Sunday, September 5, 2010

Minimalist Mountain Biking Shoe

Sometimes, you have to wear a shoe.  When I mountain bike, three pieces of safety equipment are mandatory: shoes, gloves, and helmet.

My first pair of mountain biking shoes were cross-country racing shoes, with a narrow, deep sole.  They may be great for cross-country racing, but for the rocky, gnarly trails I ride in Connecticut, they were a ticket to a sprained ankle.  I'm still trying to get over the last sprained ankle...

My most recent pair of mountain biking shoes were some platform-style free riding shoes, which did great, and were similar in shape to a Munson last.  But the sole delaminated after my last ride.

I wound up getting the Specialized Tahoe as a replacement shoe.  They also have a Munson-last shape (why is it mountain biking shoe companies get it?), and they have a reasonably wide footbed for stable landings.  I think I got last year's model, which has a velcro bit across the top of the laces.  They fit great, and didn't make me hate the fact that I was wearing shoes for a several-hour ride.  On a side note, the last two mountain biking shoes I got were 9s, these were a 10.  Part of that is that I want more room, part is that my feet are definitely bigger now.

I don't know if they're zero-drop or not, for a biking shoe it's not all that important, IMHO. If you're running up a hill, you don't notice the heel, and if you're running down a hill... You're mountain biking;  why are you running down a hill?

P.S. Here's a link to the new version of the Tahoe.

The link to the old version leads to one of the funniest 404 errors I've ever seen...