Shimano SD66

One of the few SPD sandals on the market, this is the best solution against smelly cyclists feet I found.

Introduction:
Sandals are a great way to keep your feet well ventilated, reduce weight and give you the most ridiculous tan lines. I found them to be the best choice of footware for 1-3 season trips. They are a modular system, meaning that in scorching heat you just wear the sandals, in mid-range temperatures you can add socks, in cold weather you can add thicker / windproof socks and in rain / snow you can add overshoes / goretex covers.

Just like your clothing system should be based upon layers, sandals offer you many options.

Details from the manufacturer:
– Contoured foot bed for long distance comfort
– Glass fiber reinforced shank plate for optimum sole rigidity
– Wide, stable rubber sole for comfortable riding and walking
– Natural leather upper with moisture control mesh layers
– Classic dual strap design for an efficient, secure, comfortable fit

Personal experience:
I’ve used four different pairs of SPD sandals so far. They last between 10.000 to 20.000km / 6.000 to 12.000 miles. Most of the time they were my only choice of footware on major trips: One pair lasted me through Africa from Egypt to Capetown; another through South America till Canada; another through West Africa and the latest one had to survive the trip from Japan to Europe across the Silkroad. I used them in temperatures from -3° c to +50°c.

They are comfortable enough to walk around, clip into the pedals I use and survive quite a beating. The only weakness they have is clipping in and out of your pedals. The pressure you apply sideways to the seams will sooner or later rip out one or two of the straps. Any shoe-maker can repair this, which is something I had done multiple times to enhance their life time. This only happens to the shoe you clip out with more often; in my case the right one. Every traffic light, stop to take a picture, and my foot clips in/out.

Twice I used Shimano SD sandals, twice the no-name sandals by a local German bike manufacturer called BOC. These were cheaper, but are out of production, hence the review of the Shimano versions.

shimano-sd66-spd-sandals-12

Pros:
– Airy
– Comfortable
– Only one pair of shoes needed for most climates
– No socks needed in summer = less smelly clothing

Cons:
– Relatively heavy
– Feet get dirty
– Tan lines (if you care)
– Mosquitoes have access to skin

Tips:
If you combine your sandals with a different selection of socks, you can face almost any type of weather with them. No socks for moderate weather, thin socks as sun-protection in the desert, wool socks when it gets colder, SealSkinz gore-tex socks are great against wind/rain, and proper neoprene or gore-tex shoe covers will transform the sandals into closed shoes. All of this for a fraction of the size and weight of 2 or even 3 different pairs of shoes.

Alternate the foot you stand on when you stop with your bike to enhance the life time of the sandals.

Weight:
880gr / 31 oz

Price:
$100

Links:
Manufacturers page

Alternatives:
Keen Commuter III, Exustar E-SS503, Rose RMTS-2, Nashbar Ragster II

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