Everyone I've talked to that's tried clipless has raved on and on about it and refuses to go back to cages/straps. Instead of throwing down $80+ for double cages/straps, I've been toying around with the idea of riding clipless around the city with some MacGyver'ed street shoes. Obviously, they wouldn't be as good as riding with shoes made specifically for this purpose, but this would let me get around to classes and errand runs while being able to wear normal looking shoes. I did some Googling and came up with this:
It seems that all the person did was drill some holes and bolt in some cleats. The bolts can be covered up with Superfeet or another shoe insert. This would probably greatly reduce shoe life, but I think this can be prevented by protecting the drilled areas with eyelets.
I was thinking that if this were to be done, the shoe would need to have a thicker/stiffer sole (Mexico 66's are pretty thin), but this seems like a very legitimate way to have normal looking shoes for everyday use and rides under 15 miles. There's even the possibility of Dremeling out part of the sole so that the cleat can be slightly recessed.
Last edited by steveymcdubs; 07-14-09 at 04:17 AM.
you would have to recess the cleat into the sole otherwise it could be akward to walk on and ppl would think you were wearing tap dancing shoes on tile floors. I wish someone would come up with a strap on design for these cleats. I like wearing regular shoes and dont want to switch out the pedals cause sometimes I just ride around in my driveway with the kids, in which case having my feet strapped in could be dangerous.
Doing this with normal street shoes is asking for trouble.
You can cover the attachment with insoles, but it is still going to change the geometry of your feet and cause issues and pain.
Biking shoes have special low flex soles so the power goes into the clip instead of just flexing the sole. With a normal street shoe you are going to lose a lot of your stroke power with the shoe folding up. The attachment point is not reinforced so more than likely you will just rip out cleat after a few weeks anyway.
Pay a few extra bucks to buy a mountain biking shoe designed to support a cleat and you will end up much better off in the long run.
You might consider a double-sided pedal, platform on one side and SPD latch on the other. Or the dual-purpose shoes, like the Lakes above. Other companies make them too, check REI's website to see some options from Keen (clipless sandals) and pearl izumi.
The big advantage of a clipless shoe for your purposes is going to be the fact that it's designed with a recessed cleat.
That cleat is going to be a giant PITA -
1. It's going to dig right into your foot every time you step down - ow, ow, ow
2. It's going to click and clack on whatever surface you're walking on. Shoes designed for the cleat sometimes click and clack on concrete. I've heard the Eggbeater cleats and pedals don't, but haven't tried them myself.
3. It's going to be slippery and make just staying upright noticeably more complicated because the only part of the front of your foot touching the ground is going to be the cleat.
The question you should probably be asking is "What normal looking bike shoes do you know of?". Someone else mentioned Lake shoes, here's some ones by Shimano: