EXUSTAR SS 503 Sandals (SPD)

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
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Si
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EXUSTAR SS 503 Sandals (SPD)

Postby Si » 28 Jun 2018, 4:53pm

Just bought some from Spa (yep, if it starts raining it's my fault).

www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s154p3121/EXUSTAR-SS-503-Sandal
(link correct at time of writing)

I chose these as the price was OK plus they have a bit of a toe box rather than being open....I recently stubbed my toe while carrying the bike up some steep brick steps and ripped half a big toe nail off (hope you weren't eating) so decided to err on the side of caution.

First impressions:
fit is very good and adjustable.
seem well made
the surface of the sole has a criss cross pattern on it - feels a bit funny at first but soon got used to it.
walking in them is comfortable.

have put some SPD cleats on - couldn't get them as far forward as on my other shoes - felt a bit strange at first but soon used to it.

On the bike: the sole is shaped such that even when ankling I didn't put any pressure on the strap behind the heel so no rubbing.
The shape of the sole does take a smidge of getting used to - and it's not as stiff as my normal cycling shoes - I probably wouldn't want to do a hilly 24hr in them but for normal half day rides they seem fine....soon adjusted to them.
In two minds about using them on the gravel bike or MTB as just on the canal tow path they did seem to accumulate a fair bit of grit between foot and sole....but I guess this would be true of any sandals.
There is also a fair amount of sweat between foot and sole (but it was 28 degrees C when I test rode them), however arching the foot while coasting lets the breeze in.

Haven't yet tried wearing them with socks :twisted:

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pjclinch
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Re: EXUSTAR SS 503 Sandals (SPD)

Postby pjclinch » 29 Jun 2018, 5:26pm

Si wrote:Just bought some from Spa (yep, if it starts raining it's my fault).

http://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s154p312 ... 503-Sandal
(link correct at time of writing)

I chose these as the price was OK plus they have a bit of a toe box rather than being open....I recently stubbed my toe while carrying the bike up some steep brick steps and ripped half a big toe nail off (hope you weren't eating) so decided to err on the side of caution.


In light of the nasty experience fair enough, but I dislike toe boxes most of the time: they're something else to rub (unless you are wearing those socks, of course), and if you're walking and a stone gets in they're very difficult to get out without removing the sandal.

Places I do like a toe-box are if I'm cycling with trad toe clips and paddling (canoes, kneeling down often in a wash of sand and gravel, toes really benefit from protection, kayaks, getting out in surf on shingle when you can't really see where your feet are going), but other than that I more or less live in open-toed sandals when outdoors for about half the year and find just a bit of protruding sole offers a surprising amount of protection, and this includes for stuff like wandering through boulder fields up mountains (here's my missus heading in to the hills in Norway, no problem with open toes here).

Image

So overall I think toe boxes are more about worry than real vulnerability. I use SD65 open toed SPuD sandals, have done for years, and never any issues with turning my toes in to bloody messes (now I've typed that my toes are living in fear...).

(Interestingly/Pathetically (delete as appropriate) the Perth & Kinross council Risk Assessment for school cycle training says that "correct footwear must be worn" and goes on to specifically prohibit open toed sandals... I did have special dispensation to wear mine, before they finally choked on my lack of a lid.)

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Si
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Re: EXUSTAR SS 503 Sandals (SPD)

Postby Si » 30 Jul 2018, 4:47pm

I have now done several hundred miles in them plus a reasonable amount of walking.

the upsides:
- some people have complained about the feel of the sole underfoot - I can see why - it did feel very strange at the start but now I don't notice it at all.
- comfort - excellent.....I've only worn a different pair of shoes (either on or off the bike) once in the last month such is the comfort of these shoes. The staps don't rub at all.
- power transition...not up to the standards of a carbon soled race shoe but perfectly fine for me...have done day rides, and up 1 in 7 hills and no probs
- foot protection - toe box is nice (pjchinch's comments above noted) especially off road....no problems with my injured toe
- been used in the rain a couple of times - still comfortable and dry quickly on the bike.

the down sides:
- a smidge heavier than normal cycling shoes but I don't notice when riding
- when used off road I do get a fair bit of debris between foot and sole, which needs emptying out now and then...indeed in this hot weather I've often found my feet getting 'muddy' as sweet mixes with dust!
- the big one......hell's teeth but they do smell! I thought using saddles would reduce shoe smell (not that mine usually smell much anyway) but using these in hot weather all day they don't half niff by the time I get home. I have to clean (with shoe spray or milton solution) them in the evening so that they are ready for use the next day. I think that the plasticy sole promotes sweet from the feet...might try them with an 'odour eater' type sole in there to see if that helps. Obviously the heat wave hasn't helped much.

Overall, they would be wonderful if it wasn't for the niff.

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Si
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Re: EXUSTAR SS 503 Sandals (SPD)

Postby Si » 12 Oct 2018, 5:20pm

Several months and many more miles down the road....

I used these on every cycle ride from when I got them in June until last week.

They have become very very comfortable on the bike...I did notice the extra stiffness when going back to proper race shoes last week but while wearing the sandals I wouldn't have said they were any different to any other bike shoes.

Only one incident of discomfort - spent the day walking in them and the strap on the back of the heel rubbed badly. This was strange as I'd spent a number of other days walking in them with no issues...perhaps they were done up too tight or loose on this occasion.

Use in the rain is fine...feet dry quickly.

Use off road is OK but as mentioned on warmer days 'mud' forms between foot and sole. Riding through nettles isn't too bad because of the toe box section.

The smell issue! I started spraying them with Odour Eaters shoe cleansing spray and this did the trick but it has to be done for after every ride. This is fine for day rides but don't really want to carry a canister of this stuff with me on tours! It can also leave a white residue on them, but that can be wiped off.

Overall....very happy with them.