View Full Version : Bike Shoes for Newbie w/ short, WIDE Feet

09-05-2003, 03:57 PM
Hi: I'm new here and totally new to biking. I'm thinking of getting bike shoes to increase my inseam length and help with my standover height issues.

I wasn't planning on getting bike shoes because I'm a bit intimidated with the idea of hooking my feet into the pedals. Mostly though, I didn't look into them because money's tight and I have short (5 to 5-1/2), but very WIDE feet and figured I'd never find my size at an affordable price.

I don't know anything about bike shoes. Is it "cleats" that click into the clipless pedal? Do non-cleat bike shoes also give you xtra height compared to regular tennis shoes? Can you wear those with toe-clip pedals?

Can anyone recommend some good, affordable brands with a good range of sizes? It is so hard for me to find regular tennis shoes, I wonder if I need bike shoes custom made. If so, do you know how much custom shoes would be?

Thank you so much,

09-06-2003, 05:17 PM
Hi Christine,

I've never heard of using road shoes and cleats to increase standover height -- did the LBS guys tell you that? Road shoes with cleats, while providing a very stable platform when clipped in, are anything but stable on the ground. Unless you get expert advice that road shoes will really help in your situation, I'd be kinda sceptical.

I have an awful time finding shoes that fit too, and am hoping someone comes along with an answer. My feet are wide (but big) and over a size different between left and right. I've had moderately good luck with Diadora's, which are also reasonably priced. Other good brands are Shimano, Nike, Lake, Pearl Izumi, Sidi. Really nice shoes will set you back almost $200 dollars, though, so I'd have to assume custom shoes would be astronomical. REI, Performance, and your local bike shops should have shoes to try on.

Now I have to climb on my soapbox for a moment. I really think road shoes and cleats are inappropriate for beginning riders unless they plan to race. Actually, I think that for most "enthusiast" riders who want to tour, walk into bathrooms, or walk into convenience stores, all without falling, mountain shoes with recessed cleats are the best solution. Okay, I'll step down from the soapbox now.

09-06-2003, 11:22 PM
Hi aka_kim:

Thanks so much for the info. No, it wasn't the LBS, but a couple of other riders who said I might be a little taller with the cleats. A couple others like you, however, also said it wouldn't help and that it might not be so good for a new rider.

Thanks for getting on the soap box because I don't think I've ever heard the message so definitively. I'm really grateful for the advice. Usually, I've just read about how wonderful it is to ride w/ clipless pedals, but I hadn't really heard that a new rider should wait before trying. I'd actually suspected it since i was a bit initimidated by them, although I was also afraid of trying the pedal clips which turned out okay for me. My husband was also wary of me trying clipless so soon.

Anyway, I've decided I will wait to try clipless. Thanks also for the advice on using MTB cleats too. I'd heard some people used them on road bikes but I didn't know why. I've still got so much to learn -- but I've learned a lot already from you and others on these boards. :)

Thanks for the info on potential wide shoe brands. I definitely need it as I'm gonna start checking out these shoes whenever I'm in a shop since I know it will take a LONG time to find something that fits. I'd also heard from others that Diadora, Lake, Northwave and Specialized might work. Oh, and I've browsed some websites since my last post and realize now how clueless I was about custom shoes! Now I'm hoping I'll be able to find something less than $100!

Again, thank you so much for your message and for taking the time to help educate me.

Christine :)

09-07-2003, 02:09 PM
I've actually never seen any wide cycling shoes for women. Several brands have wide shoes for men, of course, but as everyone knows, all women are built exactly the same :mad: . If you find a wide brand please post it here on the TE forums :) .

09-07-2003, 09:13 PM
Will do!! :)

09-07-2003, 09:37 PM
I struggled with shoes too, where in the world could I get just a pair of shoes to do my spinning class - I wanted the "ugliest pair", I didn't care. Got a wonderful gentleman at a bike store in my area who gave me a deal. Two pair (Sidi's - older, and Shimano's) for $80.oo. He still teases me that I "got such a deal." Yeah, I know.

Then, we bought bikes! I didn't put the clipless pedals on at first, I used the cages, because I too was TERRIBLY intimidated by the whole thought of not being able to put my feet on the ground when I wanted to. But, let me tell you this - there is really no other way to go.

Get the shoes, get the clipless pedals, go out and struggle with it for a day or two (you can ride around in your driveway or a dead end street for a bit to "feel it" before you actually go out there.) Then, like me you may fall and wreck up the same knee you have already fallen on TWICE! and get use to those suckers!

