Written by Ged, Copy Writer at the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative
“I’ve been riding SPD-style pedals for 20-odd years.
From day one (well, day two if I’m honest) the knack of clipping the cleated shoe into the pedal or releasing it became second nature. I realised immediately that SPDs were a big improvement on the toeclips they replaced.
I love the notion of integrating cycling into everyday life, so having a pair of shoes that you can walk, ride and generally live in has always seemed the obvious choice.
Then something happened to me a couple of years ago. I discovered the allure of sportives such as The Tour o the Borders. Chatting to fellow riders, a fair few were askance that I – a bike co-op guy – was wearing casual SPD shoes. ‘You really must try Look pedals.’
This advice was backed up by many roadie colleagues so, for last autumn’s Wooler Wheel Classic, I decided to invest in a pair of Look Pedals (which are currently available online at a bargain price). Around the same time, there was a buzz going round the bike co-op about Giro shoes. I was especially advised to try a pair with a micro-adjustable ratcheting buckle.
Giro Apeckx Road Shoes fitted the bill, and my sub £100 budget. I slipped into a pair and I knew immediately that they were just right. (That’s not always the case in a world where cycling shoes tend to be a bit neat on my wide feet.)
As for using the Giro shoes with Look pedals, the difference was immediately evident – the solid connection was especially welcome when I had to climb out the saddle – yet the Looks were at least as easy to clip into or exit as SPDs once I got used to their single-sided cleat retention (versus SPDs which have cleat holders on both sides of the pedal). On my first big ride, I finished the Wooler Wheel with zero foot discomfort – not always the case for me after a 100K ride – which I could only put down to the stiffer sole reducing pressure on the ball of the foot.
Probably the best way to describe the Look difference is that the next time I wore my SPDs my immediate impression was that that the shoes felt more loosely attached to the pedals.
To sum up, I’ll still wear SPD shoes most of the time for general getting around, but for more dedicated rides, I’ll look forward to bringing out the Look shoes for the event.”