New cycling shoes

For the first time in about six years, I've bought some new cycling shoes. My old Sidi shoes were starting to look decidedly tatty, so I shopped around for replacements.

I found these: Dromarti Race expensive, but beautiful. So expensive, that they would be the most expensive footware I'd ever own.

The shoes were advertised in the cycling press too, and I lusted over the advert in CTC's Cycle for a while, and allowed the page to fall open so Hilary could see it, and she said, "Go on, order them, you know you want to! Anyway, with all the cycling you do, you'd get years of use out of them. Go on, order a pair, it's ok, just do it."

So in June last year I did. The trouble was, they were out of stock! The nice chap at Dromarti (Martin) was apologetic but said there would be more coming in soon so he would keep the order open. Then Italy went on Summer Hols and production ceased for the whole of August.

September came and went, and the latest problem was they had to wait for the special leather to come from somewhere – special cattle? October and November and December came, went and still nothing happened. January came, and Martin emailed me saying they would despatched at the end of the month.

February came ........... and a couple of days ago, the postman delivered a box!

These shoes are as beautiful as the photograph shows. I tried them on, and they fitted firmly – as only new leather shoes can – the laces are also leather and my feet felt like a million dollars. I didn't want to take them off! Hilary drew the line about my suggestion that I may wear them in bed!

Today, I fitted a new set of Campagnolo ProFit cleats and adjusted the position as near as I could get them using my old Sidi's as a gauge. As the shoes are a slightly different shape, I couldn't be very accurate. With my old shoes, I could fit new cleats in exactly the right place as I marked the soles. With new shoes, you can only make a guess.

Any road up, off I went for 12 mile ride sporting my new shoes. I didn't get the position spot on, especially the left one. Campag ProFits are "floating" so the angle is never much of an issue, but fore and aft and left and right has to be quite accurate. They weren't so far out that they ruined the pleasure of the ride, but I knew I'd have to tweak them a bit before another ride.

Trial and error will win in the end, and I'm sure me and my Dromartis will be long-standing friends.

11 comments on “New cycling shoes”

  1. Chris wrote:

    Now they are a fancy pair of shoes, Mick. Somehow the extra time spent waiting for such a treat makes you appreciate what you have even more. I'm trying to tell that to Mrs Bailey, who is still waiting for her Valentine's Day present – a 16GB iPhone 3GS. It was supposed to be here this morning. Oh, well.

  2. Garry wrote:

    They're gorgeous Mick but wouldn't do me as I use SPDs. I used to use Look pedals years ago but when the SPDs came in, I and all my friends converted to then as we go bike touring and they're more suitable to that.
    Well wear, as we say here. Don't know if you say it there. We never know what phrase is said elsewhere, unless we hear it used!
    If we ever meet, I'll cast a critical eye on those shoes, and I expect to be blinded by the shine!

  3. Mick F wrote:

    Lovely, aren't they!

    Good old Shimano. Why did they come out with an abbreviation that becomes a word? An acronym? And SPD seems to be synonymous with anything to do with "clipless". There are loads of different fixings, and Campagnolo are just another one, and very much like Look.

    I know little about the Sh word. Do they do anything that is not SPD? My shoes are wonderful, and I'm happy that they'll take a three-point road cleat. Had they only taken SPD, I wouldn't have bought them.

    Any road up, the leather is shiny and brown, and they polish beautifully. I rode out yesterday in damp and drizzle, so they'll need another buffing up before my next ride. As I said, "I'm sure me and my Dromartis will be long-standing friends."

  4. Patrick wrote:

    They do look lovely cycling shoes. I suppose they'll last forever as you don't wear shoe soles out riding a bicycle. I'm a 'trainers' person myself, with big flat pedals. Old fashioned but I don't like my feet stuck down, plus they're the only footwear I can use. I need a very soft sole, or the bottom of my feet hurt even when walking, and a wide short fit for small feet.

