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 should look at Bont my fitter (a long time ago) is a big fan. They might do what I want / need.

They can be pricey, but after suffering with other brand’s “wide” shoes being not quite right, I took the leap. I just need to swap back to the Bont insoles because when you heat mold them, it also molds the foot bed, so specialized/icebug/etc. insoles are not required. In fact they actually make the shoes less comfortable over long races.

@mattkime you’re an easy man to please! Here is my opinion:

1.) Not normal for a shoe you paid ~$200 for. $200 shoes should make your feet feel like they are getting a massage every minute of every day. $30 shoes might make your feet hurt & then you got what you paid for.

2.) If you have some shoes that you wear for a couple hours and they make your feet hurt, it’s ok to not like the fit. My experience is that cycling shoes don’t ‘break in’.

I had pressure issues after buying a pair Shimano RX8 shoes.
I saw significant improvements after switching to Swiftwick Aspire socks. They offer some compression, but more importantly, they are really slick on the outside. They reduced friction between sock and shoe to a point where the pressure point disappeared.

P.s. The socks are really slick. I can’t walk in these socks on our hardwood floor without slipping all over the place.


I wish they had a better return policy. 30 days / no wear marks - I don’t blame them but its hard to try them out.

I wish they had test models the same way there was (still are?) test saddles. Give me something in ugly neon green that I can ride for a few weeks before I make the purchase.

I tried on my Giro empire shoes again after six months away from them. They’re a bit loose but I could lace them a bit tighter. I suspect I might have the narrow heel / wide forefoot combo.

I’ve found modern boa shoes to be unforgiving in the stretch department. I have to start my rides with basically loose shoes and let my feet expand into them.

If I tighten normally such that they feel snug but good, 60 minutes later my feet will be on fire and no amount of loosening seems to fix it for the rest of the ride.

I just got a pair of Shimano S-phyres and the factory footbed was super uncomfortable on the ball of my foot. It’s like it was too coarse. I switched it out for a Sole footbed and those shoes are great now.


the shoes are too narrow for you.
i had this problem. i went to a fitter it turned out the shoes were 1cm narrower than my feet.
the problem only became apparent after 3h in my first ever century.
how i wear lake wide. not a problem even during 8h+ rides.
so go to a fitter, they may sell shoes that fit your width.
i personally would not buy shoes online. comfort has no price. same with helmets


I had years of painful feet and tried numerous makes of shoes before discovering Lake shoes. Whether its the shape of the toe box, the width to length ratio, or the fact the cleats can be put farther back than on other shoes, I have no idea but all my foot problems are but a dim and distant memory. If you go down the Lake route then I’d say trust the charts, I didn’t and my first pair were slightly to big. The 2nd were perfect

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Do also keep in mind that even if a brand offers a wide shoe it may not actually be so. There are two types of “wide” shoe, actual wide sole and high volume. The two are not the same. A high volume shoe typically does not have an actual wide sole vs a true wide shoe such as a Lake in wide or extra wide. The effect of a high volume shoe is that it does not fully support the full width of the foot, allowing the foot to spill over the edges into an unsupported area. This was explained to me by my podiatrist who also happens to be a cyclist and who treated my Tailors Bunion. After successful treatment of said bunion and buying pair of Lake CX 332’s and about 35,000 miles I ride pain free in any circumstance regardless of duration or temperature.

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I like Lake shoes but just a warning not all of their wide shoes have a wider last. I believe anything in the CX1xxx or CX2xxx when they say wide it’s just high volume. It’s the CX3xxx models that have wide and extra wide that are actually wider lasts.

I found this review which has a perfect description of my feet -

my feet are definitely on the wider side, but I have a very low instep, very minimal arch, and a narrow heel. Basically, they’re duck flippers. But that said, my feet have also proven to be highly adaptable, and they work with a surprisingly broad range of last shapes.

The Rapha shoes fit great but are a bit too narrow across the balls of my feet. I can wear them comfortably if I leave the BOA laces loose enough to sneak a finger under them - but I can also tell I’d be able to go tighter if they were a bit wider across the balls of my feet.

Based on the review of the Vento Infinito Carbon 2 Wide, I’d definitely like to give them a try.

BUT I was also hoping to find a new pair of MTB shoes. Naively I thought MTB shoes might fit like road shoes. I might be mistaken - which kind of makes sense since I have a pair of Lake MX236 that fit great, the only problem is the carbon sole is separating from the shoe after 12 years. Oh wait (sounds of typing), the last width on those shoes is 102 (the competition last) but a race last is only 97 unless I go to a wide fit which is 108. This is starting to make sense.

If they are leather they need some time otherwise they’ll probably never will fot

Fizik shoes didn’t work even in wide sizing - they’re a bit too narrow in the mid foot. I think they also provide a curved footbed which does not work with my flat feet.

I tried the Specialized S-Works Torch in wide and they’re a damn good fit. I can’t justify paying the eye watering retail price.

Might try Lake or Shimano next although I have hangups about both brands. Lake could be more modern / breathable whereas Shimano…I just have a hangup with the name ‘S-Phyre’

I don’t know if I got stupid lucky but my Adidas soccer shoes feel great on my feet, never a complaint. No specific ‘wide’ fit. Why can’t cycling shoes be this easy?

Cycling shoes are narrow by default, tradition, obsolete views on how to lock a foot it; who knows why.

I had to buy a ‘wide’ Lake CX 302 to get a shoe wide enough for my narrow/medium feet. Previous wide shoes used additional volume. Defo go to Lake for human cycling shoes.

Additionally, I haven’t needed my G8 insoles in them. I used them at the max arch height for my S-Phyres, but the drop in the Lake last seams to solve that for me.

To each their own. Hard to find them locally. Luckily, my measurements worked out and I didn’t need to return them.

I’ve just gotten used to the return process.

Also, I’ve found that I’ve been able to get a trainer session or two in and keep shoes looking new if I place some painters tape around the cleat.

I should just give Lake a try.

Imo, if you can afford the ones you loved, you’re wasting time and dealing with discomfort on the bike while spending more money trying on lots of other shoes. Again, if you can afford it, buy once, cry once.


Let me add once you find the shoe that really works buy a second pair. You never know when they decide to make improvements that don’t work for your feet.

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I went down the shoe rabbit hole last year from getting hotspots after a couple h. Backcountry will let you try shoes and return for credit. i don’t know if that depends on having a personal gearhead, but mine helped me out.

Ended up with wide/extra wide Lakes with G8 insoles (thx to Bike Fit James). Hotspots gone.

Have you looked into the Adidas cycling shoe line? I have a pair of their lace-up road shoes and they are super comfy. My only complaint is they aren’t super stiff, but the flex is only evident on more high-end efforts. Overall, I’ve been happy with them and I was able to get them on Amazon for under $90 (past-year’s model).

Problem solved!! :crazy_face: