by: Lynn Smythe
Posted on: Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 11:18 am by: Lynn Smythe
Review of Shimano’s custom fit road biking and mountain biking shoes.
Shimano is a company that makes gear and accessories for the cycling, fishing and snowboarding industries. I have a variety of Shimano components on both my mountain bike and my road bike. I actually didn’t know that they made cycling shoes until just a few weeks ago.
Their SH-M300 mountain cycling shoe and SH-R300 road biking shoe retail for $350. They are touted as high-end competition shoes which feature Shimano’s thermo-form technology. What this means is that they can be heat moldable to the exact shape of your feet. Custom fitting helps to eliminate any uncomfortable pressure points that you may have been experiencing with other cycling shoes.
As a former runner, my feet are a bit messed up. My right foot has a large bone spur on the side which makes it a bit wider than my left foot. Finding shoes that fit was always a bit tricky. A few months ago I purchased heat moldable, custom insoles for my road biking shoes from another company and was pleased with the results.
Shimano’s heat moldable shoes take this custom fitting ability a bit further. Both the removable insole and the upper portion of the shoe itself can be heat moldable to your foot for an exact fit. To custom fit these shoes you must go to an authorized Shimano dealer who has the proper equipment and knowledge to fit the shoes.
The first step in custom fitting these shoes is to remove the insoles from the shoes and place them inside the Shimano oven. The insoles only take a minute or two to heat up at which time the dealer removes them from the oven. The insoles are placed back into your shoes and then you place the shoes on your feet. As the insoles cool back down to room temperature they will take on the exact shape of each foot.
Then it is time to thermo form each shoe. The thermo form material is present in the main strap, instep and heel cup portions of each shoe. Custom fitting the shoes is a bit more complicated so unlike the insoles, it is done one shoe at a time. But you end up with a pair of one-of-a-kind road or mountain biking shoes that are custom fitted to the exact shape of your feet.
A video of the complete custom fitting process for these shoes can be viewed on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com
Shimano’s website is located at: www.shimano.com. The website can give you the complete technical breakdown of these shoes.
The Shimano M300/R300 shoes are available from a number of online vendors at less than full retail pricing.