Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

What type of shoes/pedals for long tours?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

What type of shoes/pedals for long tours?

Old 06-12-21, 03:33 AM
  #1  
RichinSC1
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 5 Posts
What type of shoes/pedals for long tours?

Getting ready for my first tour. Do most people use flat or clipless pedals on tours? What type shoes do you recommend?...... road shoes, tennis shoes, etc.
I have seen many photos of people wearing sandals while touring. Are these sandals for clipless pedals or flat pedals?
Thanks
RichinSC1 is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 04:02 AM
  #2  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,675

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 656 Times in 536 Posts
Pedals, ones that have a platform side for normal shoes on one side and take SPD cleats on the other side. I think SPD cleats are the most walkable cleats of all options. There are several models available, but this year with the shortages you might have to settle for what you can get. I use Shimano M324 pedals (heavy but good grip on platform side) on some bikes and Shimanon A530 (discontinued model, lighter but poor grip) on other bikes. There are many more models out there too.

Shoes, I bring one cycling pair and one regular pair for use in the campsite.

Cycling pair uses SPD cleats. I have toured on Keen cycling sandals (no longer made) and also have toured on a more conventional SPD mountain biking shoe. Whichever you get, if it will be cool or chilly or cold, bring some form of overshoe or rain cover so that you can keep your feet dryer in rain, overshoes only work with rain pants. Some rain covers do not fit well over some shoes, so shoe selection and rain cover selection go together. But, if the weather will be warm enough to just get wet and forgo the rain pants, skip the shoe covers.

Regular shoes. Some people forgo the regular shoes but I like a second pair of shoes to wear in the campsite. And there are occasional days when I would rather wear my regular shoes on the bike instead of cycling shoes, maybe my cycling shoes are soaked and the regular are dry. Or perhaps I will be riding on a really bad road or trail and don't want to be cleated in that day.

For the regular shoes, I usually use a hiking shoe (Merrill Moab Waterproof) or a trail runner shoe. Avoid soft sole sneakers or deck shoes, as the flexible sole does not provide enough support for your foot for a long day in the saddle.

A friend of mine has toured on regular shoes and platform pedals, saved the weight to only bring that one pair of shoes. But after a day of rain and his shoes got wet, and stayed wet for days he started having some bad foot problems. If you only bring one pair, think about what it would be like if they got soaked at stayed that way for days.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 06-12-21, 05:09 AM
  #3  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,881
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2206 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 486 Posts
Rich, while different people prefer diff things, the one general thing is that a running shoe or sandal that is very flexible is going to cause more discomfort and less efficient transfer of power than a shoe with a sole that is more stiff.
How a shoe fits your foot, ie arch support, is always going to help if your feet are supported well overall. Just think of the umpteen thousand times that are pushing downwards .
Really, you will only personally feel differences by trying different shoes yourself and when riding long days, multiple days, and comparing what your feet tell you.

overall though, as tourist brought up, a stiffer soled shoe is a better choice than a floppy, loosey goosey cheap shoe.
I personally like having another pair of shoes with me, but they do take up some space.

ride loaded up a bunch and see how things are
djb is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 05:17 AM
  #4  
MarcusT
Senior Member
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 1,147
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked 272 Times in 164 Posts
Many tourers use large platform pedals, and this will usually compensate for soles which are too flexible. I use a trail runner, but depending on weather and the mood, might even wear flip flops. I prefer flats over clipless because with hours on the pedals, it's nice to move your feet around and change pressure points.
MarcusT is offline  
Likes For MarcusT:
Old 06-12-21, 05:30 AM
  #5  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,881
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2206 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 486 Posts
Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Many tourers use large platform pedals, and this will usually compensate for soles which are too flexible. I use a trail runner, but depending on weather and the mood, might even wear flip flops. I prefer flats over clipless because with hours on the pedals, it's nice to move your feet around and change pressure points.
very good point on wider pedals. My commuter has them and they do a good job.
For riding a really heavy bike, I personally prefer spd pedals for being able to pull up a bit on climbs , and being clipped in over rough stuff.

it will comes down to getting more riding experience touring and seeing what you prefer, and ones opinion can change also, it's allowed!

in the end, you just don't want sore feet, that's all.
djb is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 06:56 AM
  #6  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,675

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 656 Times in 536 Posts
If you use platform pedals, make sure they have good grip so the shoes do not slide around too easily. A friend of mine hit a pothole that he did not see, had pedals that did not have a good grip and his foot or feet slid off the pedal(s), woke up in the hospital.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 08:13 AM
  #7  
gerryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 459
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 17 Posts
I use flat pedals, footwear is season dependent. In the warmer months I wear sandals.
gerryl is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 10:28 AM
  #8  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,262

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Liked 256 Times in 184 Posts
Determine what kind of tour you want to take, then get the appropriate footwear, then the appropriate pedal.

