I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi P.R.O. road shoes a while ago on EP; very very sweet shoes. Full carbon sole, exceptionally light, rocketship type shoes. My long term goal was to put custom footbeds in them and ride ’em forever. With stock footbeds they didn’t feel quite right to me, so I never really used them. Aside from the occasional spin session in the basement, they just sat.
Over a year later, I finally get the footbeds created, we put them in the shoe, I do about 150 miles in them, and they’re just not working. My toes just didn’t feel right, and the volume the footbed was taking up in the shoe left me with no margin for wearing socks of substantial construction. Ugh. Come on.
I put down a lot of coin for the footbeds, and I knew they were really what I needed to keep my toes from going to sleep, which they’ve done on almost every ride I’ve done for the past 3+ years. So on my 3rd trip back to FitWerx for these very expensive insoles, we tweak a little more, and things still aren’t feeling right. So we do what I feared we may have to do – put the footbeds into a different pair of shoes and see what happens.
What happens = magic.
We put them into a pair of Sidi Genius 5s. I couldn’t even get the straps to close. Out come the Megas. Now we’re in the right territory. These actually fit my feet, and I feel this inexplicable eupohric rush of relief, in spite of knowing how much these much cost. In one moment I realized that for years, I’ve been wearing cycling shoes that simply don’t fit.
Out come the Mavic Galibier. They’re “hey look at me” silver, which I could take or leave, but when I put my feet in them, holy. Freaking. Shit. Perfect. They’re like slippers. Everything is just there, plenty of room. Amazing. Got to have them, there is no question. If there’s any consolation, they’re $100 less than the Sidis. Plus, they’re named after a mountain. This is now an obvious choice.
They’re a weird size – 46 2/3 – that are apparently the perfect match for my feet. I would never find this in another brand. They have an excellent feeling ratchet system, it works flawlessly, and it is fully replaceable. The sole isn’t carbon, it’s some orgy of aluminum/nylon/fiberglass, and it’s absolutely stiff, and that’s all that matters. I hopped on the spin bike when I got home and I know with certainty that if I trained with a watt meter, it would have lost it’s mind last night. These things lay it down. They make the bike GO.
No matter what – yes, I had to lay down a pile of cash. On top of the footbeds. Which already cost a pile of cash. But the Pearls just were not happy about cooperating with my feet. They’ll still be fine for spinning. If I ever take the Mavics off again.