    A 16GB iPhone 3GS is a very nice Valentine present too, but again, no use to me. I carry a pay-as-you-go mobile when cycling but I never use it. £50 credit lasts me a couple of years.

  5. Mary wrote:

    Garry, if you check the website out, they do these shoes for SPD's as well. And I really love the mitts, cept I do think they are way out of my price bracket for mitts as they are only a tad cheaper than Micks shoes.

    So glad these have finally come for you Mick. Did you have to send them a foot template or did you just give a shoe size? If Italian shoes are anything like Italian handbags, these will be fantastic.... (I can see why you love them so much!). You know, I do think in a lot of things you get what you pay for.

  6. Mick F wrote:

    Hi Mary,
    Yes, those mitts are wonderful too! Too expensive for mitts though. I like decent ones, but also ones that you can wash, and I don't think leather would be ok in a machine.

    I took a risk on the shoe size, but knew if I was wrong, it would just be a case of returning them and re-ordering. Now that the shoes are in production (at last!) the delivery time is only a couple of days.

    I know that Italian shoes tend to be on the small size, so although my "normal shoes" are size 44, my old Sidi cycling shoes were 45. So I ordered 45, and was spot on! They fir very 'neatly' but I'm sure they will fit better and better as the years go by.

  7. Chris wrote:

    I'm still undecided on which way to jump regarding SPD/cleats at the moment. I wore very old-fashioned cycling shoes (even back in the 80s they looked ancient) just when Sidi and Look seemed to be everywhere. I think it was because they were cheap (Yorkshireman looking for a bargain sees sun-faded box at the bottom of the pile) and I think my other pair – slightly larger so I could wear socks with them – were given to me as second hand. A few years ago I bought a pair of Adidas cycling shoes by mail order from Bourne Sports (er, because they were cheap), but I never got round to wearing them. On Saturday I'm lending my new bike to a friend and I plan to take out my Raleigh Road Ace for a ride with him. Maybe I'll wear those bright blue shoes (less than tenth of the price of your Bobby Dazzlers, Garry) and try them out. 

    Garry wrote: Good old Shimano. Why did they come out with an abbreviation [SPD] that becomes a word? An acronym?

    SPD is an abbreviation, but not an acronym. NATO is an acronym as the initial letters form a word that is sounded out. BBC, on the other hand, is an initialism: each of the letters is sounded out in turn. Anyway...

    ... I'm using smooth-soled trainers with loose-fitting toe straps until I can make up my mind whether it is worth the expense of buying more pedals and shoes that cost more than £12.00! Actually, round about now could be a good time while Mrs Bailey is mesmerised by her new toy.

  8. Mick F wrote:

    It was Mick, not Garry!

    SPD I agree is not an acronym, that is why I said "acronym ?" Either way, we have other abbreviations that are not acronyms but so much in general use, that they may as well be acronyms, but "initialism" is a better word – perhaps, but perhaps not?
    HMS
    ABS
    R&D
    B&Q
    M&S
    BHS
    There are more!

    We use initials as words, they flow off the tongue all the time. Computers and technology seem to lead the way with this.

  9. Patrick wrote:

    HMS is either an acronym or an abbreviation, according to CSS on the web. So is SPD. It doesn't seem to do initialisms, for some reason. Anyway, try 'mousing' over them in this comment and see what happens.

    BTW Mick, with those shoes, I reckon you now need a Brooks saddle in tan.

  10. Chris wrote:

    IMHO (and AFAIK) 'HMS' is an initialism and, say, 'sonar' an acronym. Both are also abbreviations. Anyway, I never looked there until this morning, but Wikipedia has a useful explanation for the fuzziness of these terms. Ooh, since we may upload digital images in this particular form it is interesting (?) that Wikipedia also has this: "There is no agreement on what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words, such as JPEG (/ˈdʒeɪpɛɡ/) ". Hey, perhaps we could coin an appropriate word?

    But what do I know? I can't tell my Garrys from my Micks. TTFN.

  11. Peter Boor wrote:

    Where can I get Patrick road cycling shoes in the USA?

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