Cycling shoe options for barefoot enthusiasts
We were approached by one of my followers the other day, asking whether we had any recommendations for cycling cleats with a wide toe box. Admittedly, as we're only casual cyclists, and this is not our field of expertise, we asked our followers for some suggestions. Thank you to all those that helped bring this together! Please keep in mind that we haven't tried any of these personally, however we trust that our audience would have a reasonable idea of suitable options in todays market.
We must give further praise to @seanf4l_strength_conditioning, as he provided us with some excellent photos (including comparisons), explained why people wear cleats, and how like dress shoes - you can't compare them to a barefoot shoe (most of you reading this, already know this).
Without further ado, we'll bring you their recommendations!
Bont was founded in 1975 by Mrs. Sara Bont and Mr. Inze Bont in Sydney, Australia. They are a world class company, pioneering the construction of thermo moldable shoes, and specialise in heat moldable road cycling shoes, MTB cycling shoes, Track cycling shoes and Triathlon cycling shoes. As seen in the photos below, Bont provides the cycling world an anatomical fitting cleat, which fits wider in comparison to current industry standards. Bont also provides a double wide fit option in their Custom and Semi Custom models.
(Photo: Bont Cycling)
Figure 1: Riot MTB+ Black/Blue (Dirt)
Figure 2: Vaypor S Black/White (Road)
Figure 3: Riot TR+ Black/Charcoal (Triathlon)
Figure 4: Vaypor T Semi Custom (Track)
Figure 5: Crono MK2 (Aero)
(Photo: Bont Cycling Size Chart)
Founded in Italy in 1991, Northwave produce snowboard and cycling equipment. They have a limited number of models in stock with wider options. Unfortunately, they don't have any information regarding the measurements of their widths.
Figure 1: Northwave Core Plus 2 Wide
Figure 2: Northwave Origin Plus 2 Wide
Figure 3: Northwave Origin Plus Wide
Figure 4: Northwave Core Plus Wide
(Photo: Left: Origin Plus Wide Right: Core Plus Wide)
Founded in Japan in 1921, Shimano have produced all things cycling related, including a range of cycling shoes. Their shoes are fit for a range of terrains, and also come in wider sizes.
Figure 1-2: RC3
Figure 3-4: RC5
Figure 5-7: RC7
Founded in Evanston, Illinois in 1982, Lake specialises in a wide range of cycling shoes, including an extra wide range (See below).
(Photo: Lake Extra Wide Range)
(Photo: Left: MX 241 Right: CX301)
(Photo: Lake Fit Matrix)
5. Pearl Izumi
Founded in Tokyo in 1950, Pearl Izumi manufactures cleats for a number of scenarios. No information on their width was available on their website however.
Figure 1: X-ALP Flow (Above and Below)
Figure 2: X-ALP Canyon (Above and Below)
Figure 3: X-ALP Divide (Above and Below)
6. Rocket 7
Founded in the US in 1999, Rocket 7 make custom cycling shoes, with options such as making a shoe to mould to your foot. They non-complete custom versions go all the way up to 53EEE.
Figure 1: Handmade Stock Shoes
Figure 2: Handmade Semi Custom Shoes
Figure 3: Handmade Full Custom Shoes
Click here for more info.
The information behind the results of this article were provided by our followers, in addition to our own judgement and research on the web. The general consensus seems to be that Bont is the clear favourite, followed by Lake; However, Lake also had a negative response by a follower. Rocket 7 seems to be another possible choice, as the shoe is completely customisable.