Thursday, July 15, 2010

(Big Red) Riding Shoes

The use of clip-in pedals and their accompanying special space-suit like footwear seems to be some sort of dividing line for cyclists, like having a bike you can't buy at a department store (read: Walmart) or getting your first case of road rash. There are advantages to clip-ins, of course--your foot stays put (even when you don't want it to, which, of course, is also a disadvantage--watchers of the TDF saw Lance barely get his foot out of the pedal in time to avoid going down), and the rider can actually pull the pedal up as well as pushing it down. This last has obvious advantages for racers.

However . . . there had to be a however, didn't there? For the rest of us, meaning those who don't race or don't see racing, whether against ourselves or other riders, as the be-all and end-all of cycling, the question arises as to what shoes are best for the flat, non-clip-in, no-straps-attached kind of pedals. My favorites have come to be the Chuck Taylors pictured here in all their big red glory. They have the advantage of being light, and the soft rubber soles grip the pedals sufficiently that the foot doesn't slide around, even when it's wet. They do this without giving the feel of riding barefoot. Best of all, perhaps, they come in colors, and no, the last time I checked, you can't buy them at Walmart. Which gives them some sort of distinction, I suppose.

So--favorite riding shoes, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. You asked so... don't really have a favorite but for mountain biking I have a pair of answer racing mtb shoes in classic black that came as a combo with a set of egg-beater (greatest pedal ever!) still running this setup.

    On the recumbent I have tried clipless but recently I have flats installed and I wear a pair of New balance running shoes. like you say the rubber grips the pedals fine. Some recumbents require a clip in pedal because you constantly fight gravity to keep your feet on the pedals. For whatever reason on my bent flats are fine and my feet stay put. And as a bonus I like being able to move my feet about the platform on longer rides. In fine "fred" fashion when the temps dip down around 50 or 60 degrees I like sandals and wool socks.

    On the road bike I have a pair of Lake road shoes. They are very comfy on the bike but I feel like a new born calf when trying to walk in the damn things. The pedals are shimano Ultegra. I don't ride that bike much. Kinda grew out of my serious roadie stage.

    When commuting I'm usually wearing columbia low hikers and they are suprisingly well suited to flat pedals.

    So nothing against specialized shoe/pedal systems- they do have their place in performance/competitive cycling. I think you hit it with your post- whatever you like and whatever feels good on the bike.