The Losa itself may have been completed (for now…) but as I’d mentioned in my last post, I still needed some essential finishing kit for myself – shoes!
The decision to go for new/reproduction shoes was quite easy, as it would appear that our feet have grown over the years, with genuine vintage shoes rarely seeming to be available in sizes larger than EU41.
A search for “Retro Cycling Shoes” or “Touring Cycling Shoes” turns up a variety of options through some of the usual dealers such as Steel Vintage Bikes or Vintage Velo, some old manufacturers who are still making & selling shoes – particularly R.E.W Reynolds in the UK with a variety of styles, Ruff-Lander with the Arturo cycling shoe (don’t be put off by the industrial workboots, a friend bought a pair of these shoes and is very happy) and Detto Pietro in Italy – to highly rated newer reproductions such as Quoc Pham Fixed and other styles on their site.
With all these choices, how to decide which to go for?
Easy – I had a credit note from Planet-X that was due to expire and they sell some Holdsworth Classic Shoes 😂 (they also have another version with fittings for Look/SPD-SL cleats, but as I plan to use them for Eroica events, no cleats and flat sole for touring as well).
After a short discussion with a couple of the folks at Planet-X I ordered my normal shoe size and true to their advice they are a good fit – slightly tighter initially, they’ve settled in nicely after a few rides.
I had thought that after a few rides I may look at fitting old style pedal cleats to the shoes, they are leather soled so would be a case of hammering in the pins (like ye olden days) but have to say am happy with the versatility not having cleats provides me, as have now used them for regular rides, sporting events and touring (more to come on those later) and been very pleased with my purchase 😊👍.
*Update – In the year since I originally wrote this, there appears to have been quite an increase in the availability of both reproduction and vintage shoes, so if you are in the market for some, happy searching!