Road cycling shoes and cleat position help

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  • Road cycling shoes and cleat position help
  • I like to run my cleats as far back (towards the middle) of my foot as they will go.

    I currently have some Shimano RO87 shoes which have cleat holes quite far back and feel decent. However, fit is a bit on the loose side and I’d like some shoes with a carbon sole.

    Can anyone recommend me some shoes that let you run the cleats really far back? Ive heard Specialized do, can anyone confirm. Also, whats Specializeds sizing like?

    Ive had Mavic Zxelliums and some Shimano R190’s and neither allow the cleats to go as far back as I want.

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    My Specialized Pro Road shoes (45) were slightly baggy and I couldn’t get the cleats back far enough.

    My new Giro Trans are also 45, feel a tiny bit tighter fitting (better) and let me get the cleats back farther.


    Thanks, that definitely does help.

    Any ideas how those shoes size up compared to Shimano?

    My 46’s are just a tiny bit to loose, I tried some 45’s but they were to tight.

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    Specialized generally come up wider in my book.
    My sidis are too big for me, but I can still get away with the cleat position, as it allows quite a degree of leeway..

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    I’ve never tried Shimano shoes so can’t help on that front, I’ve heard that they fit quite large though, so I’d guess that you’d want to stay at 46 for the switch.

    The Specializeds just seemed big and baggy around the front. I have narrowish feet but with a very high instep and reasonably high arch. I’m using the blue (middle height arch) Specialized insoles in the Giros as they were higher than the highest Giro ones.

    I wouldn’t recommend the Specialized if you’re looking for cleat placement, although they are very nice, comfy shoes in all other regards.


    Hmm I use s-works road shoes and also like the cleat pretty far back, happy enough with what the spesh ones allow, seems fractionally better than the Mavic Frosts I have.

    I suppose it depends on the shape of your foot more than anything else.

    I have wide hobbit feet, so I get on really well with Specialized shoes, as I find the fit is spot on.

    However, I also use speedplay pedals, so I can’t really comment too much on cleat placement.


    I use speedplays so not sure if this helps any but..

    Bont Vaypor 181mm from heel to cleat centre
    Specialized S Works, 185mm
    S works with rear setback plate, 170mm

    All size 43s measured with heel butted up to a wall.

    If that seems a bit anal I’ve been crippled with foot pain in the heat the last couple of seasons and seem to get more relief the further back the cleat. Considering trying midfoot 😕

    Thanks guys, at least now I know I need to avoid Specialized shoes, I was watching a load of nice pairs on ebay aswell!

    Might have a look for some Giros or Sidis I think. Although Lake do one thats supposed to have a very rearward cleat placement, but its about £300!

    Interesting stuff. Im not swapping my pedals to speed plays though, or at least not yet anyway.

    Anyone know if these are any good?

    If anyone cares, or is in a similar predicament, I splashed some cash and bought some brand new Giro Factors.

    Size 45.5 fit well (although my right foot is still smaller than my left) and you can get the cleats reet far back. I think the cleat placing is the same on the lower spec Giro shoes (the Trans) aswell.

    They are also dead light (lighter than any shoes Ive tried before), dead thin and stiff.

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