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My girlfriend has been riding for a few months and wants to try clipless pedals. Anyone got any reccomendations for a good shoe for a beginner? Something that is comfortable enough to walk in when needed?
 

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My first pair was probably something similar to the Shimano MT-40's (multi-purpose shoes). I liked them (they definitely keep your feet warmer in cold, etc.) and they look more like regular shoes, but after riding for a few months I wanted Sidi's. The cloth shoes tend to get pretty beat up by the cranks (mine did anyway), and even at less than a year old, the soles are kind of coming apart on the bottom.

Got Sidi's about 3 weeks ago and love them. Granted, they're not super comfy to walk in, but I still do it when necessary. Haven't had too much pain afterward, not more than with the Shimano's anyway.

So, definitely have her think about longevity and everything also. She may want a pair that look like tennies (the Oakley shoes are pretty good for this), but she may also change her mind in a month and decide that she would have liked something more functional. Not that the tennis-shoe like cycling shoes aren't functional, but sometimes the road-like shoes seem to be better to me.

Also make sure she tries them all on and gets a pair that fits (walk around in them, sit in them, maybe try to ride around outside the store, etc). I have a pair of Specialized shoes that are a few sizes too big. I wear them to commute to/from work instead of for anything else. Not really a good purchase.
 

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A shoe that fits well would be the best so have her try some on and see how they feel walking around. I really like my specialized taho shoes, they dont look as strange as some of the other shoes and I can wear them to class.
 

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I've been riding for seventeen years and there's not much I can't ride over, but I still use shoes that have a wide, stable tread and are easy to walk in. Most of these shoes are lace-up, and look a lot like street shoes. The Cannondale Roam is an example. You can use a rubber band to secure the laces.

Most expensive mountain bike shoes are merely road shoes with a little bit of tread on the bottom, and they don't provide the stability and traction needed for walking over rough terrain. It's very easy to slip or sprain your ankle. I don't like them, even for racing. It would be nice if someone made a lightweight shoe with ratcheting closures that had a stiff, efficient sole but also good tread and a footprint wide enough for good stability on rough terrain, but I have yet to find one.
 

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I third the idea to get a shoe that has a more traditional look and most importantly sticky tread. I used to have the hard sole mtb shoes, and frankly they suck for hike a bike, they slip on rocks, and are not comfortable to wear around. A beginner will be doing plenty of time off the bike.

I've got a new speicalized, that I just love, can't think of the style name.

Formica
 

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I like the Shimano SHMO38 shoes (or variants of it). Here it is at Jenson. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/SH703B00-Shimano+Sh-M038+Shoes.aspx

They are easy to hike in if needed and I like that the velcro strap covers the laces to prevent them from getting caught in your bike. The shoes themselves are pretty comfortable yet still stiff enough for efficient pedaling. My feet are big but on the narrow side and these shoes (even in men's sizing) fit great. I'm not a huge fan of Shimano but these shoes have exceeded my expecatations....and I'm on my second pair!
 

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Not totally related to the question, but thought i'd throw this in...Egg beaters are great for first time (and experienced too!) clipless pedalers...They are so easy to get in and out of no matter which foot or which direction! Highly recommend these. I used to clip out before riding through a sketchy section (when I used Shimano's) because I was such a crasher. Now I don't worry at all because the Egg beaters are sooo easy to get out of.
 

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I bought the Nike Kato shoes and have enjoyed them, not too pricey, very comfy, easy velcro straps, and good trends for carrying bikes up and down. i think the important thing is to thouroughly break in the pedals, or give her some of your old ones, so she doesnt have very tight pedals that wont release. also set them really loose.
 
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