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Best shoe for Mallet's

1299 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  shiggy
I'm trying clippless and went with mallets. Coming from wide flats, and getting the 06 for around $50, went ahead. Now I need shoes, I like hiking styled or walking shoes, not the stiff ones or racing type. But they must be walking comfortable and have decent traction. Something like the shimanos sh-mt50, does not have to be mid-hi. I know some shoes goes better with some pedals, easier to release, setting of cleats, etc and in the case of the mallet being able to pedal without being clipped. Ha! forgot to mention not too expensive..:D
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I can't say what to get, but I can say what NOT to get. When I bought my Mallets, I was using some Vans DH shoes that had a basically flat bottom without traction lugs. Without any sort of protection for the cleats, they wore very quickly on our rocky trails because the cleat was the first thing to contact the ground. Once worn down, the cleats would pop out of the pedals too easily.

I ended up with a a pair of Specialized shoes that kinda look like a tennis shoe with decent traction. I had to use the Crank Bros spacers under the cleats with the large lugs, but the cleats were much better protected than with the flat Vans.

If you never hike-a-bike, this isn't much of an issue.
mt50's work pretty well. You have to use all of the spacers under the cleat to get it to engange more easily. I love the shoes. My first ride with them was a 23 mile, 3000' elevation gain, 12 hour epic and not a blister. This ride also included about 8 miles of pushing my Bullit uphill. The shoes are a nice stifness: stiff enough for pedaling, but not too stiff for hiking. Besidesm, it was my first time on clipless in 6 years.:skep:
Shoe choice is a pretty personal thing. I wear some Cannondale Carves with my Mallets (I use one shim under each cleat and it's a snug fit) but those might be too racer for you.

I know 661 makes some decent looking, SPD-compatible shoes.

Again, go for fit first, and then try and find the best shoe within the batch that fits you well.
Funny I actually spoke to CB about this, they recommended Pearl Izumi. Of course you'll still need to use a shim or two. Although they say most shoes will work, though you may need more/less shims and maybe mod the tread a bit.

I personally hate the shim idea, so I moved on to different pedals.
red5 said:
I personally hate the shim idea, so I moved on to different pedals.
I'm ok with using one shim on each shoe, but I tried two on each and it was a total headache keeping / getting the cleats tight enough. I like the pedals and I didn't want to shave the soles of the shoes, so I felt I could live with a little bit of tread interference...

Definitely not for everybody though.
If at all possible, these shoes work perfectly for the Mallets, provide decent traction while dismounted, and are comfortable enough to wear as everyday shoes. Plus, they're pretty affordable, I paid 30 Euro for mine, and seen them for sale in the States for about $40.
BTW, I don't use any shims with these shoes.

Diadora Rove MTB Shoes
I wanted ankle protection, so I looked at Lake mx255, Shimano mt-50, Specialized Sawpit and Buzzsaw, Adidas Hematoma... ended up finding a deal on the Lakes on ebay at less than half price... the Sawpits are also half price on the specialized website, and have carbon fiber ankle protection...
I like a more casual shoe appearance, so I went with the 661 Sessions. While I can get into the Mallets without any shims, it's not that easy. However if I add a shim, then it feels like my foot floats a bit and I sort of lose the benefit of having a clip in platform pedal.

To solve this, I just rubbed both sides of a shim on some finer grade sandpaper to make it a tad thinner. Now it works perfect. I was a bit bummed it didn't work well right off the bat, but the fix was easy enough once I thought of it.
I find the Lake MX160/165 shoes work very well. Good off the bike for the hike-a-bike sections, too.

I may have needed a shim and there is nothing wrong with using them. I have needed shims (that I made myself) with other brands of pedals.
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