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  1. #1
    Senior Member teresamichele's Avatar
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    Shoes for biking if not using clipless?

    I see a lot of posts about clipless pedals but for those of us who don't use them...does it matter what sort of shoes you wear? I'm guessing flip-flops aren't a great idea, but are my normal New Balance cross-trainers I wear to the gym as good as anything else?

    How much does footwear matter if the footwear doesn't attach you to your pedal?
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    You can ride cycling shoes on normal pedals. Cycling shoes have stiff soles that help prevent hot spots from developing on your feet from the pressure of the pedals. I would just get a pair of inexpensive cycling shoes that can be walked in with reasonable comfort.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the arch support insoles with a stiffener from the ball of the foot back,

    to the heel ... will make street shoes into cycling shoes..

    Ala, "Superfeet" brand.

    spongy sole running trainers wouldn't be the best.



    another beneficial component: big platform pedals ,
    they spread out the foot contact surface nicely..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-25-11 at 08:51 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    I use trail running shoes. The "trail" model of the various running shoes has a stiffer sole so that you get a nice, powerful stroke, but are still able to walk around or even run in them.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The things that make for a nice running shoe are bad for bicycling and vice-versa.

    For running you want a nice flexible sole and cushion is good.
    For bicycling stiff soles rule and thinner is better.

    My experience is the longer distances that you ride the more you will appreciate clipless pedals. I use SPD flip-flop pedals on my beater. If I'm planning to ride more than a few miles I'll take the time to change into my SPD shoes. If I'm just making a quick run up to the hardware store I don't worry about what shoes I happen to have on.

  6. #6
    Senior Member teresamichele's Avatar
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    Well, the race I'm doing in August is only a 13 mile ride (part of a triathlon) and I'm not comfortable with clipless at this point.

    That said, I do not have a problem switching between cycling shoes and running shoes - I'll try to find some with a stiffer sole for the cycling. Thanks!
    Grace and Spark - my blog!

    "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them." - G. Eliot

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    I ride with toe clips and straps using MTB cycling shoes. Rather than removing the "rubber cover" where the "SPD clipless pedal plate" attaches, I just left it in and ride. They are easy to walk in, don't scratch wood floors or make that metallic click sound when walking, look like "regular" sneakers and are comfortable to walk in.

    I got them new off eBay for $25. Great fit and I consider myself lucky to have the best of all worlds at that price.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    A good sandal is my choice ( keen currently ) rain or shine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
    A good sandal is my choice ( keen currently ) rain or shine.
    +1

    I used Keen sandals that are waterproof (!?!?!?) for a long time on my daily 8-mi rides before going clipless. Easy to wash - as in, use a hose - and they don't need socks.

  10. #10
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    Due to an injury I cannot use clipless pedals - so I use flat/cage or BMX style,
    Shoes I like are Chrome krush - have both a slip on and a tie. I also use the tie for just about anything.
    Have also used the "Simple" shoe with recycled tire tread soles - they worked well - just had a hard time
    finding my size.
    ride long & prosper

  11. #11
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    Main thing is make sure the shoes you wear are comfortable. One of the locals here is a randenouer whose bike has block pedals. I've seen him riding the bike wearing sandals, athletic shoes, oxfords, or work boots. Not all at the same time of course.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    I've ridden with sandals on SPD pedals (a platform about 1" by 1"), with only slight discomfort after 5 miles. If you're doing a triathlon, I see no reason why you can't cycle in running shoes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ummbnb's Avatar
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    Chucks
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    Stop by the Park Hill Bike Depot at 28th and Fairfax in Denver, donate that old or outgrown kids or adult bike and order your dream bike! Your donation is tax deductible and all procedes go to fund educational, safety and bike access programs.

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    In summer it's a pair of Vans; in winter, boots.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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  15. #15
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    The only way non-cycling-specific footwear has mattered to me so far is when the super-deep grooves of my Nike Free running shoes align themselves with the "cage" of my MKS Touring pedals and prevent my feet from rotating at all. It's funny when plain pedals and running shoes conspire to give me less float than any of my clipless setups.

    Well, there's another problem I've had, and that's when I tried using half-clips on the same pedals while wearing shoes with lugged soles. It was awfully difficult to flip the pedal right-side up and stick my toe into the half-clips without lifting the sole off the pedal, which usually ended up pushing the pedal upside-down again. Again, it became more difficult to use than my road or MTB clipless setups, and I took the half-clips off. They're sitting in a box now.

