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What are your favorite combos of non-clipless shoes and platform pedals?

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What are your favorite combos of non-clipless shoes and platform pedals?

Old 03-16-14, 01:23 PM
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What are your favorite combos of non-clipless shoes and platform pedals?

I've been reading and searching and I'm not finding specifically what I want. I don't want to open up a debate on whether clipless is better than platform for touring. I know there are already people on both sides of the fence on that one and I've read the threads. I've been a long term clipless guy and now I'd like to go back to platforms and "normal" shoes. I plan on doing a lot of touring this year, mostly S24O type stuff, but a few longer trips of several days. A lot of where I'm going to be touring will involve parks with hiking trails where I hope to be able to lock up the bike and get out to walk a few miles of those trials. Rather than carry a second pair of shoes and switch out, I'd rather just have a pair of shoes that will be versatile enough for riding on the bike but will be plenty comfortable for walking a few miles off the bike on rugged trails or exploring around a small downtown of an evening.

This also kind of figures into a shift I've been undergoing in my own bike riding over the last couple years. I've steadily moved away from cycling specific clothing to stuff that is comfortable on the bike (Merino wool along with some tech fabrics like nylon and such) and is perfectly innocuous off the bike. One more thing to consider. I hate dropping money on shoes and having them wear out within a year or so, then having to throw them out and spend big bucks to end up getting another pair. I know there are more shoes being made that can be resoled, even low top trainer type hiking shoes. I'm also looking for shoes that strong uppers and soles that lend themselves to repair to increase longevity. So, what are your favorite combos of nice platforms along with the shoes you prefer? Bonus points for pedals that will allow the use of toe-clips and straps. I might find that I still want to have the option of a more secure connection without necessarily being clipped in.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:26 PM
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I've had surprising success with Teva Churn water shoes and mtb pedals. The mtb pedals do a good job of gripping the soles of my shoes. You can even doing a bit of pulling up with them if you concentrate on the stroke.

A word about the water shoes. Best thing I've found for preventing hot foot. I add an insole to mine for extra padding. Find them very comfortable for long hikes on reasonably smooth ground(no ankle protection.) They are durable, ventilate well, and are light. Dry quick if they get wet.

For short rides, it's pretty much whatever shoe I've got on. Usually the Teva's.
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Old 03-16-14, 05:05 PM
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I personally like the Shimano Saint pedals. I bought a set off Craigs list and have really enjoyed them on my Fargo for on trail riding. Nice and grippy with rebuildable bearing races. I think Jensonusa has them for $89. I also like my cheap platform on one side and SPD on the other pedals. I think I bought them at Performance. I use a pair of SPD shoes which allow me to walk easily when off the bike. I just can't seem to give up the clipless pedal. I feel much more secure when climbing out of the saddle with clipless then not. The shoes I have are made by Mavic and for some reason are really difficult to find now. I love them and got them on sale for a great price. They have a very heavy duty hiking boot style sole.
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Old 03-16-14, 06:51 PM
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I use some generic Wellgo BMX pedals and usually some Teva type sandals. I've tried the Rivendell Grip King (or MKS Lambda) and the MKS RMX pedal, but I find I really like the pins on the BMX pedals.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:02 PM
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I'm definitely not a hardcore rider but I like Odyssey Twisted pedals- I have the crystal looking ones- and Vans. The raised parts on the pedals and the waffle pattern of the sole mesh well but you're not locked in and, unless you get the tiger-striped or other super-stylish Vans, they're unobtrusive and no one has to know you're a secret cyclist.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:20 PM
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My favorite combos - road bike: MKS sylvan pedal and Chrome Krusk shoe.
- commuter bike : shimano mx-80 pedal and the chrome Krusk.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kiltedcelt
..... I plan on doing a lot of touring this year, mostly S24O type stuff, but a few longer trips of several days. A lot of where I'm going to be touring will involve parks with hiking trails where I hope to be able to lock up the bike and get out to walk a few miles of those trials.
Cycling generates a great deal of sweat. Sweating in your shoes (cycling) followed by hiking in the shoes.... then repeating again the next day? Whatever weight you save in a 2nd pair of shoes might be replaced with medications for curing the foot fungus you'll likely get.

For just grabbing the bike and running to the store... I like my bike I equipped with strapless half-toe nylon cages. I don't have to worry about a wet shoe slipping off the pedal when I stand. And I can wear whatever shoes I have on.... even sandals, clogs, or loose leather dockers (my favorite). But there is no one-size-fits-all shoe.... or one shoe that fits all purposes.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-16-14 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:51 PM
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I feel your post. I have different set-ups on a dozen bikes, including clipless for fast rides. Without a doubt, the most practical for noraml rides are thermalite pedals (cheap) with fixie straps. However, thick fixie straps can get hot on hot days, and trap/hold moisture if they get wet. So, the resin materials in Powergrips might be more practical, and the pedals that are sold in the Powergrip kit work just fine.

But, the downside of fixie straps and Powergrips are they need adjustment if you change shoes. With Powergips you need tools. So, if all weather uber-versatility is the top priority, I'd go with big horseshoe 9/16 VP bearclaws (cheap) and the half-toe nylon clips as Mr. Cutter suggests above. Frankly you could ride in Danner expedition boots (flipping the pedal), then switch to sandals, then start some serious spinning with tennis shoes, without messing with your pedals.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:31 PM
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I am an old guy but I use Odyssey Twisted BMX pedals with skate shoes. I am thinking of trying lightweight trainers (running shoes) next, as my favorite skate shoes have been discontinued.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mm718
I am an old guy but I use Odyssey Twisted BMX pedals with skate shoes. I am thinking of trying lightweight trainers (running shoes) next, as my favorite skate shoes have been discontinued.
What skate shoes *were* you wearing?
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Old 03-16-14, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramona_W
What skate shoes *were* you wearing?
Simple Shoes' Sno-Tire.

