Finding a decent bike shoe that fits a size 9.5 EEEE is not a simple task. In fact, finding any shoe that fits properly is a bit of a pain but bike shoes tend to be worse. Most of them tend to crush my toes together and/or press the sides of my feet in uncomfortably. With one pair of bike shoes I had several years ago my pinky toes and the outsides of my feet would hang off the side of the sole when I was wearing them. I’ve found that most road bike shoes were designed for pencil-footed Europeans (no offense to any actual pencil-footed people from Europe intended). Fortunately, mountain biking has been a more American sport in its origins so there is a tendency for shoe manufacturers to accommodate the statistically wider US foot size. That still doesn’t often get you into E widths but it does help. I’m just really glad that I don’t have some truly hard to fit shoe size like a size 14 or something bigger.
I bought my Answer shoes several years ago, the day before I raced the VT50. (It’s really not a good idea to get new shoes and race on them the next day without some break-in time, but it worked out.) They’re not too bad still, but they’ve blown out a bit. The material in heel has worn through and the velcro straps aren’t holding as well as they used to.
I stumbled across these new shoes (below) while getting some stuff at East Burke Sports. The shop had all of their bike shoes on sale, probably to get rid of inventory before ski season hits and nobody will be buying bike shoes for many months. Amazingly, they seem to fit pretty well. No shoe fits me “well” but these came about as close as I can get without actually being made in a wide width. At least my toes aren’t crushed together from the start. Over time the sides will stretch out a bit and they should be pretty comfortable for riding. I think I’ll stick with my old shoes for the remainder of the season and start out with the new shoes next spring. I want to swap the cleats over and ride them now but I’m going to demonstrate some unusual self-denial and wait.