I'm after a bit of advice about pedals and cleats. I know that I'm unlikely to get one clear answer, but that's fine!
When I bought my first road bike, I was convinced to buy Look Keo 2 Max which worked fine and I never had any bother with them. I was then told, by someone who knows better than me but who is also a salesman, that my cleats and pedals were badly worn. An Exustar version of the Keo 2 was duly fitted. These cleats now seem really badly worn and, while I don't have any bother clipping in and out, there does seem quite a lot of play in them and they don't feel overly secure when riding.
The really annoying problem I now have though is that there is a lot of squeaking coming from the pedals which I can stop, but only if I move my foot around (heel and knee slightly out, from memory). At one point, I had thought this could be the shoe rubbing on the crank, but I don't think it is. This isn't constant: it develops over the course of a ride and becomes worst when I am already tired and very irritated with poor road surfaces, headwind, bugs and aggressive drivers. It definitely is not my ankle.
The bike is quite old but has covered less than 2,500 miles. My questions:
Is it normal to be replacing pedals and cleats this often?
Is an Exustar version of a 'main' brand much less durable, or am I imagining it?
Will I notice much difference if I opt to try Shimano (I'll get used to any difference in feel, thinking more about durability)?
Any and all advice gratefully received!