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Fezzari Signal Peak
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

So I've got some great pedals since I converted back to flats this year but any form of soft sole can't stand up. I've been looking around for bike shoes but not much selection here unless you're riding clipless. Do you all have any advice for good shoes for flats? I see that five ten makes Karvers but for XC it feels a bit overkill. I need something with support, strong arch, and doesn't look half bad rocking baggies either. :) Any advice would help!!
 

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Hi Tonicspark,

I own a pair of the Karvers and I love them. I use them for XC riding and they stick like glue to my pedals. Right now it looks like they are phasing out the Karvers and they are on sale for a great price on Five Tens web site.

They can be a bit clunky and stiff but I wear orthotics that make any shoe a custom fit for me. I would go with something in the Five Ten line if you think the Karvers are overkill.

Is there a reason why you switched to flats? Have you ever used clipless? I started in clipless which resulted in my bike and me tangled on many uphills that I couldn't make. I read good reviews about the Karver shoes and made the switch. This summer I plan to go back to try clipless again. Good luck in your search!
 

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Honestly, I've been riding Nike air max 95's. Grip is fantastic, comfortable off the bike as well, and a bit stiffer than most sneakers. (Not to mention, a crazy assortment of colors). After hundreds of miles, there's a clear imprint of my pedals in the soles. I've tried the dedicated bike shoes, but I can't justify the specialization for such a small gain.
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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Karvers & Impacts are way too big for my narrow feet. I have been wearing a (boys) Teva Links, but I am not sure they make them any more. I did just get a pair of the 5.10 Guide Tennie approach shoe. It has the same stealth rubber as the other 5.10 mtb shoes but it fits my narrow foot much, much better.

Somewhere in here we had another shoe thread that had a lot of discussion on what people have tried, but that was a few years ago. Maybe there are new offerings now.
 

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Fezzari Signal Peak
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gosabrs,
I haven't actually tried on Karvers but they look pretty aggressive. I have time atac pedals that would not let go of my foot- sometimes even when I wrecked. I tried every trick in the book to loosen them and decided to switch back to pedal. I got some awesome sticky pedals and felt drastic improvement. I'll probably switch back eventually to try but with some less tight pedals.

Formica,
I was hoping to look for some new advice--I have looked at Tennies before but I would have to commit to a buy online. Do they fit true to size for you?
 

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I got a ladies 7 and that's what I wear. Fit great for me. I did some emailing with their customer service dept, who let me know that the "Freerider" line is on a different last and more low volume. It only comes in mens' sizes and I'm not sure how those translate. My DHiller friends don't think the guide shoe is heavy enough for that style of riding. I ride XC so I suppose that's less abuse. Can you order from some place like Zappo's that does easy returns?
 

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Rock n' Roller
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510's can't beat them. For flats, they are amazing. I have the 2012 spitfire model which is a bit less aggressive than the karvers. I wear between a size 6 and 7 in most shoes (wide, flat feet - gotta love them) and the 6 was perfect. Most of their models fit my wide feet pretty well.

I switched from clips to flats last year after many years of struggling with clips and never looked back. To each their own, but you should be comfortable on your bike and happy with your equipment. Will I win any XC races with flats? Probably not - but I never did with clips either...and I'm much happier with my eqiupment, how it works, and how I use it.

They are comfortable for long rides and stick like glue to my pedals with some practice. It takes getting used to. My husband hopped on my bike and came back with his shins looking like pin cushions - practice! As a side note, if you ever find yourself riding very rocky, technical, or slickrock-y terrain, those sticky shoes are awesome if you ever have to get off your bike and walk.

I have found that the 510 shoes tend to fit very similarly between styles that are, well, similar. There are exceptions of course, but your size should be true for many others that you may be looking at - it's just a matter of which style works best.

It looks like Zappos has many different styles. There won't be any bargains there, but the returns are a breeze...could order a few sizes, see which fits best, and send the others back.
 

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Rock n' Roller
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And the difference between regular shoes and 510's is amazing. There is no comparison. If you have good, aggressive flat pedals. Buy a good pair of shoes made for them.

1. They last. They are designed to take the abuse of good, spikey, flat pedals. Mine are going on their second season and are going strong. A pair of tennis shoes won't last long.
2. They stick like glue...they will NOT come off until you lift your feet and take them off - that gives you an incredible amount of control and confidence.
3. They are stiff and designed for the demands of serious riding - they have a purpose and they satisfy that purpose flawlessly.

Are they absolutely necessary? No...but neither is 160mm of travel :D
 

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I have 5.10 Impact Highs (high top), about the burliest ones they have, and use them for regular trail riding. They work so well they kind of "disappear" on your feet when you're riding, so I don't think you'll find any 5.10's overkill in practice.
 

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I was using SPDs on all my bikes (even the roady - screw that duck waddling), and I thought I might give flats a go around xmas.

So I recently went from clips to flats on my yeti and I am glad I did... Its so nice to be able to move your feet around on the pedals and stick a foot out if you need to, especially if riding hairier stuff. Really improves your confidence on the bike and you don't have to think about getting unclipped when you come off.
I wear 5.10 karvers - it took a few hours getting used to not being clipped in (after years riding clipped in!) and now I don't really find that my efficiency pedaling is any different. I find them so comfy I even wear them out and about, especially when its rainy, wet and slippy - thats what they were designed for after all ;)
 

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Zappos has the ladies guide tennie, that is where I got mine. They have free shipping and returns. I have been wearing the links but wow the 5.10 sole is definitely stickier. I'll report on the freeriders, got those coming in too. Bike shoe s*ut?
 

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510s look overkill (i have the impacts) but they really are the best :) maybe a little bit hot, (i wear them in the winter, and clipless in the summer) but the stiffness and grip are unbeatable. Seriously, it's like night and day when you go from normal sneakers to these!
 

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I just ordered some free riders so I will be able to report on how they fit narrow fit pretty quick here.
Report - the Freeriders are certainly more narrow and low volume than the Karver or Impact. (yay!) They fit my narrow low volume foot much better - it feels like a correct fit and not a clown shoe fit. The Freeriders have the bike shoe feel of the Karver/Impacts, unlike the Guide Tennie which feels more like a regular light hiker, but with flat and very sticky sole.

Since they only come in Men's sizes, and I am doing mail order, I had to send one pair back that was too small. The mens's 6 should be correct for my ladies 7 foot.

I don't know about you all, but at $100+ a pop, I'm not about to put money out for a shoe that doesn't fit, no matter how cools it's pedal sticking properties. The Freerider looks like it will fill the bill, finally, yay! I'm just not on the "it works if I wear two pairs of socks and stack insoles in it" bandwagon.
 

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Report - the Freeriders are certainly more narrow and low volume than the Karver or Impact. (yay!) They fit my narrow low volume foot much better - it feels like a correct fit and not a clown shoe fit. The Freeriders have the bike shoe feel of the Karver/Impacts, unlike the Guide Tennie which feels more like a regular light hiker, but with flat and very sticky sole.

Since they only come in Men's sizes, and I am doing mail order, I had to send one pair back that was too small. The mens's 6should be correct for my ladies 7 foot.

I don't know about you all, but at $100 a pop, I'm not about to put money out for a shoe that doesn't fit, no matter how cools it's pedal sticking properties. The Freerider looks like it will fill the bill, finally, yay! I'm just not on the "it works if I wear two pairs of socks and stack insoles in it" bandwagon.
Thanks for the update! I'd been eyeing the Freerider since they *look* smaller than the others. Good to know they fit better too.
 
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