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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-24-07, 10:23 PM   #1
torps
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Toe Clips: Type of shoe for commuting

I'm looking to get a bike specific shoe to use with my commuter with toe clips and also some 20-40mi rides. Can I use a MTB shoe, as it'll provide some stiffness in the sole, but still have some tread to walk in? Can i use a road shoe with toe clips?
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Old 04-24-07, 10:33 PM   #2
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I use a hybrid shoe (from lake)- but I've used sneakers, cycling shoes, winter boots, doc marten's and everything in between, so I guess I'm not picky.
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Old 04-24-07, 11:09 PM   #3
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I still have toe clips on my mountain bike and have worn everything from sandals to steel toed work boots on it back when I commuted on that bike.
If you are looking for a street shoe with a stiff sole I do believe that SixSixOne makes a few nice pair, and I believe nashbar has some street shoes that do not accept cleats but have stiff soles.
However, you could use mountain bike clipless shoes and just not cut the area for the cleat. All of the mountain bike clipless shoes I have seen (and that's not alot) have rubber covering the cleating area that needs to be cut away for the cleat installation, but if you leave it there the shoe looks, walks, acts, talks, and washes your dishes like a regular pair of sneakers.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:03 AM   #4
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Nike Kato lace up will work just fine without cleats. Reasonably stiff but walkable. It comes with inserts to fill the space the cleat would occupy and to cover the mounting holes if you choose to not use cleats. I've worn mine all day at work
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Old 04-25-07, 08:50 AM   #5
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In my opinion, the only time toe clips are advisable is on fixed gear track bikes. Other than that, you should really consider getting clipless pedals. Easier to get in AND out of. And if you are going to commute in them, I'd suggest sticking with SPD or similar with MTB shoes. The SPD type cleat recesses into the tread so you can walk around normally.

You can use road bike shoes with SPD too, but I've gotten to the point where I see no point in using road bike shoes & Look pedals. I've got them for my road bike and will continue to wear them. But when they wear out, I'll move to spd/mtb shoes.

I've got two kinds of shoes and 2 kinds of pedals, all interchangeable (three if you count the road stuff). There are no drawbacks to either of these. Here's what I have (generally):

Shoe 1 (great for pedal 1): http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

Shoe 2 (good for road biking too): http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-M181-M.../dp/B000GB1N90

Pedal 1 (look at pics, one side spd, one side flat, good for any shoe): http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

Pedal 2: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

YMMV
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Old 04-25-07, 12:26 PM   #6
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I ride a 12 (rt) mile commute everyday in sneakers, I use office shos for cycling to the railway station for business meetings out of town and wear casual wear for social events.
Toe clips allow me to get a significant boost in efficiency over plain platforms yet still wear any footwear.

I have ridden in Shimano leisure cycling shoes and they work OK but the horizontal ridges tend to engage in the pedal lips and prevent free rotation.
Specialized Sonoram have too little grip and slip out when you pedal in circles.
My heels must be very sharp because I wear through most cycling shoes within a month.
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Old 04-25-07, 01:18 PM   #7
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There's a slight risk of a shoe with uneven tread (like mountain bike shoes) getting stuck in toeclips when you need to release fast; so I would recommend you use a shoe with a pretty smooth sole if you do want to use toeclips and straps.

One time I was trying out the feel of a bike in a shop, and had my left foot on the floor and my right leg over the top tube with my foot in the right toeclip. For some reason I leaned too far right and started to fall that way. I was able to swing my left leg over the seat and at the same time hop out of the toeclip onto my right foot. However, had I been wearing a shoe with tread, I might not have been able to get my right foot off the pedal and onto the ground to avoid falling and knocking over a row of high end bikes like dominoes.

Last edited by cooker; 04-25-07 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 04-25-07, 01:31 PM   #8
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LAKE : many models, wide sizes are few and far between on the net. LAKE has thier own site,though not discounted,they've a wide range of prices,reasonable.Check the site &they're helpfull on the phone.The MX165 are stiff enough and the best walking cylcling shoes I've ever had,including Carpezzio. The sole is niether too knarley or flat. They are a great mix of efficient cycling and walking well.They're not overly hushpuppyish either.They work well for toe clips. I've used tow clips for years. They seem well suited for clipless by design which is what first appealed to me about them,I've yet to try the clipless pedals so far.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:40 PM   #9
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If you can find a pair in your size the Carnac Carlit is the greatest toe clip shoe ever made; I love mine to the point I bought a spare pair.
It has a stiff sole, no spd clip or anything, with groves along its bottom to catch the edges of your pedals. The narrow toe and laces never get caught up in your toe cage like velcro straps and lugged (mnt shoes) soles can, they just slip in, slip out, and grab when they should.
Walking in them is very comfortable, there is a slight amount of give, so you walk normally and not like a duck.
Carnac made a run of them last year and then stopped production. A google search will bring up several places that still have some but sizes are very limited. Also note that they run on the small size, get a size larger than you would normally wear.

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Old 04-25-07, 02:44 PM   #10
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I think my clipless cycling shoes (specialized tahoes) are probably some of the more expensive I own so I try to only wear them when I ride with clipless pedals.

I have a pair of Sketchers that work well with toe clips and look a little like bike shoes to boot! They come in black and brown and have round knobbies on the treads but the soles are thin to provide good power transfer. They slide in and out easily and are "formal" enough for all but dressy occasions-I'm a teacher who doesn't have to wear ties.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:21 AM   #11
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Depends on how much walking you need to do in your bikes shoes and the type of surface you'll be walking on. Marble floors common in most office lobbies and Look or similar road cleat is not a good combo.

For clips, a smooth sole like those on an indoor soccer or skate board shoe (Sketchers or Vans) is better for sliding into the clip and are still grippy enough for walking.
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Old 04-26-07, 05:17 AM   #12
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Clips and straps are great for all sorts of cycling, not just fixed gear (and I fail to see what's special about them for that, to be honest). Keep the same shoes on, and gain pulling power - what's the downside of that? I have Look pedals on my road bike, and I love them for the power and connectedness, but seriously, they are WAY harder to get out of, and just as hard to get into, as clips. SPD may be better - I haven't tried it yet.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:55 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info guys.. I'm going to look into SPD compatible shoes and eggbeaters. Seems like the best compromise.
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Old 04-26-07, 08:08 AM   #14
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For clips and straps I generally use my Adidas Samba or Superstar shoes. The Superstars are a bit bulkier and have a thicker / stiffer sole. I find them more comfortable on long distance rides.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:10 AM   #15
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I use Airwalk skakeboarding shoes, as they have very little arch and smooth bottoms. For commuting they work esp. well when there is a need to get into/out of the toe clips rapidly. I have not suffered any arch pain (could be I have adapted). My commute is 15 mi. each way. I have mtn. bike shoes too, with a stiff sole, which is great, but the sole is knobby. The knobby sole takes a little more time/effort to get into the toe clips and on one particularly busy intersection, the time to get into the toe clips is critical.
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