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Old 03-16-14, 08:57 PM
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Sun Ringle "ZuZu" pedals, in black; Converse "Chuck Taylor" high-top sneakers, in black, blue, red, or green.
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Old 03-16-14, 09:02 PM
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MKS Touring pedals with Power Grips and Merell Moab shoes make me a happy biker and hiker.
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Old 03-17-14, 05:35 AM
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kiltedcelt, I have one bike that has platform pedals rather than clipless. They're generic resin BMX pedals that work best with a pliable soled shoe. The shoes that seem to work for me are a pair of New Balance 968 hiking shoes. I prefer a pair of cycling socks any time I ride. I have several brands of cycling socks and they all are better than cotton, or not wearing socks altogether.

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Old 03-17-14, 11:37 AM
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Shimano A530. They go clipless or platform. So when I'm riding to hike or when I know I will do doing a bit of walking, I wear Merrill hiking boots. They are not super heavy, they're not super light though either. Comfortable though to wear all day. Also, they're 4 years old now maybe 5. I wear them every day through the winter and at least once during the work week in the summer, and on the weekends when I'm riding-so they're durable.
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Old 03-17-14, 12:12 PM
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As long as the pedals are plenty big and have steel pins, I haven`t noticed any difference (only a pool of four models fitting that description). The one pair I`ve tried with molded plastic pins I found too slippery for me, and a few pairs that had too small a platform led to foot pain.

I tried a few cheap "skate" shoes and didn`t like the soft soles, went with New Balance model 811 walking shoes last time and have been very happy with them. I see they`re now discontinued, so really hope the replacements (M812) are similar.

House brand (from a sporting goods box store) insulated hiking boots have been keeping me toasty for the past two or three winters- will look for similar when they wear out.
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Old 03-17-14, 05:45 PM
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I just wear a pair of Keen Hiking Sandals and some sort of super wide aluminum BMX pedals. The combo works for me; the Keen sandals tend to be pretty stiff shoe wise and work very well for 3 season hiking. It's all I've ever needed shoe wise for touring/hiking/backpacking. Incredibly durable too and easy to fix when they break.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:05 PM
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I love just riding in my flip-flops. I have a pair of Nashbar sealed platform pedals that cost ~50. They're really nice pedals modeled after a lot of the $75-100 MTB pedals. They grip any shoe well and have a nice and big platform, so you don't need a really stiff shoe to be comfortable biking long miles in them. Like I said, I ride in my flimsy flip-flops. Otherwise I'd suggest some sandals. Some companies make some nice hiking sandals that I bet would be great for biking as long as there isn't too much knobby tread on the bottom. I have found big knobby tread like on hiking boots to be not as comfy on bikes because you have to try to line up the pedal pins and shoe knobs. Then you can't always have your foot in the exact comfy spot you want it. When it's colder out and I want more than flip-flops, I have a pair of Teva MTB shoes that are nice for long bike rides. They're grippy on the bottom and stiffer soled, so they work great with any pedal, and they're comfortable to walk around in. I bet most any skate style MTB shoe designed for platform pedals would do you fine.
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Old 03-17-14, 09:11 PM
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Well, I've done more reading and research and I was also considering clipless sandals and pedals with a platform on one side and clipless on the other. One thing that keeps coming up though is that a LOT of folks really like the regular "street" Keen sandals for touring and just use them with a platform pedal with the little pegs, ie. typical BMX/downhill pedal. Seems like lots of folks like this combo for comfort riding and the ability to walk just about anywhere off the bike in comfort as well. I'm seriously leaning toward the Keens along with some type of platform pedal. I consulted with a shoe repair place as well and unfortunately Keen doesn't make any kind of shoe that can be resoled, apparently. At least the all seem to have a reputation for lasting a number of years even with heavy use. It's easier to justify spending $100 on a pair of shoes if you will at least get more than a couple years of use out of them.
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Old 03-17-14, 09:58 PM
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I think Lucky Sailor said it best: Shimano A-530s. You get a platform on one side and a SPD clip on the other or if you are a weight weenie the A-520s or if you like them bigger and don't mind weight the M-324 is a similar option. Problem Solvers also makes a clip in platform for SPD style pedals but it is heavy so will likely flop to the bottom.

If you are looking for a comfortable shoe, I prefer the Altra Lone Peak. It is a zero drop shoe that has a very nice wide toe box so your toes aren't squished and uncomfortable. Plus the outsole is perfect for getting some grip on pedals and they would make great light hikers. I heard from their rep that coming out for the spring they will have a waterproof version of the Lone Peak using Polartec technology most likely Neoshell, being that is their only waterproof-breathable membrane on the market (and also a great one IMHO)

The Salomon Speedcross CS is a similarly outsoled shoe but I found that they are a bit too narrow for me and the arch hits me in the wrong place. However they would offer a similar grip in the pedals or are just a real aggressive trail runner that seems perfect for the snow and mud.
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Old 03-17-14, 10:05 PM
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I like large platform pedals and use quality sandals, rain or shine, both while on tour, or locally.
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