The ride, when your feet are clicked into the pedals is much smoother and more accurate. You can use your body as a machine while you connect with your bike and that feeling is...pure.


09-08-2003, 06:09 PM
Hi klr:

Thanks for the suggestions. Ok, so I've now been hearing both sides -- start right away on clipless or wait. I guess I won't go wrong either way!

Actually, the whole issue's probably moot for me since the pedals on the bike I ordered are SPD compatible on one side, and platform on the other so I can use toe clips. I'll probably start with the clips since I expect it would be a lot cheaper and faster to find clips than shoes that fit me.

I'm definitely encouraged by your message, though, and will start on clipless asap! I'm definitely gaining courage from your experience. :)


09-08-2003, 07:38 PM
No problema, Christine.

Today I went out and didn't fall once! You definately gain more and more confidence each and every time you go out. My husband and I rode around the Rose Bowl again today and there are several "real bikers" that ride around there as well. I actually followed one guy for a good long stretch. It was fun pretending.

09-08-2003, 11:20 PM
"I actually followed one guy for a good long stretch. It was fun pretending."

That totally sounds like something I'd do! :D

I've actually decided now to skip the clips altogether and just ride with regular shoes until I find bike shoes that fit. I know the clips would be inexpensive, but I figure I'll just put that money towards shoes, and I won't have to get used to clips, and then start all over again learning clipless.

So, I'll just practice riding a bike (it HAS been 20 years!!), until I find the shoes. Well, at least that's what I'll be doing once I actually get my bike. Funny how many riding decisions are being made someone who doesn't even own a bike! ;)

09-09-2003, 10:35 AM
When I got my first "adult" bike it had been a good 20 years since I'd last ridden. I was afraid to shift, and could barely steer and brake and stay upright -- it required full concentration. Until you feel comfortable on the bike, and it happens pretty quickly really, platform pedals can remove at least one source of anxiety.

klr, you're making me homesick. I'm from Pasadena and moved north about 10 years ago, and then started cycling. But I did learn to drive in the Rose Bowl parking lot! That's a beautiful area to ride in (not the parking lot, but the Arroyo Seco area).

09-09-2003, 11:02 AM
Nice to meet you too. I have not had a bike since High School, when I had a great Motorbecane - 10 speed! Loved that bike, it took me everywhere. Then I got hit by a car (I was fine) and my bike was not. Couldn't really ride it again. I told my mom it fell over in the bike rack at school so she wouldn't have a fit and fall in it!!

Just in the last week, my husband and I bought Trek 1000's and ever since the Tour de France, we seem to think we're cyclists'. Well, at least I do...no just kidding. I'm a bit wobbly and speed is not my "thing", I like to make sure I feel the road and all that it brings before I start assuming that I'm any good. Maybe next week!! Ha ha.

But...I did tough it out and get Look pedals. I've only fallen twice, both times were from a standstill and I was in too high a gear, couldn't get the wheels spinning fast enough to get going and down I went. Both times were in busy intersections too - "just get up and act like nothing is wrong", I'd say to myself, with a big smile - "I do this all the time!!"

Kim, we do go down to the Rose Bowl for a "workout" and I'm happy to hear that you lived here. Isn't it great? When the parade comes, it's totally crazy. We live close enough to walk to the Bowl too. 10 years is a long time to be away - lots has changed here - you should see Old Town!! Remember how it was a place to avoid? Not anymore!

Thanks for being there, my pal cyclist!

09-09-2003, 11:32 AM
ever since the Tour de France, we seem to think we're cyclists' :) If you think you're a cyclist then you are a cyclist! It's kinda fun to think you're riding like Lance, even if you're female.

I used to live close to the Colorado/Sierra Madre Blvd intersection, and it was crazy from the day after Xmas thru to New Years - like living in a campground. But fun. Old Town had been redeveloped during the mid to late 80's I think, and I remember it as a great place to eat and go to the movies, but I bet it's even better now. Yeah, 10 years is a long time to be gone.

09-09-2003, 01:09 PM

You must home alot like me. I check this forum often - actually my e-mail alerts me that I have been responded to. It's kinda cool.

Colorado/Sierra Madre - know it well - : -)

Did you say you didn't have a bike...yet?


