Cover Those Cleats!

A couple of years ago, I posted about the sorry state of my cleats.  Shortly after that, I noticed a member of my club pull up to the Starbucks where we all meet at the end of our rides.  The first thing he did was pull a pair of cleat covers from his jersey pocket, and fasten them on before walking on the sidewalk up to the shop’s patio.

It wasn’t long after that that my own cleats were due for replacement.  In the LBS, cleat covers hung on the pegs right next to the cleats.  I picked up a pair, figuring they were worth a try.

I’ve had them for about a year now, and I’m pleased with the results.  Here are some pictures to compare before and after.

These are the cleats as they looked in a brand new state.  Of course, the shoes were brand new, too.  In normal wear and tear, it doesn’t take long to completely ruin them.

Here’s what they look like after six months use – without cleat covers.  My pedals are Shimano SPD-SLs, so the cleats are made for those.  The back edge of the cleat is worn in such an irregular manner that it was hard to click into the pedals.

These are the cleats I’m currently running.  They’ve been on my shoes for about a year, but I’ve been using cleat covers with them for about that long, too.  As you can see, they’re in better shape after a year than the ones without covers were after six months.

If you get some, be sure they’re the ones made to fit your particular cleats.  The design of the covers is quite different from cleat to cleat.  This picture shows my cleat covers (right), and my wife Pat’s.

Pat hasn’t been as diligent about putting on her covers, and the other day she complained that she couldn’t get her covers to stay on the cleats.  They kept falling off.  The problem was that the back edge of her cleats had become worn from walking on them without covers.  The cleats are still in reasonably good shape, so she’ll probably keep using them for a while longer, but they’ll still have to be replaced soon.

Cleats aren’t cheap.  Looks are $20, SPD-SLs are $30, and Speedplays are about $40 (Prices from Performance web site).  So if I have to spend between $9-13 to get an extra six months wear out of the cleats, it’s a purchase I’m happy to make.


  1. mildstallion says

    I’ve been using covers for my Speedplays since I got them. Three years out, and the cleats look almost as new – dirtier, but not worn down at all. I put the covers on any time they aren’t engaged on the bike. Well worth what I paid. ($20 @ LBS)

  2. says

    I use Speedplays, and since the clip part is recessed in the metal cleats, I don’t have to worry about wear; however, I do have problems with debris getting caught in the system. My cleats are at least 3 years old as well and look (and work) great. I actually bought my covers because the owner of a donut shop that I stop in complained that my cleats were messing up her wood floor. I don’t wear them unless I am walking on anything softer than cement.

  3. says

    I run SPD-SL too, and I usually get about a year out of my cleats. I’ve never considered cleat covers because I’m not the kind of person that could remember something like that, I’d probably loose them. I barely remember to brush my teeth let alone put covers on my cleats when I get off my bike.

    25 dollars a year for cleats is OK for me.

  4. Chris says

    Looking for a pair right now! Got a big ride coming up and word is there is a section many have to walk. Could be a better option than carrying flip flops!

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