I recently bought some cheap ($60) mountain bike shoes. It changed my riding style, and I'm really 'pedaling in a circle' now.

I have a complaint though... when I sprint and put a lot of force into the other-than-down parts of the stroke, my foot moves around a lot. It doesn't feel efficient, and is rather annoying.

If I tighten the straps enough that this doesn't happen, it really constricts my feet and isn't comfortable.

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I haven't found it useful to tighten the ratchet before sprinting/attacking. I would rather have the ratchet over my toes, as that's where most of the movement is.

So... is this normal for cycling (mountain) shoes? If not, is it because mine are cheap or do I just have a bad fit?

  • Basically, what you describe would be due to a too-soft sole, laces not tight enough, or simply a poor fit. Though I suppose it could also be due to having "uppers" that are too stretchy. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 21:53
  • 1
    This could do with a picture of the fastening arrangement, as you may have some options that aren't immediately apparent. For example there are ways to thread laces to allow different tensions in different zones. You may also get some benefit from the least compressible thick insole you can find/make.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 22:06
  • @ChrisH Mine have two velcro straps and a ratchet
    – BSO rider
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 22:12
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    @Batman I've got recessed spd cleats and they're almost new.
    – BSO rider
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 10:53
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    I'm guessing the shoes are too large. Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


Visually it looks like a velcro issue to me. Basically, velcro straps are fine to maintain regular together because of the relatively low mechanical constraint on them.

When riding a bike however, the vertical constrains due to the pedal-locking are way more important. This causes your straps to extend slightly (because velcro straps are a based on a fabric ribbon and when you stretch a fabric ribbon it extends) thus causing a lack of adherence because the little hooks unhooks themselves. This is why after a while your strapping seems to get looser, it's because it actually get looser.

Unfortunately there is little to do against that with your shoes.

This problem is pretty common and explains why in higher end shoes you got complicated hybrid strap+lacing systems in order to balance the benefits of each.

So ideally for bugdet I would say : switch to full lacing shoes, it's a pain to put on and off but it stays in place pretty good.

The other technical solution to the problem is to buy some fiberglass reinforced strapped shoes. It's more expensive, I myself have an old pair of Carnac Quartz (it's composed with four fiberglass straps instead of three) that where somewhat expensive at launch (around 200dollars) but with it you can hammer the pedal, it won't budge at all because of the fiberglass which prevent the velcro to expand.

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