XC shoes


Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
Copenhagen, Denmark
foreign concept to me.
I know there were no XC shoes in the 70s so I had not counted on your help.

No plans on buying Specialized as I will never find a deals on them. Has to bee other brands that are worth buying. I think the Mavic looks good but no idea how they are. I got Sidi road shoes and thinking I should just get a pair of Sidis.

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
North Van
My friends all swear by Shimano.

I've just got a pair of some mid-range ones and they seem okay. I've only got about 20 rides in 'em so far.


Mar 31, 2004
Broomfield, CO
Got a set of Sidi Dominators. They are okay, not sure I'd go nuts to buy them again. That's more fit related rather than an issue with the shoes themselves however.

Willy Vanilly

Jul 27, 2003
San Jose
Specialized makes surprisingly good shoes
Agreed. I've never been able to justify the money on a set of Sidis but have tried Shimano's and Pearl Izumi's. The Shimano's were alright. The Pearl Izumi's had some outsole separation issues (this is 5, 10 years ago, things may have changed since then) prior to them changing to a narrower last.

Had great luck with Specialized shoes since then. They feel like they have a wider, flatter toe box (which is good for my foot shape) and are very comfortable otherwise. Only complaints are that the buckle seems to be prone to loosening up if you nick a rock and that the anchor for the replaceable top strap breaks before the strap does (negating the entire point of having a replaceable top strap).
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My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
behind you, don't wait up.
9.5 US 43 Euro.
Shoot. I can't help.

That said, I have SIDI Dragon carbon IIs, as well as a mid level pair of Specialized shoes. The SIDIs are awesome in every way, and worth the $ IMO. I recently tried on the S-works shoe and loved it too. I prefer BOA > ratchet > velcro for fit, but damn are these things expensive.
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I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
In a van.... down by the river
I rode Sidis for *years* and finally the Dom-IIs gave out. Shopped around and almost *all* bike shoes, for some reason, don't seem to fit me very well. Finally found some Giro <somethings> that are very comfy.

So basically... you're gonna have to go try shoes on.

Helpful, eh? :D
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Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
Copenhagen, Denmark
Shoot. I can't help.

That said, I have SIDI Dragon carbon IIs, as well as a mid level pair of Specialized shoes. The SIDIs are awesome in every way, and worth the $ IMO. I recently tried on the S-works shoe and loved it too. I prefer BOA > ratchet > velcro for fit, but damn are these things expensive.
Let me guess you feet are bigger? Americans have bigger feet than Danes I have learned. You are all running on surf boards :)


Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
I've tried on a few recently as I was looking for some new ones. The sidis have a fantastic fit quality, they're quite socklike, and the giros were even nicer, but I was trying on their uber high end shoe vs. the sidi dominator.

I'm drawn to the ugliest shoes available, and high up on that list is northwave and Gaerne. Gaerne has a closeout sale right now with their carbon soled shoes for 200. I'm tempted to grab a pair, but they are only moderately ugly, and I really want to make a statement with my ugly shoes.


Turbo Monkey
Sep 10, 2001
Claus, you have doll feet.

Keep an eye on Chainlove, there were some handsome looking Lakes up for a good price in sizes that would fit your dainty danish dogs.


Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
My husband and I have both had wonderful luck with the Mavic MTB shoes. We both have multiple pairs (both have tempos and drifts; he has a pair of chasm and I have a pair of mantras). They fit GREAT and last.


makes avatars better
Dec 25, 2003
Six Shooter Junction
Loved sidis until the last pair separated at the toe. They are overpriced.

Got some Lakes, but they seem to be out of business.

Going specialized next, I think, as they are the only ones I can find with vibram soles. Little heavier but I like real rubber over that plastic sole stuff.

I did get a good deal on a pair of carbon (silver?) mtb bontrager shoes though. Mainly use them on the roadie. Insoles are a bit funky.


talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
Claremont, CA
Mavic, Giro, Sidi- all pretty good choices and obviously it depends what fits you best. I have Shimano shoes for both road (old ones- R215) and mountain (M230) and like them a lot. They both are stiff, fit great and the mountain shoes have good protection around the foot. The only negatives are that high end Shimano shoes are heat moldable, but that process needs a dealer and special equipment (I put them in the oven at the right temp at home and they fit good enough). Also, the ratchets for the top straps on this model are not good and break easily. I don't think its a problem with other Shimano models, though. I will most likely keep buying Shimano when these wear out since the fit and durability are so good. Since I know my size, I can get them like I got both the pairs I have now- as older models on ebay.


Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
Ottawa, Canada
Do you have a wide foot? need a wide toe-box? I find most cycling shoes a little on the narrow side, but Specialized and Sidi have "wide" options, and from my understanding, NorthWave have a roomier toe-box too. I've had Specialized shoes for the past 13 years. They're pretty good, but as with all large companies, they can suffer from "production inconsistencies". I've sent two pairs back for warranty replacement. One was replaced and the other... well, there's a story behind it.

The carbon sole cracked. I sent them to Spec to see if they'd warranty them. I had high hopes because a buddy of mine had the exact same shoe and it broke in the exact same way had his replaced just 2 months prior to mine breaking. But when Specialized told me they wouldn't warranty them because I hadn't used a shim under the cleat for use with my time pedals I was a little.... frustrated? I mean come on... they replaced my buddies shoes two months prior (he bought them at the same time as me) and tell me they won't warranty mine?! ok fine. I wasn't even going to send them in the first place caus' I got two full seasons of use out of them (I ride 2x/week in season since becoming a dad), but since my buddy had his replaced I figured I'd give it a shot. Some may say you got 2 seasons out of them, what are you complaining about? To that I answer these are the super-primo $270 version. At that price, I expect more than two seasons.

I have a pair of older shimano Mt-88 to fall back on, they are rugged and well constructed. They're just a little heavy and narrow for me, even having gone a size up. That's the reason I picked up those Specializeds when they went on sale. If I still don't get on well with the Shimanos, I may go a try on some of the North Wave shoes. After my last experience with Specialized I think its time to try something different. That and Specialized only offer their wide shoe in the premium level trim, and I'm not going to spend $300 on a pair of bike shoes. unless I know they will last more than two seasons.

In summary, if you need a wide shoe, look at Specialized, Sidi and Northwave. I tried on some Bontrager shoes, and they seem roomy in the toe box and quite comfy too. Shimano shoes (ime) are rugged and well made, just a little on the heavy side. Be careful of Specialized (keep the receipt), they are very light, comfy and performant, but not the most rugged.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
Copenhagen, Denmark
Yes, I got them in 43 and I have tired them on before. I actually had them in 43.5 and had to sell them because they were that half size too big. The big difference from my old Shimano is they toe box is a lot wider and does not taper in like my old shoes.