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Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:41 pm
by vinuneuro
Stiff shoes will be great for power transfer, but will they make for a harsher ride? Do they transmit more shock and vibration through the pedals compared to ones that have a slight amount of flex?

Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:41 pm
by Weenie

Re: How much does shoe stiffness affect ride quality?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:21 pm
by freehub
I would say most of ride quality is felt through the bum and hands and not through the feet. I ride with stiff soled Specialized carbon road shoes...and another bike with tennis shoes for example. I really don't notice any particular harshness through my feet.

I will tell you what is important however...whether you opt for carbon soled shoes or glass filled nylon soled less expensive road shoes...and that your foot is properly supported with a proper orthotic. Btw, that is not a soft orthotic but rather a firm or stiff orthotic that supports the foot when under a lot of pressure when cycling. Softer orthotics will depress and distort under high foot pressure by contrast losing support for the foot. Other than that, the ride quality of the bike itself is what affects rider comfort. Another fit related tenet of a comfortable rider aside from proper foot support is....rider fit to the bike matters more than frame stiffness. This is lost on many. I can ride a very stiff bike for miles provided my 3 pts of contact match my body size and proportion and flexibility. This is because when an even stiff bike goes over bumps, my body is fitted in contact with the bike such that it is well within my body range of motion aka proper fit.
HTH

How much does shoe stiffness affect ride quality?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:44 pm
by TonyM
Since I switched to my stiff shoes (Bont) my ride quality actually increased. Better power transfer is really nice and you feel it. Only for the long rides with more than 6 hours on the saddle without break I can start to feel sore feet at the end.

I use however good quality tires (Veloflex or Vittoria) with latex tubes and I am not too heavy (148 lbs in the summer)

Re: How much does shoe stiffness affect ride quality?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:14 pm
by Hexsense
good arch support insole is a must for stiff shoes.
your foot are made to walk on ground, not flat hard surface. So we need to support arch of the foot or it will collapse and feel sore after a while.

Giro SuperNatural Footbed kit (adjustable arch support, very thin forefoot and heel),
Icebug slim insole (3 version- low,mid,high ) -> still quite thin and have very big metatarsal bump in addition to arch support (some might find it too big),
Specialized BG + (red color for flat feet), BG++ (blue color for medium arch), BG+++ (green color for high arch) -> this is thick all round, and soft but good shape and seems to fit many people,
are some good choices. The Specialized BG++ somehow adjust my knee angle like it has some tilt shim built into the insole too.

Re: How much does shoe stiffness affect ride comfort?

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:28 pm
by izza
All depends on your feet. Orthotic supports do nothing for people with solid arches (like me) or those with flat feet. The arch support only works for those with an arch that collapses with pressure.

As for the remainder of the insole the soreness in feet often arises from repeated pressure on the nerves in the sole of the feet. I also found that Spesh BG insoles are very good in this respect.

First thing to just ride. If no problems then it’s an invalid concern. If you get soreness after 15-20 mins, after your ride then first test is to lightly place your foot on the ground - all your weight being on the other foot. Then transfer weight onto the foot you are studying. Is there a change in shape? That will tell you if supporting arches will do anything for you.

Then consider insoles in relation to level of padding, arch support and nerve protection.


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Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:50 am
by NiFTY
In regards to arch support. I developed a sore knee years ago. Got a bike fit. Recommended arch support. The soles didn't seem excessively high in my arch and were comfy but i have had issues with fit ongoing. Have had 2 subsequent bike fits - all were happy with those soles. Finally took out high arch and went back to the old flat ones - initially felt unsupported now much more comfy. I wonder whether they were slightly too high and were rolling my ankles out?

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:40 pm
by IrrelevantD
I don’t feel stiff soles make the ride any more harsh, but I have found that stiff soles help prevent foot pain on rides over 50 miles. As freehub said, harshness is felt mostly in the hands and bum.

