They of course were lace-ups and the combination of the lacing, supple leather top and leather inner sole (they had moved to a plasticky/composite outer sole with leather inner sole at this time) was a shoe that truly molded to your feet as in custom-fit. So in theory I can fully understand how a modern interpretation of the classic cycling shoe will definitely work as far as providing a superior fit versus the various ratchets, Velcro and BOA combinations.
The whole shoe - pedal system of back in the day was actually horribly uncomfortable despite the custom fit light as air nature of the shoes. Classic pedals/toe clips and the thin/flexible soles of back in the day resulted in hot spots/pressure points and discomfort in general. But having experience with the old days I can definitely see how modern soles and pedals will make a shoe like the Empire work.
For added security and adjustment on the fly do as many riders did in the old days - wrap a leather toe clip strap around each of your shoes and cinch it down. Preferably Alfredo Binda. Though I gather from the comments of people that have bought Empires this is wholly unnecessary.
Elrey wrote:Could anyone help me find a UK or EU dealer who has it in other than size 43?
Also, what are you owners doing with the extra part of the laces? I have half a mind to cut them down to the appropriate size once I've got that dialed.
As mentioned above you can just use the elasticated strap on the tongue to secure the spare laces.
You could either just buy new laces that are shorter or do the trick that Phinney does and wrap them underneath first before tying.
tharmor wrote:@geill & @mitchgixer6 - thanks for the answers! Here's the thing, though - why keep all that extra "lace" once you've dialed in the fit? What would be the harm in just trimming them down and burning the new ends (or something to that extent)?
The Empires have a very roomy toe box, and the laces allow for more give as well.
I just tie a double knot and tuck the laces away in the elastic. It's not that big of a deal and having that extra lace length makes it easier to tie as well. It would be a real pain to cut them perfectly and have to tie them with such little slack. Tucking them away also keeps the laces from flapping, which would happen if you cut it just long enough to tie.
mitchgixer6 wrote:You could either just buy new laces that are shorter or do the trick that Phinney does and wrap them underneath first before tying.
I just bought a pair (scored a hookup) and so I will try a couple of things out and report back. I was wondering if anyone was wrapping them underneath soccer cleat style. And you answered that for me.
I've had no hot spots as of yet and but I did get a little pain in the arch of my right foot so I switched from the medium arc support to the low and things are a lot better. I do a fair amount of running and don't like to rely on arch support.
I went with the blacks as I can change the laces to any colour I wish in order to match the rest of my kit.
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