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Like many here I started riding in the cages era, switched to clipless pedals forever and moved to flat pedals in the last five years. I have been using the shimano shoes for the last two years and have worn through GR9 and GR7 pairs (sometimes my shoes don't wear out but become "permanently corrupted" and are relegated to dig days). I have a fresh pair of gr7 shoes for the warmer weather, and use some freerider EPS shoes for the cold and slop. For pedals I really like the Kona Wahwah2 and have used the scarab as well but I find the Kona has better grip. Im in the "tons of grip pedal" with "pretty grippy shoe" camp, the Wah wah and the shimano sole are great for this. I like the freerider but the sole is too thin for my old man feet, the feel is insane but not rides over 3 hours with those.
This winter I finally got myself a hardtail for sloppy riding and initially I thought that I would go back to my old clipless set up to avoid getting bounced off. One ride cured me of this delusion. I guess I turn with my feet a bunch because I kept on twisting out of the pedals in tight corners and the stance was super tight. It felt scary. I have only ridden the HT with my super sticky 5.10 shoes on the kona pedals and they instantly felt right at home I imagine the shimano shoes will be good to go for warm/dry hardtailing.
If only those EPS shoes had a lace cover though, every puddle goes right to the toes.
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