Prior to these shoes, and the cleats and pedals that go with them, I used the SPD-SL system. And while it did the job it was designed to do I discovered it had 2 main problems.
(1) The cleats make walking difficult (yes I know you're not supposed to walk on them but you have to do it sometimes and in my case that meant walking to the changing room at work). And (2) they wore out fast, I had to buy new cleats every 4 or 5 months, and at £15 a time that made me unhappy.
These shoes make life more congenial.
(a) The cleats are embedded into the soles so you can actually walk properly. (b) I've noticed no degradation so far in the ease with which I can slip in and out of the pedals. And..... (c) It means I can use hybrid pedals which are flat on one side for what you might call "normal" cycling and have fittings for cleats on the other side.
I'm very happy with the change and recommend it for commuters and suchlike. If you're a Tour de France wannabe I expect you'll have different priorities, but for the rest...give them a try. You're unlikely to be disappointed.
I ordered the size I usually use for normal footwear and they're just fine.
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