09-09-2003, 01:27 PM
Actually I'm "between jobs", but I'm sitting at the computer studying Microsoft development manuals today, and my attention is unfortunately easily diverted. Email, phone calls, anything to avoid studying.

No, I have 2 bikes, an Airborne Zeppelin road bike and a Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike. Christine, who started this thread, is still waiting for her Terry. I can't imagine life without a bike -- I'd go nuts!


09-09-2003, 01:48 PM
I'm dying to start riding. Actually, although it's been 20 years, I got used to riding again pretty quickly when I had the Marin for those few days. The very first time was weird and scary, esp since I didn't know they made more than 10 gears and I was using the toe clips. But, my 10-speed in jr high never fit either (I haven't grown since then! ;)), so it wasn't THAT much more difficult than then. My balance is still pretty good and I tried to get some speed in the residential area we're in. I think it helps that I rollerblade now and then, which helps with balancing, plus you can't have fear when you're blading!

I'm actually pretty new to the Bay Area (2 years now). I'm originally from the LA area, 15 mins south of Pasadena -- so can I play too?! :) All my family's still in the area so I visit often, including Old Town and the Rose Bowl flea market!! Oh, and I've been to the Rose Parade twice and even marched in it in college w/ my old high school band (oops, just admitted i'm a band geek). So, do those count too? :)

I'm also "between" jobs so I'm easily distracted (love the email notices we get). I'm volunteering and taking courses, and would love to get into riding (and getting into shape) before I "have" to start working again. :)


09-09-2003, 02:20 PM
you can't have fear when you're blading! I bet -- I am an incredible klutz, they don't make enough body armor for me to try blading.

So you're in the Bay Area too, Christine. You're not an out-of-work techie are you? Are you going to the SF Grand Prix? It's alot of fun -- where else will you see 500,000 cycling fans?

Marching in the Rose Parade, how cool! I remember how tired the band members always seemed by the time the parade finally came by my place. That's a long way to march and play. The parade is one thing I do miss, I think I've been 19 times.


09-09-2003, 02:24 PM
Hi girls!

It seems as though we have our own little "thing" here, cool with me.

Christine, of course you can play...don't need to have been from around Pasadena to play - you love cycling, that is everything, no?

Blading huh? I tried that for about 10 minutes. I roller skated some when I was younger but it's nothing like a bike, but Christine - you go girl!

Kim, you got a couple of great bikes - do you do mtn.'g too? My aunt lives up in SF and she bikes everywhere and has a mtn. bike as well. I like the mtn bikes - the look of them and all. I especially love the shoes. Why in the world can mtn. bike shoes be used for road bikes anyway? They are so much cheaper...and cuter. Besides, when you are trying to clip back in from having clipped out, the bottoms of road shoes are plastic and slippery. Not so with mtn. bike shoes. Go figure. I spent 3 whole days driving around the San Gabirel Valley just to find shoes for my spinning class - which ultimately led me to buy a bike. By the way, I would suggest spinning (you can use the same shoes - most of the time) for the conditioning, balance and above all, weight loss. It has changed my body so much. I go like 4 times a week and ride my bike with my husband the other days, sometimes 2 times in a day! Hey, when I go for something I love, I go whole heartedly. A bit obsessive/compulsive about things.

Question: What does one do when the time changes and it's dark at 5pm and you are use to going out just after 5? I don't much like the thought of being out in the dark. I rely too much on "seeing the road" so I don't fall off this monster. Do we need to go out like at 2pm now? Hey, I got nothing else to do, right?

later girls,

09-09-2003, 03:56 PM
I use mountain bike shoes with both my bikes. Major fashion faux pas, I know. But, as a klutz, I like/need to be able to walk in my cycling shoes, and I can only do that with recessed cleats. I actually see a lot of road bike riders with mountain shoes now, as opposed to about 5 years ago when I seemed to be some sort of freak with my triple chainring and mountain pedals :o.

I'm not a particularly skilled mtn biker (to put a good spin on it), and stick to the easy stuff, but I try to do one mtn. bike ride a week. I keep telling myself I should go to a skills clinic.

I hate night riding, so I usually try to do noon time rides during the winter, plus my Spinervals videos on the exercise bike. Some day I may try Spinning...

What are other areas in Pasadena where you ride, klr? Are there bike paths (I was a couch potato during my years there)?


09-09-2003, 04:36 PM
Hi Kim!

