New road shoes are nice and snug - and hurt about 30 minutes into the first ride. Is this normal or should I try something else?

I’ve had the same shoes for nearly 10 years - original vintage Giro Empires. They’ve worked well for me but need to be replaced. I’d like to go with BOA instead of laces. I also have a pair of Fizik R1’s which are the same age, with straps instead of BOA or laces which are comfy but there’s too much foot movement.

I picked up a pair of the well rated Rapha Pro Team shoes on sale. At $190 they seem like an excellent value. I really like the fit.

However, my feet were pretty sore during my first ride. Is this normal? Perhaps it takes some time to get used to a new pair of shoes. Also, my right foot is just a bit wider than my left so I think that was giving me some trouble - but I generally don’t need wide shoes. I thought I might be recruiting muscles in my feet and legs a little differently which I might adjust to over time. Maybe I just need to keep those BOAs rather loose at first. I did loosen them over the ride but maybe I should have gone a bit further.

I don’t mind transitioning to these slowly if thats what it takes. Considering that I generally measure my cycling shoes lifespan by the decade I’d like to make sure I get this right.

Not normal, IME.

If the shoes hurt on the first ride, they never stop hurting.


My own experience mirrors that of those above. Do Not wear shoes that hurt your feet! It could very well lead to foot problems. I had a beautiful pair of top end Vittoria shoes a few years back that ended up giving me a tailors bunion on my right foot that require a podiatrist’s care, including an injection. This led me to the Lake custom program and while very expensive has been a revalation.

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Sounds like I should move on to a new pair of shoes. Any recommendations on shoes that fits just a bit wider? I might also start a new thread on this topic, but while we’re here…

Like I said, My Giro Empires were fine - maybe I should Giro another try. I was hoping to get a well reviewed high end shoe. Perhaps I should look at specialized. Fizik has wide options.

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I have semi wide feet. My left is bigger than my right. I found the shape of the “last” that shoes are shaped with makes a big difference. Pointy straight shoes don’t work for me. My feet curve and those shoes don’t. I find the Lake shoes like the CX332 are curved more like my feet. They also have a larger toe box.

Lake would be at the top of the list for me. Suplest have a wide-ish box. Certain DMTs do or did 5 years ago. I ride the Bont Vapor-s and feel like the box is roomy but, the carbon “bathtub” wraps up your foot higher than normal shoes. So it you have any bone spurs down low they might kill you unless you Dremel the carbon. S-Phyre might work but, they have or had (not sure about the 2020 or newer) a built in carbon arch which was very slight but, for me just too far forward and made the shoe unbearable after a couple minutes…

I will counter what everyone else says, it might get better. I have found that no matter what shoe I try on it hurts the first ride or 3 after about an hour. Any shoe that doesn’t, usually is too big once I try and put harder efforts down. I usually get my shoes places that have a generous return policy and allow me to try them for several rides. Some don’t stop hurting or hurt just too much. Some hurt a little and then after a few rides end up feeling great.

Where was the soreness / discomfort?

I have pretty narrow feet…but nonetheless I have found having a wider toebox helps immensely with shoe comfort.

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I’ve read several comments that the Rapha shoes run very narrow.

I’ve never understood why people like tight shoes. I’d rather be cool and comfortable.


Then it seems like the only way to buy cycling shoes is with a generous return policy.

Maybe adjust your cleat placement and see if that helps? I prefer to move my cleats all the way back as a result of an old Achilles injury. Have not had any Achilles issues in a decade (knock wood), but I still keep my cleats there because I prefer the position.

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I’ve never understood why people like tight shoes.

I read it more as ‘form fitting’, I don’t think anyone wants their shoes to be too tight.

I don’t know. A lot of people post that they love boas because of how tight they can cinch them down.

If I do that, my feet go to sleep.

That fact you put “snug” in the title makes me think the shoes are too small for you.


I’m having a hard time translating between initial fit and actual riding.

Maybe I should just wear the shoes while I work at my computer and see how they feel.

I don’t think you’ll learn anything from that…very different use than being on a bike. I have some pieces of kit hat are uncomfortable off the bike, but are fantastic on the bike. Your best evlauation will occur on the bike, IMO.


Yeah, also, feet swell during the ride.

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Ug, I thought I’d measure my foot and look at the Lake sizing guide. It puts me at a 43 when I’m pretty sure I’m a 44. Based on width, I’d definitely go for a wide, measuring about 102mm.

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Feet swell and expand as you ride especially in the heat. I find it best fitting shoes a little loose knowing they’ll be perfect on the ride. I had shoes before that would be comfortable throughout the winter and hurt after 1hr or so in summer weather rides.


I did the same with Bont and the guide said 43 regular width. Got them and nope. I’m a 44 wide and really need to do the heat forming to get them just right.