Anyone who’s been around cyclo-tourists, recumbent riders, or even serious rando-dads for long enough has probably spotted the rare Shimano SPD sandal. Well, it’s apparently been 25 years since the clipless sandals first debuted, so Shimano decided it was time for a special limited edition refresh, time to give bikepackers & gravellers a shot at a new look, and once again time to prioritize hot weather function over… well, any sense of style or fashion…
25th Anniversary edition Shimano SPD sandals
Is there anything more brave than ignoring the peer pressure of conformity that says you should wear normal cycling shoes if you are going to ride clipless pedals, that you shouldn’t just strap some cleats to the soles of a pair of sandals – socks or not – and just let the breeze blow through your toes? All kidding aside, the Shimano SD-5 sandal has long been popular, even if a bit niche. A minimalist design popular among casual cyclists, they even got a performance update four years back after Shimano celebrated 25 years of the clipless SPD pedal itself.
So, now to celebrate 25 years since those venerable sandals launched, Shimano is issuing a throwback navy blue commemorative edition.
SD-501A sandal – Tech details
The anniversary SD-501A SPD sandals aren’t significantly changed since their last update (don’t mess with a classic), although they do get a simplified synthetic upper for more retro styling with classic yellow SPD logos.
They do also get an all-new textured foot bed that promise more secure grip under your toes.
The SPD sandals feature two adjustable velcro straps for closure, a walk-ably flexible sole with a 4/12 stiffness rating, and a deep & wide lugged sole for use with 2-bolt mountain bike SPD cleats.
The 25th Anniversary SPD sandal is available starting this week through regular Shimano footwear retailers online & in brick and mortar shops – selling for $130 a pair in unisex 38-48 EU sizing. While most riders prize them for riding in hot weather, there’s no shortage of enthusiastic sandal devotees that will pull on a pair of socks and rock them year-round.