Retrofitz Makes Any Shoe Clipless, Offers DIY Cleat System

Retrofitz SPD DIY Conversion Kit

Retrofitz is a new company that focuses on taking any pair of shoes and modding them for clipless bike use. Shown above is a DIY conversion system they sell for $50 that includes two nylon plates, a few bolts and an instruction manual. It makes any shoe compatible with SPD, TIME offroad, Crank Brothers, Ritchey, and Speedplay Frogs.

They’re not going to be stiff, but neither were the Pearl Izumi X-Project 1.0‘s we tried at Interbike, and they were fantastic. If you’re not feeling the DIY, Retrofitz will also make your shoes for you in an array of styles. Images after the break…

Retrofitz SPD Conversion Adidas SambasThe clipless Adidas Samba runs $155 for any size. Specify what you want and they’ll make them for you.

Retrofitz Nikes Converted SPDAs if Nikes couldn’t get any fresher.

Retrofitz cleat diagram

Check out some Chuck Taylors, Asics, and more over at Retrofitz.



Dale - 02/21/13 - 6:06pm

These are going to work great on my cowboy boots

Steve - 02/21/13 - 7:33pm

I might be in the minority here, but I think it’s pretty cool. It could be that I’m influenced by the photos since I’m currently wearing Sambas.

Aaron - 02/21/13 - 8:02pm

Pretty cool idea, but I did it first:

However, if I try this again, I think I’ll give the Retrofitz a try and save myself some hassle.

Seldon - 02/21/13 - 10:22pm

It seems like you have to cut away a good portion of the sole, and the plastic sticks out pretty far making them semi-dangerous to walk in. I wouldn’t waste a perfectly good pair of shoes on that, but to each his own I suppose.

Gillis - 02/21/13 - 11:30pm

I kind of agree with Seldon that the protrusion takes away from the usefulness of the shoe as a regular street shoe. It’s still an interesting concept and perhaps with a thicker soled shoe it could be worthwhile to try. A pair of clipless Chuck Taylors would be pretty rad.

Ajax - 02/22/13 - 12:03am

This isn’t going to work like people think. You HAVE to cut a big ass square on the bottom of your shoes for this to work. Check the pics doofuses.

pmurf - 02/22/13 - 12:20am

@Ajax, who exactly in the comments is a doofus? I believe everyone understands that you have to cut a hole in the shoe. Hence the whole, you know, RETROFITing thing.

Nash - 02/22/13 - 4:11am

Flip flops anybody?

Ajax - 02/22/13 - 8:07am

@psmurf, if you didn’t know from the pics alone that there is a big square that needs to be cut in the bottom of your shoes for this to work, then I don’t know how to help you. Reading glasses maybe?

Gregg - 02/22/13 - 8:19am

I can make some winter riding boots that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Ultraclyde - 02/22/13 - 9:08am

I had the same initial reaction as Seldon, but with thicker-soled shoes like cross trainers, it might clear the TPU bumpers. Also, notice that the bumpers are removable, or at least they look to be since they’re screw mounted. Being TPU, I guess you could always trim-to-fit the bumpers as well, as long as your cleat choice cleared when walking. I think this is a great concept, but pricing seems a bit high. I’ll probably buy a set and give it a shot, but I’d have lower performance expectations if they were under $40.

Gary - 02/22/13 - 9:51am

@Ajax Who specifically is confused about the hole?

Just Looking - 02/22/13 - 10:32am

Even if it ruined the shoes for walking, this could be fun. $50 to turn some cowboy boots into somewhat usable novelty riding equipment, I can’t think of any weird cycling races that people would use these in ;).

@Ajax, trolling like a master! Now, let me introduce you to a playground called youtube…

Ummmm - 02/22/13 - 11:34am

@ Ajax.
Thank you so very much for your insite. Who would have thought that you would have to cut a hole in the shoe to install a cleat. (deleted)

Kyle - 02/24/13 - 12:59pm

This is the best solution to casual cycling shoes (not compared to DZR and Chrome). Also gives a a great re-purpose for an older pair!

But by the way – this company is not new and has been around for a few years now.

Bianca - 11/04/13 - 8:15am

Well I am not sure about riding but I think a set on my dory with the Shimano SRD stretchers and my wading boots might be intersting, I would row anchor wade and fly cast. Now if only the SRD and SPD cleats were interchangeable then damn all the places I could tow,row,and fish.

kaz - 01/06/14 - 5:56am

I ordered a pair of converse sneakers fitted with cleats from Retrofitz in the US as a christmas present for my son. It wasn’t until after christmas when the shoes never arrived that Retrofitz told me they don’t fit in sizes larger than US size 12!

I have one very disappointed son who now thinks we can buy the kit and fit our own but I don’t know…I’ve looked at the instructions and the possibility of getting it wrong is high. If I were to buy the shoes and the kit, is there anyone out there (in London) who is confident and reliable who would fit them for me? Should I ask a bit shop? Or a cobbler?

gin - 09/04/14 - 6:03am

where can buy

UrMom - 10/01/14 - 6:02pm

try it on some hoka’s. That thick sole could handle it!

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