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What type of shoes/pedals for long tours?

Old 06-12-21, 03:33 AM
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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
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Old 06-12-21, 04:02 AM
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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.
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Old 06-12-21, 05:09 AM
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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
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Old 06-12-21, 05:17 AM
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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.
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Old 06-12-21, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT
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.
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Old 06-12-21, 06:56 AM
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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.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:13 AM
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I use flat pedals, footwear is season dependent. In the warmer months I wear sandals.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:28 AM
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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.
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Old 06-12-21, 02:28 PM
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I prefer stiff soled mtb shoes with Speedplay Frog pedals (sadly discontinued) for touring. I carry sandals for off the bike.

David
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Old 06-12-21, 04:00 PM
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Old 06-12-21, 04:04 PM
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Old 06-12-21, 04:43 PM
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You gotta love stock photos.
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Old 06-12-21, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RichinSC1
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.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:52 PM
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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.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RichinSC1
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?
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Old 06-13-21, 08:54 AM
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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.
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Old 06-13-21, 10:20 AM
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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.
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Old 06-13-21, 11:41 AM
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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.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:00 PM
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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.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RichinSC1
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.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:22 AM
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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
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Old 06-14-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
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.
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Old 06-14-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by David in Maine
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.
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Old 06-14-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
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
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Old 06-14-21, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
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.
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