Photo of the day: Adidas Eddy Merckx Super shoes

More retro.  Back in '77, this was one of the shoes you very likely wore.   Most guys used Detto Pietro, Adidas or Puma then.   A rare few had Sidi's, or 'Colnago'.

All were black, leather, and you needed to polish them all the time to keep the uppers soft and shiny.  Even back then, dirty shoes were not very 'pro'.   You needed a shiny gleam to match that patent leather strap helmet. 'That's what we're talkin 'bout'.
And with the Adidas, you had to nail the (included) white plastic cleats on.  So did the riders on the Fiat, Miko-Mercier, Peugeot-Esso and A.C.B.B teams that used them.  You had to really invest time and take care to get the location just right.   More art than science back then in those pre FIT-KIT rotational adjustment days.  You'd take a few short rides without the cleats, then nail them just ahead of where the back pedal cage left a mark, leaving there was few mm gap between your toes and the toe clip.   Sounds simple.  It wasn't.

Puma Olympia Sprint Shoes
The plastic soled Puma Olympia Sprint (photo) were pretty popular then I recall,  introduced by Adidas' cross-town family rival they made a well publicized debut at the 1976 Montreal Olympics used by several winning German pursuiters.  And they seemed to be distributed everywhere in US in '77.   The integral adjustable and replacable cleats eliminated the nailing, and was a pretty welcome innovation.   But the screw holding the cleat in would strip pretty easily, and plastic sole got soft pretty fast as I recall...

Used a pair of those Puma's as a junior, then upgraded to a pair of those Colnago shoes... lighter, narrower, and softer uppers that fit like a glove when you pulled on thin cord laces.    The cleat was pre- nailed in a fixed (straight on) position.   I remember the guy who sold them to me told me that this was 'the currently accepted idea in the Italian racing, fixing cleats straight so that you 'trained' your body/legs to pedal straight'...(!)    

Primitive, eh?  


  1. I had the Adidas in '77, nail on aluminum cleat that was always a bit loose...
    Upgraded to wood soled Duegis with an integral bolt on rotating plastic cleat, very state of the art! Rushed to get them adjusted before the 1980(?) Worcester Crit where I rode next to Eric Hieden's ginormous thighs at one point.


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