Some tourists cycle seriously most of the day, then stop and spend hours in one place at the end of the day. A pair of cycling shoes and another pair of walking shoes/sandals work well in that case.

Others break up the day with walks, museum tours, etc. Walking shoes work just fine on the right pedal. That's less expensive and less to pack.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 02:28 PM
  #9  
David in Maine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
I prefer stiff soled mtb shoes with Speedplay Frog pedals (sadly discontinued) for touring. I carry sandals for off the bike.

David
David in Maine is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 04:00 PM
  #10  
pakeboi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
SAS Shoes JV Mesh Active Sneaker


pakeboi is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 04:04 PM
  #11  
pakeboi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
MKS Allways


pakeboi is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 04:43 PM
  #12  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,912
Mentioned: 201 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14248 Post(s)
Liked 7,410 Times in 3,737 Posts
You gotta love stock photos.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 06-12-21, 06:06 PM
  #13  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,675

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 656 Times in 536 Posts
Originally Posted by RichinSC1 View Post
Getting ready for my first tour. Do most people use flat or clipless pedals on tours? What type shoes do you recommend?...
I re-read your post. Previously I commented that I mostly use SPD shoes and pedals when touring, but if you are getting ready for your first tour, it is a bad time to change what you have been doing when it comes to pedals and if your shoes are attached to your pedals, how they are attached. There is a learning curve to using cleats, and making sure that releasing your shoe from the pedal is second nature before you come to a stop. When I started using SPD cleats, I made a conscious effort to be detached more than 20 feet from where I planned to stop to make sure that I developed muscle memory that would make that second nature.

It is best to learn how to use SPD cleats, or any other means that you attach your foot to the pedal long before you go on a bike tour. If you leave on a tour in a week or two, use what you have been using, not something radically different.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 08:52 PM
  #14  
Nyah
No QR-disc or alumin F/Fs
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia.
Posts: 505

Bikes: '99 Trek 520, '20 Kona Sutra (FOR SALE 48cm), and a chromoly-framed folding bicycle with drop-bars and V-brakes, that rolls even while folded.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 137 Times in 96 Posts
On my first tour I did the C&O from DC to Harpers Ferry (and back), on a BMX bicycle with Shimano DX pedals and some long-forgotten athletic shoe. No issue with my feet that I can recall.

As an adult on a geared, drop-bar bicycle, I toured on toe-clip pedals and whatever shoe I happened to be liking at the time (never bicycle-specific). Often they were skateboarding shoes such as classic Vans. No issue with my feet that I can recall.

A couple of years ago I switched to rubber block pedals such as MKS 3000 and similar. I use those with minimalist footwear - which is flexible to the extreme and with zero support - on day-long rides without issue. I don't expect to experience any issues from this combination while on tour.

Last edited by Nyah; 06-12-21 at 09:02 PM.
Nyah is offline  
Old 06-12-21, 10:16 PM
  #15  
saddlesores
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangkok...and....Hainan
Posts: 3,332

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 887 Post(s)
Liked 185 Times in 127 Posts
Originally Posted by RichinSC1 View Post
Getting ready for my first tour. Do most people use flat or clipless pedals on tours? What type shoes do you recommend?...... road shoes, tennis shoes, etc.
I have seen many photos of people wearing sandals while touring. Are these sandals for clipless pedals or flat pedals?
Thanks
if you're going to crowdsource all your decisions, at least give
the interwebs masses something to go on.

what shoes and pedals do you use.........now?
how much and what type of riding do you do.........now?
are you satisfied with your pedal-shoe choice..........now?

what type and length of touring are you planning on?
will you carry multiple pairs or must one shoe do it all?
any reason to think your current setup won't be suitable?
saddlesores is offline  
Likes For saddlesores:
Old 06-13-21, 08:54 AM
  #16  
timdow
Pie Smuggler
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 477

Bikes: 2010 LHT (Blue), 2005ish Fuji Club LE, 1998 Schwinn Moab (converted for commuting).

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 30 Posts
Flat pedals, pedals w/straps, clipless... It a personal decision.

