"Float" is defined as the degree of movement offered by the cleat within the pedal
before release begins. This can be highly important to prevent damage to knees, as most people's pedal
stroke does not occur along a single axis. Many standard road pedal
systems ship with a 6 degree float cleat. SPD-SL, LOOK Delta, LOOK Kéo, and Time cleats are also available in 3 degree and 0 degree float. Road pedal
systems commonly color-code cleats by the amount of float offered (red, black, etc). Some pedal
systems have a fixed non-adjustable float, such as 6 degrees for Crank
Brothers. Most cleats develop more float as they wear out.
namely the Speedplay Zero series, offer an adjustable float which can be restricted to only outward movement. This prevents the heel of the foot from swinging inward towards the bike, but still offers 3 to 6 degrees of outward float. Most medium and high-end road pedal
systems also have tension release adjustment screws, which can be used to tailor the amount of effort needed to release to the rider's individual preference.
Soles for cycling shoes are usually divided into three categories. Inexpensive shoes mostly use an injection-molded plastic sole, which is economical, but heavier and more prone to flexing. Mid-range shoes may use a combination of plastic and carbon fiber, plastic and fiberglass, or an all carbon fiber sole. All manufacturers' high-end competition level shoes manufactured post-2002 use carbon fiber soles. The sole material and amount of tread
used in a shoe can dramatically affect its weight. For example, an expensive pair of road shoes with carbon fiber soles can weigh 650 grams, while a budget-priced pair of mountain bike
shoes might weigh 850 to 900 grams.
Some mountain bike
shoes have a slight amount of engineered flex in the toe area forward of the cleat mount. This assists in walking off the bike and climbing obstacles when a rider may be carrying the bike. Generally, the more expensive a mountain bike
shoe is, the less frontal flex it will have.