Shimano Custom Fit SPDs

Nov 28, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
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.

www.shimano.com

-Tyler "Brule" Maine


49 Comments

  • 8 1
 Ski boots were the first to do it. It's not "ripping off technology" it's just the natural evolution. Spd pedals are waaaay better than Eggbeaters that bend, fold and break very easily!
  • 9 4
 After putting a cheap set of clipless shoes and pedals on my Dh Bike, I am sold on riding clipped in, And I could totally see why you would spend more $ on nice shoes. It makes all the difference in the world.
Hopfully I will be able to slap down some cash for some nice shoes before next season.
  • 0 0
 Sidi all the way
  • 7 2
 Specialized make some sweet shoes as well. But I must say, not much beats the DX shoe with clips+ time Z control pedal! Big Grin
  • 3 4
 hell yeh +D
  • 2 7
flag konaclump70005 (Nov 28, 2008 at 18:29) (Below Threshold)
 didnt know shimano even made shoes... lol
  • 3 2
 Wha? Shimano made the very first SPD shoes. The M100's were the first shoe paired with the 737 pedal.
  • 5 1
 I am surprised it took this long for the technology to shift from skates to cycling shoes. I remember fitting my hochey skates like this 7 or 8 years ago.
  • 6 2
 the idea is a good ripoff from iceskating, where this costum fitting is standard.. but good to see it entering MTB Smile
  • 7 1
 they were doing it in alpine ski boots long before ice skates.
  • 2 0
 actually they were not viking skates which are long track speed skates were the first to do it but no one caught on to it because of the price tag than skiers started the best cuctom boot out there is the a one track boot from bont i no its a track shoe but for road they are amazing and the carbon is thick enough to put a couple kleets in it i use there skates also and they are both by far the most stiff and comfortable shoe out there
  • 0 0
 From an orthopaedic point of view... THIS IS RETARDED! What's the point of custom molding your arches if you're going to mold them weight-bearing??? Kind of defeats the purpose of giving you proper support and alignment... but hey, I'm sure the custom molded COLLAPSED arches will be all the rage next season.
  • 0 0
 I'm not sure how this could be retarded when DH skiing, all forms of ice skating and a few other sports use this technology to create a better fit. COmpanies like SOLE sell insoles and you heat mold them to your feat and I know quite a few people that swear by them (and they aren't sponsored by SOLE either). But please feel free to expand upon your statement.
  • 0 0
 Haha good one. Well just so you know I'm not talking out of my A$$, I work as an orthopaedic consultant. Now the reason superfeet, ski and skate manufacturers and SOLE use this type of molding is because it's CHEAP, EASY AND QUICK. Furthermore it makes for great marketing because you now have this custom product that's actually not much more expensive to produce than their off-the-shelf counterparts.
Let's think logically... what happens to your arches (both longitudinal and metatarsal) when you apply weight to your foot, like when you're standing or pedalling? The arches collapse to a greater or lesser extent depending on the person. Right? So why would you want to take a mold of your reduced arches? It's common knowledge in the orthopaedic world that orthotics made from non-weightbearing casts are more effective in providing support, improving alignment and addressing the multitude of other lower limb conditions we have to deal with.
As for people swearing by their results with weightbearing molds... some people have functionally flat feet and don't need the support or help with alignment... and ALWAYS remember that placebo effect. Most therapies are over 50% more efective if you believe in them.
  • 0 0
 BTW, I'm not calling anybody who bought these shoes retarded since most people don't fully understand foot biomechanics (including myself sometimes). I'm just disappointed that sporting goods companies are still trying to pass this technology off as a quality custom support. They should know better. And if they don't know any better, than they have a responsibility to better research these concepts before marketing them this way.
  • 0 0
 Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I actually sell SOLE orthotics and I tell ALL of my customers not to heat mold them. To me they're just a higher longitudinal arch profile option to the Superfeet.
  • 2 1
 yeah their sick, but are you really gonna beat sidi's. come on. Italia baby.
  • 1 0
 yeah, they are. sidi raised their prices a helluva lot for 2009
  • 1 1
 I've personally never ridden Sidi shoes, but I'll keep it in mind and try out a pair in the future.
  • 2 1
 don't get me wrong...sidi makes great stuff, but for 2k9, there has been a huge price hike. shoes that would have cost $300 USD last season are now $400+. also, they do run fairly narrow in the normal sizing, but are stiff as hell. it's a close call between sidi and shimano for stiffness and durability.
  • 0 0
 I had a pair of Sidi Dominator shoes back in the 90's and they were rubbish. No insole support and the retention mechanism didn't work well.
  • 0 0
 they are definitely better now than they were when sidi was first getting into the game, but i agree that many of their shoes are extremely expensive and not a lot of bang for the buck. the bullet is the way to go if you go the sidi route.
  • 0 1
 The prices are so much more likely because the US dollar has been hitting the crapper, and the Euro has been fine....more or less anyways for the last little while.
  • 1 1
 yea the shoes are so expensive its not even funny and u can get like other moldable shoes for alot less i cant remeber then name
  • 0 0
 Love my Sidi's and Times. Of course Sidi's are expensive, they're made in Italy, not China like the majority of the bike shoes.
  • 2 1
 XTR Cranks. Someone loves their bike Wink
  • 0 0
 No XTR pedals though?
  • 1 0
 Nope I got those pedals for like $25 at a local shop. A guy bought a bike and it fell off his car and scraped the one pedal up. I guess he picked up fresh pedals as he wanted it all to be mint. I got these and I'm stoked.
  • 2 0
 Well, the story makes them better than XTR.
  • 1 0
 that vacuum really didn't look that tight against his foot.
  • 5 0
 It is really tight. It was funny though as the owner of Dizzy's was asking if it hurt my foot as he sometimes gets customers that are asking if it should be that tight. The answer is yes it should as you are heat molding it to your foot. Been running them for a few weeks now and they are feeling really good.
  • 0 0
 okie dokie, cheers for clearing that up Smile
  • 0 0
 Which dizzy cycles did you get it done at???
  • 0 0
 I think there is only one and its in Vancouver.
  • 0 0
 Ok, I got confused with obsession bikes, it used to be a dizzy cycles....
  • 0 0
 Oooops.... did I do that?
  • 1 1
 Nice Vaccu-Tac shoes
  • 0 2
 no clips, stuff the spd's especialy when you've screwed your knees up like me, ride flats
  • 2 0
 Just have to find ones that have the right mix of float and angulation and then there shouldn't be too many problems.
  • 0 1
 Float and angle don't make all the difference though. My knees don't react to kindly to the pulling stresses from clipping in. I can't ride very long clipped in anymore, knee starts to ache something fierce and swells.
  • 0 0
 true, but you can also adjust the spring tension to make it easier to come in/out of your pedals. also, try a set of speedplay x series pedals if you are having issues- they are incredibly easy to click in and they have tons of float!

btw tyler, sorry i got this thread so distracted from shimano. And SPD's are fine...nuthin' wrong w/ em...they may not shed mud as well as eggbeaters,but still do well in all conditions. it also depends on your cleat fit, alignment and how worn your cleats are.
  • 0 0
 that why i said about fucked knees i screwed the ligaments i my left knee so flats r wot im sticking to
  • 0 0
 AAhhhhhhhh I never thought about the pulling up part, just the foot position. Yeah, I can see that especially with loose knees the joint extension could hurt.
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