Actually, my husband has searched the web for areas to cycle in and around us. I have 3 places right here on paper now. 1) Rose Bowl (of course) and several variations and ways to get in and out of there. 2) Sierra Madre - about 1 hr. Gotta take Del Mar (kinda car busy) to Sierra Madre Blvd. and up, then over to Santa Anita, down and back home. 3) Chantry Flats - about 2 hrs. and it sounds like it too.

Keep in mind, we've only had our bikes for 4 days, I've been out on mine only 3 times - before that...I was in High School! I'm 42 now and while it's true that you never forget how to ride a bike, it's also true that I've never rode a bike like I am now - thinkin' I'm all a cyclist and all - ha!

The thought of doing all these routes and joining clubs is all very romantic, but I'm a bit of a chicken right now. Maybe someday later when I won't feel like a total looser when I can't keep up with the rest of the pack. Being so new at this, my self esteem is fragile and while I may act all big, I ain't! There are some very wide streets here - like Orange Grove, California, and Huntington Drive that are good to just go out and see how far you can go? One trip I'm thinking about is from my house to the Santa Anita Mall!! Uh huh, sure.

I have been watching The Tour de Spain (it's called something else) on the OLN chanel every day. They are on stage 4, with stage 5 coming tomorrow. I admire those men (and the women too) that can do this every day. Oh man, stage 3 was up hill!! It went from 80 ft. up to 600 ft. Can you imagine? I'd be standing at the bottom of the hill waving goodbye and crying!!

If you have cable and get the OLN chanel (it's "outdoor life network") then watch for lots of cycling. I'm hooked

So much more to say - goodness!!

for the now,

09-09-2003, 05:01 PM
It's the Vuelta Espana that's on OLN now (otherwise known as the Only Lance Network :D )

I use SPDS on my road bike too. When I'm not using platform pedals with no clips. I've biked up Diablo that way (platforms - no clips all the way to the top including that lovely 18% bit at the end!) You don't have to be attached to your bike. Studies have been done that show that for the average rider being clipped in does not make a significant difference in speed - so don't feel like you have to get clipless pedals to fit in. But there are riders who will tell you that you need them. Just ignore them.

Clipless is good for evening out your stroke. Which is important if you're using old fashioned friction shifters. If you have STI, you can shift most any old time - even standing up going up a big hill on a tandem (last night's adventure) and you don't need to have an especially smooth cadence with STI.

My road bike has friction shifters - a deliberate choice on my part- and I have found that when I ride hard, my cadence isn't as as smooth if I'm not clipped in, which causes some difficulities with shifting, especially if I'm at 12 and 6 when I shift.

Sounds like we really need to have a Northern California get together. There are so many of us up here. I'm thinking a ride in the Delta - about thirty miles. Only trouble is there will be a headwind on the return.

Blading.... I haven't been in ages. I did see a guy blading down the south side of Diablo though. Scary!

Night riding - we ride with lights and wear light colored jerseys/jackets. It's not our preferred, but what are you going to do - not ride? Yeah right!

Kim - I joined a new gym. You should come out and do a Spin class with me sometime. There's one at 9 onTues. and Thurs. I'll be off track at the end of the month. Although I think Spinervals is a harder workout, Spin is anice change of pace.

Happy riding!


09-09-2003, 06:02 PM
klr, even if you don't want to join a cycling club, you might be able to find ride/route descriptions on club web sites and flyers. Also check your LBS for a copy of CycleCalifornia. Is there a route to the Santa Anita mall that avoids busy streets? Riding in traffic, as a fun ride and not commuting, isn't all that fun. There used to be a bike path along the 605 -- I never tried it, and it's probably noisy.

I finally got up early and caught the Vuelta this morning. There's something about the coverage (and of course the absence of Lance) that makes it less exciting to me. But I'll stick with it -- which Spaniard should I be rooting for?

I liked friction shifters when I tried them last year, but I like index shifting with Dura Ace too. Veronica, you're not criticizing the cadence of all us STI users, are you? ;) We could have modern day range wars here -- clipless vs not, STI vs friction, mtn vs road, what else?

I've (gulp, and very red-faced) never been to a gym. Do they come with instruction manuals?

Yeah, we need a Bay Area chapter of TE. But do we have to ride in the wind?


09-09-2003, 06:08 PM

You're cute. I will say more about the Vuelta and which riders to love. There are so many adorable ones!!

I gotta to to that "gym" now.


