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  1. #1
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    Who Tours in Non-Biking Shoes?

    I often see debate between clipless and non-clipless, but what about regular shoes and platform pedals? Anybody do long tours in tennis shoes, vans, etc.?

    I picked up some MKS Tour Lite pedals, but find they have been hurting my feet. The "teeth" on the front and back cause discomfort when wearing regular shoes after around 15 miles. There is enough of a flat platform. They have good grip, I may move them to my MTB and get some grip kings or something similar for my Surly.
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  2. #2
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I use Power Grips on my Commuting/Touring Jamis Aurora. I Bring my frogs along on my supported tours, but ride with a pair of Keen leather walking shoes with the grips on some days. I think that tennis/running shoes don't have the stiffness to hold up over a day's ride.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Done it both ways. SPDs get slight edge over running shoes for touring as they keep my foot anchored in one position and are a tiny bit more efficient for spinning. The advantages are largely offset for me by the "fiddle" factor, and having to deal with a pair of off bike shoes. I've taken to clipping a pair of Crocs to my bags when I tour with spd.

    I am old and move slow, 10-12 mph. Thus have no real need for the efficiency offered by clipless. Probably explains my take or leave it attitude.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  4. #4
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    I used to ride with eggbeaters, I got sick of putting on my shoes when I just wanted to go for a short ride. I switched to some platforms just for around town, but I've decided that I'm not going to swtich back. I have a pair of hiking/climbing shoes that have a sole nearly as stiff as a cycling shoe. I can walk in them comfortably for hours, and pedal for hours without any discomfort.

    http://www.rei.com/product/780853?cm...:referralID=NA
    Last edited by jmichaeldesign; 07-26-09 at 09:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I use hiking shoes and platform pedals. I use strapless toe clips to prevent my foot from slipping off the pedal. I tried clipless but the shoes hurt my feet the same as you have found.
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  6. #6
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    I do.

    Have ridden 120 miles in one day in vans old schools. I hate clips.

  7. #7
    mev
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    Toe clips and tennis shoes, preferably with stiff soles.

  8. #8
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    I like hiking shoes also,the soles are stiff enough to not hurt your feet while riding but are alos very comfortable for walking in.I can walk or ride all day with theses shoes and still be comfortable.

  9. #9
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I use Powergrips and sneakers! I actually bought a pair of Salomon trail runners about 5 or 6 months ago and love them. I think IŽll get more when I wear these out. I used clips on our last tour and find I really, really, REALLY prefer the convenience of having just one pair of shoes and not having to change allt he time.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  10. #10
    imi
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    Toe clips and running shoes... on my first tour from sweden to spain I was barefoot on plastic pedals all the way, worked fine, but that was way back in the day before I didn't know better yerknow

  11. #11
    'roid monkey wannabe AnnaMossity's Avatar
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    I've been riding for a month on flat pedals (MKS) and either $2 flip flops, Nike Frees (the anti-shoe running shoe) or my stiff soled hiking shoes. All work well. Wouldn't want to go clipless on a tour. Not enough freedom for all the different situations that come up.

    Oh and I also ride barefoot from time to time too, that feels nice esp if you just went swimming or you don't have anymore clean socks.

  12. #12
    Never say never
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    Geez and here I was under the impression that just about everybody in this forum rode clipless pedals. Not that it matters or anything ... it's just what I thought. Nice to know.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Oscuro's Avatar
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    Platforms and hiking boots.

    Need some breathable hiking shoes though. These waterproof boots get too damned sweaty in the summer.

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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmichaeldesign View Post
    I used to ride with eggbeaters, I got sick of putting on my shoes when I just wanted to go for a short ride. I switched to some platforms just for around town, but I've decided that I'm not going to swtich back. I have a pair of hiking/climbing shoes that have a sole nearly as stiff as a cycling shoe. I can walk in them comfortably for hours, and pedal for hours without any discomfort.

    http://www.rei.com/product/780853?cm...:referralID=NA

    Hiking shoes are also great if you plan to do some walking too! I use mine with Power Grips. My hiking shoes cost $29 at Target, but the $105 pair you point out looks pretty nice too ...

  15. #15
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    I think I need to try some different pedals then. The MKS Tour Lites just don't have enough platform. I get a "burn" in my foot. At $50 it was a bad investment. Though they might work on the MTB.

    So, to go with a stiff sole shoe what pedal would people suggest? Grip Kings, Crank Bros 50/50, Power Grips, . . . ?
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpk0925 View Post
    Geez and here I was under the impression that just about everybody in this forum rode clipless pedals. Not that it matters or anything ... it's just what I thought. Nice to know.
    FWIW: This forum doesn't really reflect what I have seen on the road all that well. This is true for shoe choice, pedal choice and lots of other areas. I would say that on the Trans America 90% or so of the riders I met used some kind of clipless pedal. The remaining 10% mostly either used toe clips or power grips.

    Not that you can't successfully tour using whatever you prefer...

  17. #17
    Never say never
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    FWIW: This forum doesn't really reflect what I have seen on the road all that well. This is true for shoe choice, pedal choice and lots of other areas. I would say that on the Trans America 90% or so of the riders I met used some kind of clipless pedal. The remaining 10% mostly either used toe clips or power grips.

