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Gear Me… 661 Expert shoes.

When it comes to cycling shoes, there is a wide variety on the market today. Everything is covered, from SPD sandals to the more exotic Italian leather $400 race shoes. Normally, I believe that you get what you pay for with cycling gear. Fortunately for us frugal folks, when it comes to shoes though, that is not the case.

Mainly in the protective gear buisness, 661 offers a wide variety of products for cycling and motorcross enthusiasts. Out of all of their products, their Expert shoe stands above the rest of the crowd, especially in terms of price and durability.

For starters, I bought these shoes for $50 in 2008. Yes, the shoes above are from 2008. I mentioned durability above, remember? These shoes have been everywhere, west coast to east coast, and places in between. I cannot even begin to think of how many miles are on them. Everything feels like it should with this shoe: Light enough for serious cyclists; a solid, mud shedding tread pattern; options for different cleats and pedals. For $50, this is one of the best deals that I have ever encountered.

A few things that I have found in my four years with them:

First, they are marketed as a SPD style shoe. This is correct, but with a small fault. The tread pattern needs to be shaved away to give proper clearance with the pedal. Nothing that a sharp object and 10 minutes can’t fix, but it does need to be mentioned. Another thing that I found myself wanting was a ratchet strap across the top to tighten up the fit. Again, nothing major, the two straps on my model hold the shoe to my foot quite nicely, and I have never slipped out of the shoe on a ride. It appears that 661 has added another strap, to give the shoe three on the newer model, probably tightening that issue just a bit. Those are my only gripes though. Not bad for a $50 shoe!

Sure, it is not the flashiest shoe on the market and also an entry level shoe, but for $50 it is definitely worth the price. Check them out at the links above, I dare you to find a better deal! I am still wearing mine after four years!


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