Shoes: Pearl Izumi Fuel

. .  . and what I’ve learned so far.  First, “going clipless” was a great choice; it’s made a real difference in my cycling experience, even though I’m just a newbie recreational [trike] rider.  Here’s the shoe I’m using with the clipless pedals:

After trying quite a few, at several different stores, I bought these at REI.  The toe box was the deciding factor:  Foot comfort, for me, depends on a lot of room in the toe.  This shoe has a mesh top, so, additionally, there’s a lot of flex space, upward.  That’s excellent!  The mesh makes them light (and cool, I suspect), and the fit is very good for me.

They’ve got SPD cleats on the bottom.  I’m thrilled with these!

The shoes themselves are serving me well, but there are several things I don’t like about them that I’ll be keeping in mind when I get the next pair.

The serious issue is that the laces are too short to tie easily, and too short to secure well by tucking them into the lacing on the top of the shoe.  This is a real pain.  I realize that the lace length is probably intentional; it would be hard for the strings to catch in the chain.  But if they’re too short to tie well, or to secure, the purpose is somewhat defeated, no?

The picayune complaint is that they are white.  I hate the color.  Actually, I hate the aqua, too, but it’s the white that really irritates me.  Why would anyone want a white mesh cycling shoe?  It’s dirty out there, folks!  By the end of summer, the mesh on these shoes should be completely irredeemable.

Next time:  Velcro.  And black.  Or screaming yellow/green, or even dark pink, but never, never white, or yucky aqua.  Are these shoes something somebody would wear to a gym  if their first consideration was, say, making some kind of fashion statement?  That’s what they make me think of.  But gyms are pretty grubby, too, aren’t they?

Note:  although I normally  wear a European 36, or roughly a USA size 6 or  6.5; in these shoes, I took a 38.  These are only European-sized; there’s no indication inside the shoe to explain what USA size  Izumi considers these to be.

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