When is comes to clipless shoes and pedals, the first name that always comes to mind is Shimano for me and for good reasons too. Shimano was the first clipless pedal I ever saw in the early 90's and I owned some of their shoes in the late 90's. With 20 years of shoe making under their soles, Shimano brought forth the Custom Fit SPD Program a little over a year ago. For 2009, they have 8 models and I'll be rocking the M230s.
Check out the process I got to go through to have my Shimano M230 shoes Custom Fit at Dizzy Cycles.Just like the alpine ski and hockey industries who've already been custom fitting their footwear forever, it was only a matter of time until we saw it in the bike industry and clipless pedal shoes. Shimano feels that stability, rigidity and light weight are the three most important features in a competitive racing shoe. Add a perfect anatomical fit and you have the ultimate in power transfer and speed. Basically that means that a shoe that is molded to your foot will feel like part of your body and work better with it.
I was keen to give this a try, so I made arrangements to meet up with Elladee Brown at Dizzy Cycles in Vancouver and put their oven and her knowledge to work and get my new shoes fit to my feet.
Video of the Shimano Custom Fit SPD shoe process with myself and Elladee Brown:
Here is the step by step from Shimano to go with the video:
Preparation: Preheat the oven for 15 minutes, layout out all the necessary tools for the fitting.
Step 1: Remove both insoles and place in pre-heated oven for 1:00 minute.
Step 2: Place both heated insoles into the shoes, have customer put them on, tighten straps and buckles and have customer stand in them for 5 minutes to set the soles.
Step 3: Remove insoles from shoes, undo the Velcro straps and Velcro them back out of the way.
Step 4: Place one shoe in the oven for 2:30 - 3:00 minutes.
Step 5: Pull shoe out of the oven, install insole, re-thread Velcro straps into place.
Step 6: Put shoe onto customer's foot and tighten down buckle and upper Velcro strap. Strap the vacuum hose under lower Velcro strap.
Step 7: Place toe cap over the end of the shoe and slip on the compression bag.
Step 8: Loop the large Velcro strap around the customer's ankle and cinch down the compression bag and vacuum hose snugly against the ankle.
Step 9: Turn on the vacuum for 2:30 minutes, you may give the shoe some extra pressure with your hands around the heel and other areas that have the heat molding material.
Step 10: Remove the compression bag, toe cap and vacuum hose and have the customer leave the shoe on for an additional 5:00 minutes.
Step 11: Repeat steps 4-10 for the remaining shoe.
Remind your customer: It takes 24 hours for the heat molding material to fully cure, so do not ride for a full day on them. Also if left in a hot car all day, make sure not to leave heavy items on Custom Fit shoes!
Step 12: Go ride your bike!
So far the fit is pretty amazing, and I'm looking forward to getting in some nice winter rides on them.