarsals. I've never noticed any real function for that strap, though I have relatively (skeletal) low-volume feet. I am not sure why that design is more preferable than one long BOA-type lace.

    BOA + Strap



    BOA only

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    The only advantage I can see is that for those of us with the wider or higher volume feet we can leave it completely loose. With the full BOA the whole shoe gets tightened. When I've had shoes like that I'd leave that strap at it's loosest setting and use the BOA to tighten the shoe.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    The strap distributes the compression over a wider area?
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    I feel like older shoes with velcro straps and even buckles worked better for supporting my feet than boa shoes do-

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    I have a wide 5th metatarsal bump particularly on my left foot. Have a separate boa or Velcro, or even laces over this area is really helpful for me to leave enough slack in the forefoot and still have good retention higher up.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    ^^^^ that reason.

    I also agree with boots2000. I've tried a lot of shoes over the years but none fit better than this vintage, when velcro-only was top of the line. I'm considering trying a pair of BOA + strap shoes next.

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    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    The new Specialized Ares use a different BOA pattern without the straps and really spread the compression evenly across the foot. I tried a pair on recently, and at first blush, they seemed considerably more comfortable for me than anything I've worn. A bit out of my typical price range, though. Looks are as always in the eye of the beholder.

    WHI.jpg

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    The two Boa dials on my Lake cx241wide shoes allow adjustment at the top of the foot and separately over the front/toes/metatarsals. Works fantastic for having the perfect adjustment in each area, much better in my opinion than velcro straps.
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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Quote Originally Posted by VA_MEL View Post
    The new Specialized Ares use a different BOA pattern without the straps and really spread the compression evenly across the foot. I tried a pair on recently, and at first blush, they seemed considerably more comfortable for me than anything I've worn. A bit out of my typical price range, though. Looks are as always in the eye of the beholder.

    WHI.jpg
    They are really, really, really good.

    On topic, I use the straps on my S-Works 7s, though only for very slight adjustments to help account for different sock thickness or comfort preferences on rides.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Ratchet>strap>Boa, IMO. IME, boa requires an adjustment after a short distance because it takes that long to even out tension, then it's all loose. Straps are easier for me to adjust on the bike than a boa. Ratchets are more adjust and forget for me. I like my Shimano 321 Wide and Sidi Dominators, both have ratchets. For my shoes that have them, I don't think I've ever adjusted the metatarsal strap other than the initial fit.

    I need to vent, why did Northwave change their last in the mid 00's?
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    I see. So most people use the metatarsal strap to loosen the fit. I use it to crank down on the top of my foot. But I am usually at the end of the strap loop, so there is not much tighter I can go. For me then, the strap is sort of vestigial.

    I agree on straps over BOA to some degree. I think the Fizik foot wrapping strap design makes a lot of sense. Wish they made the Powerstrap with a lugged sole in addition to the smooth touring sole. But I'm being redundant now. I always say this.

    Everyone I am sure can visualize in great detail what their perfect shoe would be, and it probably doesn't exist for anyone either.

    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design



    Let’s use two different length boas and oh yeah, let’s make one of them one-sided, so that you have to scour Europe to find a replacement.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Quote Originally Posted by boots2000 View Post
    I feel like older shoes with velcro straps and even buckles worked better for supporting my feet than boa shoes do-
    Totally agree. So much that several years ago I scored 2 pair of NOS Shimano SH-R220's - the last pair are what I ride today. Call me old fashioned, but I much prefer hook-and-loop with ratcheting buckles over boa all day.

    Shimano_SH-R220_full_view-0e372b9.jpg

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    I lucked it 2nd time around on the shoe merry-go-round with a pair of Mavic Zxellium Ultimate shoes which I purchased in 2011.

    Zxellium-ultimate-shoes.jpg

    I've tried several brands and a few different designs in the past 17 years. I have regular sized feet narrow enough to feel comfortable right away in skinny designs like Sidi and Giro

    The Mavic Zxellium are easily the best shoe I've ridden in. The upper ratchet tensioner has lasted 10 years without failure and does not look like failing anytime soon. The two lower velcro straps are the most important parts. If I'm more than an hour in the saddle I tend to start with the upper ratchet loose-ish and tend to ratchet it up a few clicks once the lymph is sucked out of my feet. The lower straps I tend to go the other way and release some tension or at least re-set them on the go.

    I also ride in Sidi Wires, these feel very different on the upper foot. I use Superfeet black insoles in my Wires as the original wafer thin cardboard insole was woefully inadequate. I've owned the Wires for 7 years and they still feel brand new out of the box despite thousands of km riding in them. I can't say they are uncomfortable but they are simply not as comfortable and probably not as adjustable as the Mavics.

    The Mavics are the closest thing to cradling my feet in a favorite pair of sneakers yet retain a stiff sole and firm tension on the upper foot. Mine are still clean and mostly scuff free, I hope they last forever! Alas there is nothing like them on Mavic's shoe line up nower days - it's all wires and boas.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Quote Originally Posted by open roader View Post
    Alas there is nothing like them on Mavic's shoe line up nower days - it's all wires and boas.
    This era of Mavic shoe was straight after they took on the Adidas shoe range, and were basically the same shoes with Mavic branding. I had a pair too and loved them, but UK winters (well, the English weather in general) were not kind to them.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    I remember when Bont shoes were super new and exciting here on the forum.

    I like the BOA system as the pressure feels more evenly distributed. Of course the composition of the upper is a big factor, too. Lorica has a level of give that is very appealing for me.
    The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funkmanship, Francis.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    My new shoes have the boa system and they're comfortable and function well except I'm not skilled enough to adjust them while riding. My old shoes have a ratchet buckle I can adjust while moving and two velcro fastened straps but the velcro wore out on the middle one so it just flaps open.

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Remember when we would slip out of bed, slide into our slippers, throw back an espresso, and then lift a leg over our pedaling machine?
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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    Remember when we would slip out of bed, slide into our slippers, throw back an espresso, and then lift a leg over our pedaling machine?
    That guy can't even curate a proper tan line. Clearly neither knows nor follows The Rules. Will likely never accomplish anything in cycling.

    As to shoes, give me Sidis or give me death. Or something like that. I bought some of Shimano's top shelf shoes this past winter. They're decent but then I slip on my now-ancient Sidi Ergo 2 shoes and they're simply better for my feet and they seem to provide a more solid pedaling platform as well.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Cycling Shoe Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    That guy can't even curate a proper tan line. Clearly neither knows nor follows The Rules. Will likely never accomplish anything in cycling.

    As to shoes, give me Sidis or give me death. Or something like that. I bought some of Shimano's top shelf shoes this past winter. They're decent but then I slip on my now-ancient Sidi Ergo 2 shoes and they're simply better for my feet and they seem to provide a more solid pedaling platform as well.
    SIDI doesnít make Ergo 2 3 5 7 now up to 10 and has transitioned to a different foot form based on Peter Saganís feet (making that up but the switch seemed to coincide suspiciously soon after they signed him and gave him a pair of Wires.) Ergo 2 & 3 were the perfect shoes for my feet (with the Manolo Blahnik pointy toes) and I have a couple pairs that may outlast me, especially since Iíve stopped wearing road shoes entirely.
    Last edited by j44ke; 05-07-2021 at 09:56 AM.

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