enter image description hereI purchased some touring shoes (Giro Republic) that support a two bolt cleat. I opted for a standard, popular Shimano M520L pedal with matching cleats.

I installed the pedals, loosened the tension on the clip mechanism, and install the cleats with the triangular end facing forward.

Unfortunately, I can't clip in. It appears that the rubber pads surrounding the shoe make contact with the pedal axle before the cleat can engage with the back of the pedal. Note the forward part of the cleat is hooked into the front, as expected. The rear is sitting on top of the sprint mechanism.

My question is, is there something I am doing wrong in my install process? The dealer indicated they have not had reports of incompatibility between this particular shoe and cleat.

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    I suspect that it's the shoe and pedal not working together. If it's merely a bit of rubber on the sole interfering with the pedal it might be simplest to shave away the rubber. May 31, 2014 at 1:03
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    Looking at the spec of the Giro Republics (they look very nice btw) it says they have replaceable walking pads. So these things can be removed and replaced somehow. Therefore, is it possible to temporarily unscrew one of the pads that you think is the causing problem, just to satisfy yourself that you're not doing anything wrong? Its just that the spd cleat system is in theory pretty straightforward, but of course nothing is straightforward when you're looking at it for the first time.
    – PeteH
    May 31, 2014 at 10:06
  • There are pedals with a smaller axle. For example the M540. If you like the shoes I would go with a pedal upgrade.
    – paparazzo
    May 31, 2014 at 13:43
  • @DanielRHicks thanks for the suggestion. We're talking two millimeters of clearance here. That's quite a lot to compensate for with shims.
    – MM.
    May 31, 2014 at 19:17
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    That recess is incredibly deep. Jun 2, 2014 at 11:01

3 Answers 3


Adding an answer to summarize the the suggestions already made in comments.

I had this problem with a pedal/show combination. My solution was to trim the sole where it interfered with the pedals. Initially I hesitated to do this to my nice new shoes, but subsequently never gave the missing blocks a second though.

My other option was to install different pedals, which I had. I decided I wanted to have the pedals as they were usable for the quick trip to the corner store in my street shoes or a spin around the block with my preschool son.


Generally the cleats come with some shims for exactly this problem. If you have the box with the original pedals look around for some thin cleat shaped shims.

If you can't find them, you can hand make shims out of plastic milk bottles, or ask around at the dealer to see if they have any spares handy.

  • +1 for the general solution, but from what I've heard, these shoes just don't work well with certain pedal combinations to begin with, so switching out the shoes may be a good idea.
    – Batman
    May 31, 2014 at 0:30
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    Worse comes to worse, a dremel tool and sanding disk will solve most shoe/pedal/cleat problems. May 31, 2014 at 1:04
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    That would be fine on a sub-100 dollar shoe I think. But these are ~200 last time I checked - its not somethign that should have to be done, and at that price, I expect perfection. So id swap either the pedals or the shoes.
    – Batman
    May 31, 2014 at 3:44
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    @Batman - You don't expect a $1000 suit to be fitted by a tailor? May 31, 2014 at 10:52
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    I'm with @Batman. A shoe that supports a two-bolt cleat should be designed to be compatible the standard for two bolt cleat pedals. That is, the Shimano SPD system.
    – MM.
    May 31, 2014 at 19:12

Are you sure you have the cleats positioned the right way? It's easy to put them in upside down.

  • 2
    Welcome to the site - that's a good thought, but in OP's photo we can see the cleat isn't even fitted. The shoe is not fitting over the pedal because of clearances/tolerances.
    – Criggie
    Mar 9, 2022 at 2:26

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