Being the minimalist that I am, I don't like to carry two pairs of shoes while on tour so I go with flat pedals. When I shop for shoes I look for one that are on the stiff side.
timdow is offline  
Old 06-13-21, 10:20 AM
  #17  
Brett A
Word.
 
Brett A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rural New England
Posts: 184

Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Specialized Roubaix, Felt fat bike (5" studded), DB Sortie Black 29er trail bike, many, many others out in the barn.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 33 Posts
You've gotten good info so far. I can only add that there's wisdom on going with whatever you are used to. Shoe interface is a pretty essential part of the activity. Your first tour may not be the best time to go messing with it if you're already well used to one type.

Personally, I stick with SPDs as I have been riding with them since they were introduced in nearly 30 years ago. My body is just used to them and any other interface proves to be a distraction. I carry a lightweight, low bulk pair of regular shoes for off the bike.
Brett A is offline  
Likes For Brett A:
Old 06-13-21, 11:41 AM
  #18  
hfbill
Senior Member
 
hfbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: High Falls NY
Posts: 198

Bikes: Trek 520, Haro Flightline 29er MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
I used to use custom fit Shimano RP9s with 3 bolt cleat pedals but I ended up switching to Shimano M820 "Saint" SPD pedals with my relatively inexpensive Serfas shoes because I simply found them to be more comfortable on longer rides and also much more walk-able.
hfbill is offline  
Old 06-13-21, 08:00 PM
  #19  
boomhauer
Senior Member
 
boomhauer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 762
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 28 Posts
If you are touring around South Carolina I would say take an extra pair of shoes. Your shoes will be wet if it rains or not.
If you are touring in a dryer climate any mesh top tennis shoe would work okay.

I've been using some Merrell water shoes. I wear socks but when it rains I take off the socks. I don't want to take another pair of shoes if I don't have to. However, water sport shoes are not bike shoes. I think if you were a power peddler it's probably not a good choice.
boomhauer is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 07:16 AM
  #20  
dgodave
Behold my avatar:
 
dgodave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SW Colorado
Posts: 983

Bikes: 2019 Gorilla Monsoon, 2013 Surly Krampus, Brompton folder

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6598 Post(s)
Liked 111 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by RichinSC1 View Post
Getting ready for my first tour. Do most people use flat or clipless pedals on tours? What type shoes do you recommend?...... road shoes, tennis shoes, etc.
I have seen many photos of people wearing sandals while touring. Are these sandals for clipless pedals or flat pedals?
Thanks
Let me repeat my response in that other shoes thread:

It depends. My take:

A. Japan: Keen Sandals on platforms.. lots of things to stop at and walk around. Many temples and other shoes-off situations. Warm weather.

B. England: Regular shoes & toe clips. Frequent stops for walking around interesting places.

C. Western USA. SPDs. Huge riding distances between stops. Optimize for efficiency.
dgodave is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 07:22 AM
  #21  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,881
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2206 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 486 Posts
Too bad rich has never returned, we have no clue to any details of riding experience or anything.

it'd be neighborly of ya Rich to pop back in
djb is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 07:23 AM
  #22  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,912
Mentioned: 201 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14248 Post(s)
Liked 7,410 Times in 3,737 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
You gotta love stock photos.
I remember a certain, frequent (now former) "contributor" to Touring who would only post stock photos of stuff he claimed to own.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 08:02 AM
  #23  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,093

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1701 Post(s)
Liked 932 Times in 583 Posts
Originally Posted by David in Maine View Post
I prefer stiff soled mtb shoes with Speedplay Frog pedals (sadly discontinued) for touring. I carry sandals for off the bike.
Same here. I can wear my Teva sandals into public showers (think swimming pools) and then walk down the road to a grocery store, library, or diner.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 08:16 AM
  #24  
saddlesores
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangkok...and....Hainan
Posts: 3,332

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 887 Post(s)
Liked 185 Times in 127 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I remember a certain, frequent (now former) "contributor" to Touring who would only post stock photos of stuff he claimed to own.
you wouldn't be referencing the infamous felt across the usa tour?

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.ne...jpg?1493746152
saddlesores is offline  
Old 06-14-21, 02:44 PM
  #25  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,675

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 656 Times in 536 Posts
Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you wouldn't be referencing the infamous felt across the usa tour?

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.ne...jpg?1493746152
I do not think he had a schwinn. But I do recall exactly who we are discussing. He got on my ignore list long before he was banned.
Tourist in MSN is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.