09-09-2003, 06:36 PM
Certainly not criticizing. Just personal observation. I can't downshift Fluffy under any serious tension and I know Thom doesn't have that problem with the tandem. I've never ridden with STI myself except as stoker , so nope can't criticize - mostly whining that my own cadence isn't smooth enough to go strictly platform pedals.

About a Bay Area ride - I was trying to come up with one that would be fairly flat, not too long, reasonably scenic and not too much traffic. That led me to a ride along the Delta levees. The wind is not that bad and in a paceline would be quite manageable.


09-09-2003, 09:32 PM
Hi girls!

I may have lost you Kim/Christine - I hope not and Veronica too! But... In my never to be humble opinion, which teams to you follow in this race? Well, first of all - since Lance isn't there it's a total bummer and I love him!! But... here is my list of favorite teams:
1) US Postal... duh...so many good riders Hincapie, Benoit (oh, he's adorable!)
2) Once - they are very strong - don't know personal riders really, just name.
3) Cofidis - Well, Lance use to ride for them and I think David Millar still does - boy, he's a cutie but I don't think he's in this race.
4) Euskaltel - just heard the name from the Tour de France - Orange jerseys - they are good too.
5) Ibanesto - Also know from The Tour but they have great riders too.

That's it. I can live that Lance isn't riding in this one. He's got alot on his plate right now with the divorce and all. That's just too bad, you know? I read his book, "It's not about the bike", and I think the guy is just hard to live with, really. They were only married for 5 years! Besides, and I'm not baggin on men that love their moms, but...he's got a very unusual relationship with his mommy and I totally understand it (having grown up with my mom alone), but...it's hard for a wife to penetrate that relationship sometimes between and man and his mother. Lance loves his mother and I would never deny him that, but when your wife struggles with you - who do you turn to? Mom or wife? I dunno.

Oh, one more thing - I've heard there is a great race that comes up in Paris called: "Roubaix." It's ridden on cobblestones! and it's in April, so when it rains - and it does - it's like a dirt bike race!! I hope it's on OLN in April - I can't wait to see that!

Love to all,

09-10-2003, 12:38 AM
OK, I'm probably one of a handful in the US, and definitely the only one on this board, but I have to admit that I actually don't follow ANY bike racing. When I catch a glimpse on tv I'm impressed with what I see, but it doesn't get me all excited like, say, basketball. The only name I recognized on klr's post was Lance, and I've never heard of the SF Grand Prix!

I guess that makes it kinda weird that I'm so excited to start riding, since I wasn't inspired to be "Like Lance." I think it's like how I love to watch b-ball, but not say, tennis or golf. I just never played those sports and so can't appreciate how amazing the pros are. I'm guessing I'll get into watching the bike races after I get into the sport myself. Which I expect to happen as soon as I get my bike!! ;)

On that note . . . Kim and Veronica, you guys totally lost me on some of the cycling lingo. Sorry for the beginner questions, but what are: "STI," "stoker," "stroke," "friction shifters" and "index shifting?" Also, since I'm still new to the Bay Area, where are the "Diablo" and "Delta?" I don't know if I'd ever want to ride something called diablo (on blades or bike)!

Kim, you may not have ever gone to a gym, but it's almost worse to pay monthly dues and rarely go. But, I figure I'm helping out society by subsidizing others who do go. :) And, since you're such a cyclist, you totally don't need a gym (except maybe for the weights and a place to workout in the rain/night). I've never been interested in spinning classes or even the stationary bikes. I dunno, I think I'd rather be outside if I'm going to be on a bike. I've tried a kickboxing class which is really fun! :)

Oh, and klr: Maybe you can take some skills classes as a way to segue into clubs? I've seen listings for classes for people of all levels, including some just for women, at the local bike shops (or on their websites). I want to take one myself so I can start off right -- nothing's harder I think than trying to change your form in any sport after you've gotten used to it. I also want to take a class so I can meet others and learn from them too. I love the fact that you've only had your bike for 4 days and you've already done so much! you go girl! :)

It's been fun "chatting" w/ you guys!

09-10-2003, 11:28 AM
Actually, I'd guess that most people on this board don't follow racing. I got interested during the 99 Tour de France -- because of Lance's story, the gorgeous scenery, and Phil & Paul's amusing coverage. And ogling 100 or so young guys with nice butts and legs is fun too. I really only pay attention to the "big names" and big races, so I'm not a true race fan. I'm totally bummed that George Hincapie is in the Vuelta and won't be at SF, but I guess the thrill of seeing Lance will make up for it. I like Roberto Heras, David Millar, Petacchi, hmmm who else?, at the Vuelta. I'm waiting to see Heras on Angliru again -- last year was awesome.

klr, I totally agree about Lance, his wife and Mom. Being Mrs. Lance Armstrong must be hard work.

