The pedals and the cleats pictured arrived in one box. Hence they must be "compatible". The shoes arrived in a separate box.

The system used by the pedals/cleats is Look "Keo-style" cleats. The red/orange is reported to have 9° of float.

The shoes are expecting SPD-SL pedals and cleats.

I could attach the cleats to the shoes with no problem. Do you foresee any issues in using this combination?

It's understood walking will be difficult. Let's assume I'll manage to rarely walk while in these shoes.

Online chatter discusses the need for the "SM-SH40 Pontoon Cleat Adaptors". Given that everything works out of the box, I'm assuming that this adapter is meant to facilitate walking, nothing more. Can you confirm?

Mixing LOOK and SPD-SL

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    Don't be tempted to plug the cleat into the pedal until the pedal is on the bike! (don't ask me how I know). Do grease any threads, like the cleat bolts and the pedal thread.
    – Swifty
    Apr 8, 2020 at 15:48
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    As a side note, the SM-SH40 Pontoon Cleat Adaptors is for SPD cleats and flat soled shoes (not a common combination) and is not compatible with this style of cleat.
    – ojs
    Apr 8, 2020 at 16:10
  • Very nice! I see the MEC logo, and those look like the Shimano RP1 shoes, I have been eyeing that combo myself, wanting to make the jump up from clips and straps. The thing holding me back is the need to try on the shoes for sizing.
    – user39927
    Apr 8, 2020 at 17:05
  • @Gaston Since I imagine you're also doing home-based fitting, you may want to follow the answers to bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/67137/48599 .
    – Sam7919
    Apr 9, 2020 at 1:07
  • Thanks Sam, but I'll just wait it out. I have the worst luck when it comes to clothing and shoes.
    – user39927
    Apr 9, 2020 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


Whilst the shoes are marketed for SPD-SL cleats because that is the Shimano system and you have Shimano shoes, this is really referring to what we call a 'three-bolt' pattern. Both SPD-SL and the look cleats are a 3 bolt pattern so the cleats are compatible with the shoes.

See how there are another two bolt holes in the middle of the three-bolt pattern - in the same manner, those are compatible with any two-bolt cleats, i.e. mountain bike cleats like Shimano SPD, but not limited to one brand of cleat.

You must use the right cleats for the pedals, which is fine because your cleats came with the pedals. Shimano ones look quite alike but aren't the same.

Cleat adapters are indeed for helping you to walk with more grip, as well as to stop the cleats from scuffing and wearing down, but the SM-SH40 are for 2-bolt mtb cleats fitted to a 'road' shoe where they are not recessed. These metal cleats are particularly slippy to walk on if exposed like that.

There is another product, removable covers for plastic 3-bolt cleats, which protect the cleat when you walk around off the bike, but you have everything you need to ride in the photo. Not a whole lot of people even own covers, sometimes I take my shoes off if I want to preserve the cleats and have to walk any distance.

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    I have covers for my Keo cleats - in case I need to walk. They're not small, and they tend to fall off as you walk. Plus they don't add a lot of stability to the shoe. A nicer solution is to carry a pair of lightweight shoes, if you can.
    – Criggie
    Apr 8, 2020 at 22:08
  • My understanding was you couldn't use Look Keo cleats with Shimano SPD pedals
    – Dan K
    Apr 9, 2020 at 3:16
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    @DanK you are correct, this question concerns whether the cleats are compatible with the shoes.
    – Swifty
    Apr 9, 2020 at 7:40
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    Shimano calls their road and MTB cleat systems both SPD which might be confusing. The Look and Shimano road system uses the same three hole interface. Look also produces MTB pedals which in turn use the Shimano two hole interface.
    – Carel
    Apr 9, 2020 at 9:17
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    @Sam, I had to look twice, my brain was reading it in a particular way. I see it now, edited
    – Swifty
    May 11, 2020 at 20:45

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