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I am recovering from posterior tibial tendonitis (the tendon that wraps below the in the inside ankle bone to support the arch), and I'm in the market for good supportive biking shoes and I have some important (to me) questions about fit:

How snugly should shoes fit? ...In the toe box and heal specifically.

I recently tried on two Specialzed BG comp mtb shoes of size 11 and 11.5. I wear an 11.5 in non-cycling shoes so I figured the tighter fit of and 11 might be better for biking.

However, my toes practically touch the end of the toe box in the 11, while the 11.5 is roomy, almost too roomy and not as snug in the heel either.

The 11 didn't feel uncomfortable at all. It just seems too small by regular shoe standards. While the 11.5 seemed just slightly longer than the shoes I'm trying to replace which fit fine but don't have the right arch support.

Other information: I tried them on at the end of the day when my feet should have been more swollen (though I have been icing them alot). Both shoes felt adequately wide, but the 11's had exposed velcro from too short straps (just a cosmetic concern?).

Should I error on the side of a roomy or sock-like shoe? Opinions?
 

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You need to be sure the mid-foot fits. I have long toes/short arches. Many cycling shoes do not fit me because my metatarsal heads will sit on the slope of the arch area rather than the pocket shaped for them. This causes me extreme arch discomfort.

I do use SuperFeet inserts (similar and been around longer than the Specialized inserts) in most of my shoes for better support. I do prefer roomy toe boxes.
 

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Shoe fit is about like bike fit....

there are certain musts, but the details are very personal and every bit as important. For the most part the heel needs to be snug enough that you can walk and ride in the shoe and not feel any movement of the shoe in the heel area. This is critical, movement of the heel will cause hot spots and/or blisters to form. Not a good thing obviously. As for the toe area, your toes should NEVER touch the end of the shoe. The shoe should be quite snug across the instep of the foot, but have enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes comfortably and allow enough room for your toes to spread slightly as you step, but not feel like your swiming in them either. General rule of thumb for length is you should have a fingers worth of space between your longest toe and the end of the toe box. This allows for a bit of movement and compensates for normal swelling of the feet. The 11 sounds a bit short for you.

I know your dilema with sizing. There are Four major sizing systems used in shoe manufacturing, US, Euro, UK, and Japan. And none of them seem to translate exactly from one to the other. So it depends allot on the country of origin what size you will actually wear. Using myslef as an example, I wear a 47 in Euro, which is the most common sizing system for cycling shoes. This translates to a UK 12, a US 13, or a Japan 29.5. However in a US made shoe I wear a straight 12 or 12.5 depending on the manufacturer. So go figure! Then add to that the variations between manufacturers as far as the forms that they use to construct the shoes themselves and you can have quite a time finding a shoe that fits just right.

The bottom line is you have to shop ALLOT, in many cases to find a shoe that fits right for you. And as Shiggy has noted, may have to go to a custom or semi custom foot bed or insert to get exactly what you need. This is a bit spendy, but well worth it when compared to the problems that an ill fitting shoe can cause you. So err on the side of roomy. When you are talking a stiff shoe like a cycling shoe, fitting it like a sock is a sure way to create hot spots and pressure points that can lead to discomfort. Again, as Shiggy noted, the mid foot is just as important as the heel when it comes to fit. In the toe box area you have a little wiggle room as long as you keep some space between the end of the box and your toes. It sounds like the 11.5 would be the better way to go in this case. You may also want to shop around a little as well and check out some other brands. They really do fit differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. Unless your heart is set on the Specialized shoes it wouldn't hurt to try a couple of other different shoes before you pull the trigger.

Good Dirt
 

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Squash said:
...You may also want to shop around a little as well and check out some other brands. They really do fit differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. Unless your heart is set on the Specialized shoes it wouldn't hurt to try a couple of other different shoes before you pull the trigger.

Good Dirt
I would suggest that he should try on other brands (and with a SuperFeet type insert if possible) even if he is set on the Specialized shoes. Sometimes you can not know if a shoe fits well if you only try one type. It helps to try shoes that fit differently to know what a good fit really is.
 

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another vote here for Super feet insoles - they saved my feet for years now.
I have run them in Shimano shoes and they work GREAT! sounds like they would be ideal for your situation.
 

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Specialized shoes narrower in the toebox as compared to say Shimano. I wear a 45 in Shimano but would wear a 44 in Specialized, the lasts are all designed differently.
Also, as previously stated aftermarket footbeds are vastly superior to the originals.
 
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