Veronica, yeah you're right about the Delta, I'll try not to whine about the wind. I was thinking of a winery to winery bike ride in Napa :). Just kidding, I can't drink and ride, but I can't believe how gorgeous it was up there on the Tour of Napa Valley -- I want to go back for more.

Oh, some lingo:
* Diablo is Mt. Diablo, in Contra Costa county
* the Delta is east of Antioch where the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers empty into the bay
* a stoker is the person on the back of a tandem (doing all the work :))
* stroke is pedal stroke - you want to spin and not stomp the pedals
* STI is Shimano's integrated brake/shifter setup on road bikes
* friction vs index shifting - I'll refer you to this bike glossary (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/glossary.html) for a better description than I can give. As Veronica mentions, friction shifting requires more skill on the part of the rider, but does reduce the derailleur problems that usually plague Shimano index shifting.

Well, I'm off to do some real work this afternoon.


09-10-2003, 12:54 PM
And ogling 100 or so young guys with nice butts and legs is fun too. Tee hee. That's part of why I enjoy watching baseball -- my favorite form-fitting sports uniforms. :D

Thanks for defining the lingo for me. And the link was great! I've read some of Sheldon Brown's articles, but I didn't see the glossary before. Cool.

In case you change your mind, here's a link I saw on the Terry website for a Napa wine tour next month. http://www.terrybicycles.com/Events/events.lasso You get to meet the US Postal Service team. And it ONLY costs $1,650+! :eek:


11-01-2003, 11:47 PM
Back to the topic real quick- I have width issues too, I had a lot of foot injury and my widish feet got right ducklike. Custom road shoes are available, but at $500 a pop I passed. Lake makes beautiful road shoes in wide widths, and I think their Mt shoes come in widths too. The issue is the short size- that'll be tough. With a Look cleat even if you can get the ball of the foot close to the spindle some women still have a hard time getting enough leverage to pop out. I think Mt shoes are the way to go, I've used them on my road bike, every body does at some point. They're fine for touring.
But if they're intimidating you aren't ready for them anyway. Beginners should NEVER be started off in clipless. It's too much at once. People shoot their mouths off about cycling equipment all the time- ignore most of it. There's a lot of posturing and hot air about gear inches and crankarm length by fellas who don't know squat.
Standover issues are a frame size problem, and aren't going to be fixed by shoes or cleats. When you set down a foot in a Look, you don't stand on the cleat anyway but on your heel, there's a little pad there for it. You would be down on your face standing on the cleat- the people you see walk in Looks are putting all the weight on the heels. It's a learned skill. If you have a problem standing over the frame somebody may have sold you the wrong size bike. This is a really common problem for petite women, though there are bikes for you all. Some shops are unscrupulous that way.
Terry Bicycles was started by a petite lady mechanical engineer/ cyclist, and they've expanded enormously. The bike line is not just for smaller women anymore but you should know about Terrys and the issues involved in fitting smaller women. Look at <www.terrybicycles.com> and learn, and they may be able to help you with shoes. Call them up and ask, they're really helpful. You can also buy some width by changing the lacing on "almost there" shoes, I wear mens sneakers and still have to do that. At a size nine, though, I can find mens shoes. A 5 1/2 is more limited.
Everybody has a fit problem though, don't feel bad. If it's not shoes it's helmets or jerseys or frames.


11-04-2003, 10:48 PM
Hi Christine,

I do have the double-sided pedals and love them (clip on one side, flat on the other). I'm still trying to find a pair of shoes that fit me right too. Learning to use clipless will be a challenge from everything I've read and heard and for the days I don't want to bother, I can just wear my regular tennis shoes and use the flat side of the pedal. I've tried Specialized shoes and although they are comfortable, I too have a wide foot and they tend to run narrower. Still haven't decided on shoes yet. I'm in no hurry though which is a good thing.

I have found Fox brand jerseys to fit me pretty good as well as Canari. I hate the elastic on the bottom part of the jersey and actually prefer a little extra room. But we are all different and that's why there are so many selections of everything. I prefer womens shorts too, men's don't seem to have enough padding.

Anyway, from one newbie to another, good luck in your shopping endeavors.