One reality of bike touring is the likelihood of bad weather at the middle of any trip and nothing will annoy you more with wet shoes and socks for the duration of the ride. Luckily, one bikeshop in Manila got new stocks of these Exustar sandals (check on Bike One cycles https://www.facebook.com/bikeonecyclemart/?fref=ts)…last week, a couple of friends and I got a pair and tested these on some rides
The Exustar SS503 MTB sandals has several straps that can be adjusted to get that perfect fit. Sporting a top guard, this adds protection during rides…best of all, these are SPD cleats compatible allowing you to ride even on rainy days!
For the past days, ive used the sandals in three trips using my Brompton, Surly Crosscheck and Troll. The total distance traveled by the four trips is about 120km of urban commute
Since the brompton didn’t have clipless pedals, the cleats wasn’t an issue in terms of riding comfort. That is, the cleats are positioned deep enough so it wouldn’t be a problem when riding with ordinary pedals and no metal clashing the ground was experienced while walking (this may be the perfect footwear if you’re strolling on a bike and eventually would tour places on foot)
For my experience with the Troll and Crosscheck which had Shimano SPD pedals, the sandals worked flawlessly with my rig. Though initially, the cleats were a bit tight in terms of engagement, they were easy to take out during stretches of traffic or sudden stops…
Overall, though I only had a couple of bike commutes with these sandals, I felt these are perfect for touring as you can wear them without socks (I didn’t feel skin irritation on my ankles or different parts of my feet as observed in other sandals). Also, these sandals may be ideal for those doing cycling/trekking trips as the cleats do not hamper your movement while walking (no metal scratching the ground sound as well!). and best of all, these save up on weight as you don’t need to bring slippers when on tour.
A caveat though is that some users have suggested that you need to have the soles sewn in a shoe shop to prevent damage on the soles which may be caused by exposure to water during trips. I’ve followed this suggestion and hopefully, these will make the sandals more durable.