    Clipless isn't that bad for my commuting, so I'd say to seriously consider it for your short triathlon.

  16. #16
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    Use clipless if you're skilled with them. I would not use non-clipless pedals on my bike for my commute, or even for the mile and a half to the grocery store, or to the store 3 blocks away. I hate how they feel, and I'm less stable on them. But, when they were new, and if I had been a cycle racer, I wouldn't have used them in a race because I'd false-start for sure.

    If you don't like clipless pedals, just jump on in whatever you're wearing. Chances are if you're fine riding in your NBs, you're good; that much flex (NB soles are stiff) isn't going to hurt.

    Also, for running, get some Vibram Bikilas or KSOs or Sprints, if legal. Bikilas are the purpose-built for that.
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatW View Post
    You can ride cycling shoes on normal pedals. Cycling shoes have stiff soles that help prevent hot spots from developing on your feet from the pressure of the pedals. I would just get a pair of inexpensive cycling shoes that can be walked in with reasonable comfort.
    I tried riding with walking shoes but eventually began to get hot spots. I switched to the Louis Garneau Multi Shoe, a low-end cycling shoe, and have had good luck with them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member LarryMelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Use clipless if you're skilled with them. I would not use non-clipless pedals on my bike for my commute, or even for the mile and a half to the grocery store, or to the store 3 blocks away.
    I don't think you get the point of this thread. The OP is a newbie who crashes her bike without clipless pedals. She's not ready for clipless, and doesn't need them.

    I enjoy my commute much more since I put flat pedals on my commuter bike. My road bike has clip-ins but sometimes I wonder why I bother. If I'm riding in town I end up clipping in and out at least every other mile or so. If I could clip in and ride 10 or 15 miles uninterrupted, I'd feel differently... but that rarely happens.

  19. #19
    in cog neato itsmoot's Avatar
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    I liked my Keen Newport sandals when I had platform pedals with half-clips on my road bike. The Newports have a very stiff, unpadded forefoot. I'd taken rides up to 50 miles and never experienced any discomfort. That said, I use clipless now on my road bike and would not go back to platforms. Still use the Newports on my mtb with platforms.
    I have the heart of a young boy. I got it on eBay.

  20. #20
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    my father in law uses shot put shoes for cycling. he seems to be against using clipless pedals... says it makes zero difference. we've agreed to disagree on that...

    check out eastbay, they have a handful of options...

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Shimano Sandals, ... just don't install the SPD clipless cleat.

  22. #22
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Adding on to my previous post --

    Not long ago, I would've said to try toeclips & straps if you're not ready to go clipless.

    However, I've since decided that toeclips aren't as good as they should be -- certainly not as good as any decent clipless system. My reasoning goes like this -- if the toeclips and straps are set tight enough to provide good foot retention, they need to be undone and re-done every time you start and stop (unless you're good at track standing -- which, of course, was developed to accommodate clips n' straps in track racing). This makes them more difficult, overall, than clipless. Plus, if you really want solid retention and stiff soles with toeclips, you'll end up with cycling-specific shoes anyway (lightweight, stiff, with a little cleat to hold onto the pedal).

    I've already said why I don't like half-clips. I also don't find them worth much more than making sure I don't pedal with the arch or heel of my foot.

    For ME, then, I either go with clipless or plain platforms. I have some clipless pedals that work as platforms -- Crank Brothers Mallets on a bike -- and sometimes ride my road pedal-equipped bike with plain shoes. No more toeclips, straps, or half-clips for me.

  23. #23
    Degenerate Grouch xray1978's Avatar
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  24. #24
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'm with 1989Pre. Trail runners for sure! If you're using toe clips and straps make sure they don't have really gnarly lugs on the soles, though. That can make getting in and out of the straps more difficult.

    I REALLY like my Asics Gel Enduro 5 that I got on clearance.

    The current Gel Enduro 7 looks like it might be a little luggy on the Asics site but they don't show the sole so I might be guessing wrong there.

    I might add that I've had problems with some trail runners on some aluminum frames. A pair Saucony shoes and a really old Asics pair I used to wear had such wide heels that they'd clip the fat aluminum chainstays on my Trek 4000. It was just a minor annoyance, really but might put you off if you're gonna race in 'em.

    Not having to change shoes in a sprint Tri is quite the bonus in my book.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-27-11 at 02:24 AM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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