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:56 pm
by 11.4
It really depends on how you ride. If you're an aggressive rider and your weight distribution is on your feet more than on your rear, you'll feel the shoes more. Your feet have very little padding under them, and if the insole doesn't conform to your feet, it'll localize pressure in a few spots and force your foot to flex across the ball, both of which can induce a lot of pain and other complications. That doesn't mean to go with a sole that isn't stiff, but it does mean you need to get your fit right. In particular, get an impression of the underside of your feet and match that to your potential shoes.

Remember that most of the pressure is on the ball of the foot and forward. I've found that more and more cyclists are able to drop arch-oriented orthotics as long as they manage their forefoot well. Cycling shoes aren't really made to support arch-oriented orthotics well to begin with, and your foot benefits from some flexion through the middle of the foot. No flexion tends to induce plantar fascial problems which then have ripple effects throughout your leg.

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 pm
by boots2000
I would consider insoles to be more of a problem than shoes-
As others have said, get an insole where the arch correction matches your foot.
Also- Many nice shoes have crappy insoles. Sidi insoles are super thin and have no support. The Bont insoles are also thin.
Size your shoes accordingly and use nice insoles.

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:25 pm
by TheKaiser
NiFTY wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:50 am
In regards to arch support. I developed a sore knee years ago. Got a bike fit. Recommended arch support. The soles didn't seem excessively high in my arch and were comfy but i have had issues with fit ongoing. Have had 2 subsequent bike fits - all were happy with those soles. Finally took out high arch and went back to the old flat ones - initially felt unsupported now much more comfy. I wonder whether they were slightly too high and were rolling my ankles out?
Too much arch correction can certainly roll your ankle outward, much like a cleat wedge can. Generally, the desirable thing would be to get the "proper" amount of arch support first, and then adjust inward/outward roll using wedges, rather than trying to induce an overall foot cant by varying arch support. So what was it that helped your sore knee? That preceeded your foray into arch supports, and I am curious what it was that finally improved it (assuming that it has been improved in the subsequent years).

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:03 pm
by themidge
I used to ride some Shimano shoes with fibreglass/plastic soles. They weren't noticeably flexy, in fact I didn't really notice them at all which is good in a shoe. Now I've moved (coz my feet grew) to a pair of full carbon soled B'twin shoes (unfashionable but great value :D). They're much stiffer when stomping up steep hills so they get a point over the old ones for power transfer. However, I've also noticed that I can feel bumps in the road through my feet now, which I couldn't before. It's not really a big deal and I'm not uncomfortable, although I haven't done any long rides on the new shoes yet but I think I'll get used to it.

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:30 pm
by fromtrektocolnago
i do not believe shoe soles have any impact. what the stiffnes does provide for is more efficient pedaling and a less tired foot

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:24 am
by NickJHP
IrrelevantD wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:40 pm
I don’t feel stiff soles make the ride any more harsh, but I have found that stiff soles help prevent foot pain on rides over 50 miles. As freehub said, harshness is felt mostly in the hands and bum.
My experience is the opposite. I found carbon fibre soled cycling shoes too stiff and made my feet more uncomfortable on long rides. I much prefer shoe soles with a small amount of give in them.

Nick

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:22 am
by cunn1n9
I noticed more vibration when I got my first set of “good” shoes s-works 2014 model. Before that I had midrange Shimano shoes and I noticed particularly when descending (ie not pedalling) on coarse roads that the vibration was increased. I think when not pedalling it really highlighted this.

I since developed hot foot and I am not sure if the shoes are to blame. I did buy these shoes as I become more serious and upped my distances. So not sure if the stiff sole and extra vibration contributed to hot foot but I suspect it might.


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Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:23 pm
by Geoff
I think so.

When we switched from leather Sabatini shoes to nylon Adidas Eddy Merckx, one of the things that I noticed was that, on the hottest days (mid-30s), my feet could get a little 'tingle'. When I switched from nylon to carbon, that 'tingle' could become very painful (like, I-can't-finish-this-ride painful). This is rare. The last time it happened I was in the last 30km of 180 and it was 33 degrees (which is really hot for us). It could be because I was getting low on water, or because I'm just old, but I think it was the shoes.

Re: Do stiff shoes transmit a lot more vibration?

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:23 pm
by Weenie