crank brothers shoe shields

This is a review for those of you running Crank Bros Eggbeater pedals. The Crank Bros Shoe Shields are an accessory for Eggbeater users who have trouble with the wings on the Eggbeater pedal body digging into your shoes.

The shields are simply thin pieces of stainless steel that fit between the cleat and shoe, wide enough to prevent the pedal wing from digging into the sole. If you run the Shoe Shields, the pedal rests against the shield, saving your sole.

After running Eggbeaters with my Northwave shoes, I had two noticeable indentations on either side of the cleat. It wasn’t a big deal since the sole was covered in soft rubber, but when I switched to newer Sidi Dominators with a hard sole, I didn’t want the pedals wearing through the sole. (And if you have bare carbon soles, you really don’t want the pedals wearing into them!)

So you see why I purchased the Shoe Shields!

Crank Brothers Shoe Shields, In Use

The first thing you have to do is install the shoe shields. To do so, you have to remove the cleat from your shoe. (Make sure you mark the correct cleat placement so you can put it back properly.) Then you place the Shoe Shield against the sole and re-install the cleat itself.

That’s it. It’s very easy to set up.

The first ride, though, was not so easy! Pedaling was a very different experience, like trying to walk on ice! The problem was that the metal wings on the pedal were rubbing against the slippery metal shoe shield, rather than pushing against a softer piece of the sole.

With any twitch of your foot, you’d get that sliding sensation. The Shoe Shields were just too slippery!

I hoped that the sensation would go away soon, but it never did. I ditched the Shoe Shields when I decided saving my shoes wasn’t worth the potential hazards of a slippery cleat/pedal combo.

crank brothers shoe shield

But when it came to preventing shoe damage, the Shoe Shields did seem to do the trick. It only took a few minutes of riding to see that the Shoe Shields were getting slightly scraped, thereby preventing huge gouges in the sole!

I realized something when I removed the Shoe Shields, though. The shields themselves make a pretty serious impression in the sole! So whether you use the shields or not, you’re going to get marks on your sole!

Then I was thinking, if you have a hard plastic or carbon fiber outsole (rather than a rubber coating,) it’s going to get beat up anyway, thanks to rocks and whatnot. With just a couple rides on technical terrain, you’ll probably have gouges and scrapes into the sole, so why worry about two little indents from the pedal wings?

(Just wait, those aren’t even all my gripes about the Shoe Shields!)

Crank Brothers Shoe Shields Durability

One looming question is, how long do the Shoe Shields last? They’re pretty thin, so I wasn’t expecting too long of a life.

They only lasted a few hours for me, but that’s because I hated them and removed them. Based on the wear after just a few hours of riding, I wouldn’t expect the Shoe Shields to last more than a year.

But of course, that’s just a guess.

Problems with Crank Brothers Shoe Shields

I hated these things so much that I have to dedicate an entire section to their problems!

First of all, these shields are sold as an accessory for the pedals. But I see them as more of a requirement to fix the design flaw of how the pedals ruin shoes. They should be included with each set of pedals for free, rather than costing an extra $11.

Second, even worse than the $11 price tag, is the $9 for shipping (when ordered direct from Crank Bros!) The pair of shields weighs 8 grams. A 42 cent postage stamp is good for an ounce, or about 28 grams. So why charge $9 when the item is light enough to ship for 42 cents?!

Third, the major problem, is that these shields make it very hard to clip in. You could be clipping into your shoes easily, but then you install shoe shields, and it’s nearly impossible.

What happens is the leading edge of the shoe shield, which is raised from the shoe sole, catches on the wings of the pedal. Then you can’t slide your foot forward to get clipped in.

Instead, you have to stomp down on the pedal and hope your foot is lined up exactly. If so, you can clip in; but if not, you lift your foot up again, and stomp down again, hoping to get it right this time. It’s not a fun process on technical singletrack, especially if you’re racing.

Fourth, the second worst problem, is the unstable feeling from them (which I mentioned previously.) Normally the Eggbeater pedal’s metal wings rest against a rubber sole, giving a stable platform for pedaling. But with the shoe shields, it’s metal on metal, which is like walking on ice.

My final verdict is…

If you run Eggbeaters, you might think these are a requirement. But as it turns out, they caused more problems for me than they solved.

My advice is to AVOID the Crank Bros Shoe Shields. I would either let the pedal wear away at the sole or make your own shields out of rubber or Shoe Goo or something.

Official website: www.CrankBrothers.com

Product Review Details
Company: Crank Brothers.
Product: Crank Bros Shoe Shields
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 1.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-05-22
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. I had your exact same problem, it turned out that the cleat that came with my pedals was a ‘race’ outdated version, after a swap to the latest non race cleats the problem was solved.

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