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I have very wide feet, like ridiculously wide. I found some data for Australian male foot sizes and I'm at the 80th percentile for length but the 99.7th percentile for width. I'm currently wearing shoes a size too long in extra extra wide, and they're still barely wide enough.

I've been road cycling for a while now, and I'm starting to take it seriously (looking for a club to join). I would like to be able to lock my feet into the pedals, but I don't know where to start. Old school around-the-toe straps are difficult because my regular shoes are too long, and as you might have guessed, off the shelf cycle shoes (at least the few that I've tried) aren't designed with someone like me in mind.

What options are there to lock my feet to the pedals so I can practice optimal pedaling technique? Some kind of shoes+clipless pedals approach is clearly the most common way to deal with this, but I'm willing to look at some more unusual or exotic solutions, whether that relates to the shoes, the pedals, straps, anything. Ideally with some kind of quick release mechanism because I'll be on the road.

As far as shoes go, this question is very similar, but it's over 9 years old and the linked pages don't exist any more. Plus, 9 years is plenty of time for more options to become available.

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    It might be a good idea to specify a size in some standard we can convert to our own - that would indicate how much extra is needed compared to common large sizes (like mine) – Chris H Feb 13 at 9:03
  • I'm wearing US12 4E right now, and I'm busting out the sides with heaps of space at the toe. I'm probably closer to 11 for the length putting me past 6E for the width according to the sizing charts I've seen – Phill Feb 14 at 4:46
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This assumes you can get some sort of shoe that works for you with toe clips, if we can help you get the toe clips to work. These ideas involve modifying parts to some extent, so you'd need to be rather careful including testing them in safe conditions, and keep an eye on them in case they wear faster than you'd expect.

It may be possible to fit removable toe clips to compatible pedals with a spacer to shift them forwards and a longer screw; you may also need a longer strap for the width. This would be a cheap option if possible. The video from Zefal shows how some simple steel toe clips are fitted. For a spacer, you can use a stack of nuts or (probably M5) spacer tubes are available in various lengths (they're often used on mudguard fittings especially when a pannier rack is fitted as well). The strap won't take a perfect line, because the top would be shifted forwards but the back wouldn't be, but in practice they often don't sit perfectly anyway. You could also omit the strap and use them as half clips, or just buy half clips.

Another option might be to modify a clipless adaptor (example). These are used on track bikes and gym trainers for riders who don't have suitable clipless shoes. You'd need to add extra holes to move the cleat backwards in the clip (probably easier for SPDs than road cleats). It would need to be pretty strong to handle clipping in and out (unless you choose to just unstrap), but the forces it would have to withstand aren't full pedalling forces. An extra plate underneath would be a good idea to give a solid mount for the cleat, which would have to move far enough back that the new holes are well clear of the original ones (roughly in line with the strap). With the example I've linked, you could combine my other idea and space the toe-clip part a little forwards.

Either way foot position is important. The ball of your foot should be over the axle at least as an initial fit, and you'd have to build this into any modification.

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  • That clipless adaptor is a great idea, probably the best option given my budget too! Thanks for pointing it out, I think I'll give it a try – Phill Feb 14 at 4:54
  • You may also need/be able to move the holes slightly inboard, so the shoe position moves out. I'd be worried about the inner edges of the soles catching the crank arms. Mine are fairly close and (in US sizes) I'm probably a 13, but standard width is a little wide, so the opposite of your case. – Chris H Feb 14 at 8:41
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Lake makes several shoes in wide widths. I’m particularly partial to their sandals for my wide feet (but depending on what kind of club you’re aiming to join, they may not be the right look).

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  • Lake does make their length and width measurements available in milimeters. If the OP knows his percentiles, I bet he would be willing to go take actual measurements of his feet. lakecycling.com/pages/sizing-charts – Weiwen Ng Feb 13 at 16:42
  • SPD sandals are where it's at. – whatsisname Feb 14 at 2:36
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It would be a serious commitment, but you could get custom cycling cleats made. In the plus column, you know they'd fit you perfectly. In the minus column, they'd be very expensive--I did a quick search, and it looks like the going price is about US$1000 for a pair.

I have seen off-the-shelf shoes up to European size 50, FWIW.

I would avoid anything too hack-ish when it came to my feet because foot discomfort is common enough when riding, even with properly fitting shoes.

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    For custom shoes, I'm aware that Bont makes custom shoes, and they are based in Australia! I can't swear to this, but they should be under US$1k a pair. You're correct that this is a big sum of money, but the OP does have very unusual feet. – Weiwen Ng Feb 13 at 16:41
  • Custom would be great if they were affordable, I'll check out Bont and see how much they would be! – Phill Feb 14 at 4:55

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