    Not that you can't successfully tour using whatever you prefer...
    Right. A person can use forums as sort of a guide for advice, but (to me) it isn't on the same level as talking to somebody knowledgeable face to face ... unless maybe you have corresponded with a forum member often enough that you have a good feel for that person. (Not sure if I worded that right ... no offense intended to anybody).

    Babble mode on:
    This brings to mind the time my buddies and I pedaled cross-country so many years ago. At that time, the bicycle shop that set us up insisted that we wear toe clips to go cross-country. (FWIW, I don't think we had clipless pedals back in those days). After reading some of the posts here, I'm not so sure it was necessary. They also insisted that we all carry cloth (maybe satin?) sheets to somehow use as part of our bedding (which we never used even once) and also that we don't use kick-stands of any sort due to the extra weight. Being young kids with absolutely no bicycling experience, we took most things they said as gospel, which for the most part was the right thing to do. I know we weren't exactly thrilled having to wear the tight-fitting woolen biking shorts with the chamois either. I'm not exactly sure how much they helped, but they sure didn't hurt.

  18. #18
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    I like SR 152 pedals(really old) and Vans skateboarding shoes.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  19. #19
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    Running shoes and toe clips.

  20. #20
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    I often see debate between clipless and non-clipless, but what about regular shoes and platform pedals? Anybody do long tours in tennis shoes, vans, etc.?

    .....

    I have done every tour, including my world tour (so i am probably over a quarter of a million miles riding) in a pair of 'sneakers' that I buy at PayLess Shoe store for between $25 and $35 a pair. I use old fashioned 'rattrap' pedals that your foot can go on either way.

    roughstuff
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  21. #21
    Hooked on Touring
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    I have toured from the Rio Grande to the Arctic in lightweight hiking boots and platform pedals with toeclips and loose straps. During those trips I have had the opportunity to hike deep into the backcountry and camp in wilderness areas and national parks including Yosemite, Zion and Bryce, four crossings of the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier many times, Waterton, Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kluane, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Denali - a partial list.

    I did all of these hikes while on a bike tour. I could not have begun to have done so with any sort of cycling shoe - esp. a cleated shoe. Different strokes for different folks, but I like to experience as much as possible and not be constrained by my shoes.


    By Jamawani

    PS - Make sure the boots have a low-cut on the back of the ankle rather than a raised tab.
    http://www.hi-tec.com/images/assets/...dPlaRabAsh.jpg
    Last edited by jamawani; 07-28-09 at 09:31 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    Anybody do long tours in tennis shoes, vans, etc.?
    Doesn't everybody
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Running shoes and platforms, no clips or straps. I only bring one pair of shoes on tour, which saves weight (I wear size 14) and my shoes are comfortable for walking, wearing around camp, etc.

    (Apologies to those who've read me saying this before. This topic has been on here frequently.)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    I have toured from the Rio Grande to the Arctic in lightweight hiking boots and platform pedals with toeclips and loose straps. During those trips I have had the opportunity to hike deep into the backcountry and camp in wilderness areas and national parks including Yosemite, Zion and Bryce, four crossings of the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier many times, Waterton, Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kluane, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Denali - a partial list.

    I did all of these hikes while on a bike tour. I could not have begun to have done so with any sort of cycling shoe - esp. a cleated shoe. Different strokes for different folks, but I like to experience as much as possible and not be constrained by my shoes.


    By Jamawani

    PS - Make sure the boots have a low-cut on the back of the ankle rather than a raised tab.
    http://www.hi-tec.com/images/assets/...dPlaRabAsh.jpg
    This exactly what I am thinking. I have been a hiker for a while and while hiking in NorCal and Oregon Coast I discovered touring. So, I am not just looking to get out and ride, but to hike and explore when I am in beautiful places. I have just been finding that on my longer rides here at home that my feet hurt and start to burn around 20 miles. I have tried Vans, New Balance Trail Runners, and Merrel Hiking Boots. The hiking boots aren't bad, but feet get hot. I think I may just need a different style. Also, I think the MKS tour light pedal that I bought is a culprit:

    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  25. #25
    Hooked on Touring
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    This exactly what I am thinking. I have been a hiker for a while and while hiking in NorCal and Oregon Coast I discovered touring. So, I am not just looking to get out and ride, but to hike and explore when I am in beautiful places. I have just been finding that on my longer rides here at home that my feet hurt and start to burn around 20 miles. I have tried Vans, New Balance Trail Runners, and Merrel Hiking Boots. The hiking boots aren't bad, but feet get hot. I think I may just need a different style. Also, I think the MKS tour light pedal that I bought is a culprit:

    I use a larger platform on my pedal - what used to be called a mountain bike pedal.
    Rectangular about 4 inches by 2.5 inches.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_44503

    Also, because I have loose straps I can constantly adjust my foot.
    A little back, forward, left, right - it becomes second nature.
    Then, at rare times, I flip the pedal over and use a the ball of the foot.
    (It may be less efficient, but I almost never have had foot pain.)

    As for hot, sweaty feet - my hiking boots are mostly fabric, certainly NOT GoreTex.
    I also carry Tevas and use on lazy, flat stretches.
    If you switch out to Tevas for lunch and as soon as you quit for the day -
    You will be fine.

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