I soon invested in a better pair of shoes. Shoes that were comfortable in all weather (including rain). Shoes that could adjust easily to layering. Shoes that were equally at home on trail or tarmac. Shoes that I could walk in without click-click-clicking, and ride in without sweating. Shoes that looked as good fine-dining as on the bike. One shoe to do it all.
In truth this was my third pair of sandals; the first was an older Shimano sandal which I also loved. That was the previous 2-strap variety, but I eventually forgot them at a mountain-bike trailhead. The second was a pair of Lake sandals that simply sucked.
I don't know how many thousands of miles this pair has seen, but I'd guess in the neighborhood of 15,000 or so. They've been on countless brevets, centuries, and MTB rides. They've seen sun
|Shimano Sandals at the Rocky Mountain 1200|
|Shimano Sandals at the Alaska 600K|
One of the wonderful things about the Shimano sandals is the ease to which they adapt to all situations. They're comfortable with a thin pair of smartwool socks, and they're comfortable with layered socks, neoprene socks, and gore-tex socks. On a long ride when your feet swell, you simply loosen the straps.
Perhaps this is why they're a favorite of raam teams:
|RAAM Relay Team|
accomplished club racers:
|Don't Know Who This Guy Is, But He Looks Accomplished|
Rarely has an article of cycling clothing reached such heights of perfection. Mastered both form and function. The Shimano Sandal has transcended legend and become an icon. But it's time to replace them. On my first pair of Shimano sandals, the velcro failed and was replaced at least once. On these, nothing has failed, but they're falling apart nevertheless.
|This cleat has outlasted about 6 pairs of pedals.|
|Still looking sharp from the front though!|
So here they are. My replacement for the Shimano SD-65:
That's right, the Shimano SD-66! Shimano did the unthinkable: they added one to the model number, and removed one from the strap count.
Now truthfully I won't stop riding the SD-65s. I'm relegating them to MTB duty where a failure won't be catastrophic, and the additional foot coverage may be handy in encounters with rocks, trees, and small forest animals. But for the road they're mostly retired. It's been a good run.