WHAT’S WITH THE FOOTBALL CLEATS?
Q: I ride flats, but whenever I see the Sidi ad in your magazine each month, it always stirs a question I have about clipless shoes. Why do they look like football cleats? I know clipless use cleats, but I am not talking about those. I am talking about the molded plastic cleats around the edges of most clipless shoes. It doesn’t make sense to me. Are people riding and then hitting the gridiron for a little tackle football? Five Ten clipless shoes make sense; the ones I see in the Sidi ad do not. I can’t find any explanation online, and I live in a town without a local bike shop.
Portales, New Mexico
A: If you normally wear flat pedal shoes, we can assume you ride a trail or enduro bike, since the majority of cross-country riders opt for the stiffness and efficiency that comes with football-style shoes. The question is, have you ever tried walking in shoes with stiff carbon soles, especially off-road? It’s nearly impossible. This is why those cleats are on most cross-country shoes. It’s all about off-the-bike traction for those embarrassing moments when you have to hike-a-bike up the hill.
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