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Flat pedal shoes?

Old 02-19-15, 03:08 AM
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Flat pedal shoes?

What kind of On-bike shoes should I take on tour for flat pedals, I was thinking of just buying a new pair of my running shoes would they be suitable for 80-120km days over 2 months?
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Old 02-19-15, 09:26 AM
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Running shoes wont be stiff enough. What are you using now? I like Keen newport sandals.
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Old 02-19-15, 09:34 AM
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I use Keen's Clones in the warm Dry Months and Bean's Rubber Moccasins in the wet season .. [large Ergon Pedals]


a stiff arch support Insole will make most shoes Into a decent Cycling Shoe.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-19-15 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-19-15, 09:37 AM
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You can ignore these comments if you're already aware of this but there are three types of running shoes, stability, neutral and motion control. I ignored this for a long while until I had my running form analyzed for free at Running Room. I was told I needed stability shoes and no longer have pain under my feet.

I saw a documentary that showed that the bio-mechanics of running and walking are different so running and walking shoes are also made differently.

I usually use hiking shoes to have a hard outer sole and some support for my ankles when I'm biking. But I haven't tried my Shimano PD-T400 pedals and SH-CT40 shoes yet. I know the T420 shoes are flat on one side but read a few complaints on clicking although I don't know if that was just a temporary manufacturing defect.
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Old 02-19-15, 09:38 AM
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I use MTB shoes with a piece of rubber sole glued into the space where click thing is supposed to be screwed in. They have a stiff sole but are still good for walking(which you sometimes have to do a lot of, up mountains, defective rim etc.) and they have a very good fit, especially at the heel, so you don't have to wear them too tight and they have velcro closure, which is fast for adjusting the shoes, when the feet swell because of heat.
They are also very airy but don't let sand and gravel in.

They are Nike Kato but not available any longer

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Old 02-19-15, 09:39 AM
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Wear shoes that are comfortable for you. I wear flexible skate shoes and notice no loss in efficiency. As long as the pedal is big enough you'll have adequate support.

Last edited by mm718; 02-19-15 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 02-19-15, 12:39 PM
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With a big flat pedal, you don't need an overly stiff shoe. I like the Columbia Supervent shoes. You can wear them without socks, thin or thick socks or even waterproof socks.
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Old 02-19-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mm718
Wear shoes that are comfortable for you. I wear flexible skate shoes and notice no loss in efficiency. As long as the pedal is big enough you'll have adequate support.
With a big flat pedal, you don't need an overly stiff shoe. I like the Columbia Supervent shoes. You can wear them without socks, thin or thick socks or even waterproof socks.
Agreed. Use larger platform pedals and you don't need to worry about shoe stiffness. I like the MKS Lambdas because they're fairly long, so they support most of my foot. There's also a large selection of downhill mountain bike pedals that will work well if you feel you need the added grip of metal pins. I actually prefer the pinless Lambdas.
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Old 02-19-15, 02:20 PM
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I like Birkenstocks


Originally Posted by pbekkerh
I use MTB shoes with a piece of rubber sole glued into the space where click thing is supposed to be screwed in. They have a stiff sole but are still good for walking(which you sometimes have to do a lot of, up mountains, defective rim etc.) and they have a very good fit, especially at the heel, so you don't have to wear them too tight and they have velcro closure, which is fast for adjusting the shoes, when the feet swell because of heat.
They are also very airy but don't let sand and gravel in.

They are Nike Kato but not available any longer


often the shoes ship with a cover you remove to fit the SPuD cleat , just leave it as is..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-19-15 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 02-19-15, 02:48 PM
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My cover was screwed in and the screws unscrewed and it was made of plastic with very low friction. It also used the metalplate in the shoes, which I now have removed.
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Old 02-19-15, 03:15 PM
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Buying a running shoe would be a waste of a running shoe - they're designed to be run/walked in, not pushing a pedal. Just get something comfortable and grippy, maybe a skate shoe, 5.10 mountain biking shoe, or Keen/Chaco sandal.
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Old 02-19-15, 05:03 PM
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I'm fine with running shoes, but I use a stiff insole like Superfeet.

I don't carry any spare shoes with me, and the running shoes work well for the many things I do on a bike tour beside ride a bike.
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Old 02-19-15, 08:12 PM
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i got used to wearing stiff soled steel toed running shoes at my last job. Been using them 6 years now with no complaints. Very good for riding or walking on any surface, especially on rocky. My feet tend to not have the same fore/aft position. I now think of the steel toe as necessary equipment on tour and very handy. They have mesh to let some air thru, so they need a plastic cover on for wet muddy roads. Fenders just don't stop half the slop.
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Old 02-19-15, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
What kind of On-bike shoes should I take on tour for flat pedals, I was thinking of just buying a new pair of my running shoes would they be suitable for 80-120km days over 2 months?
By now you will have read many opinions about footwear. Now I will give you my opinion based on my experiences.

I have flat pedals on my touring bicycles and I wear New Balance shoes. I have been using this equipment since 2006 when I rode the Savannah Way from Cairns to Melbourne - on dirt and some pavement, and while fording a number of streams in Qsld and NT. I also wore this equipment when bicycling from Adelaide to Sydney. I WILL use this same equipment when I bicycle between Perth and Adelaide (2700 km) this July- August.

In the middle of no-where hi-tech equipment is hard to replace if and when it fails- hence the flat shoes. Mind you, the shoes have a steel shank which is good for my feet (along with custom made orthotic insoles).

My feet do well and I see no point in changing my equipment. My orthopedic surgeon and the orthotic technicians see no need to change anything either. If it works, why fix it...

YMMV. This is what works for me based on two long distance sustained and self-supported tours in Australia.
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Old 02-19-15, 11:20 PM
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I will say pre-SPD I was generally wearing my Altra Lone Peaks (back when they were a bit thinner) and they were great on platforms because of the soles having a nice lug pattern that gripped the pedals well for less slippage. Altra's are nice because they have a wide comfortable toe box and are truly zero drop throughout, plus they have a nice range of cushioning so you can go more minimal or more maximal. I have two pairs and am probably going to be getting a third once their Polartec NeoShell versions come out.
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Old 02-20-15, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I like Birkenstocks





often the shoes ship with a cover you remove to fit the SPuD cleat , just leave it as is..

I pedals I already have on the bike are double sided one side clipless the other flat pedal. How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
I pedals I already have on the bike are double sided one side clipless the other flat pedal. How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
My mtn bike shoes are quite walkable. I've done shorter hikes in them, maybe up to 5 km or so ... but a 30 km hike is quite a walk.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
My mtn bike shoes are quite walkable. I've done shorter hikes in them, maybe up to 5 km or so ... but a 30 km hike is quite a walk.
Do you think you could of walk 30km+ in them?
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Old 02-20-15, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
Do you think you could of walk 30km+ in them?
Probably not ... but that might not be so much because of the shoes as it is because I've got arthritis in my right foot. I'm not sure I could do 30 km in my most comfortable hiking shoes right now.

Also ... they have cleats, and I wouldn't want to walk that far with cleats.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
I pedals I already have on the bike are double sided one side clipless the other flat pedal. How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
The biggest issue is that on MTB shoes, the rubber sole will wear away even slightly, and you will be walking on the cleat, which is not a good thing for a hike.

The best combination shoes for cycling and walking are proper hiking shoes. Low ankle ones, with a decent thickness sole that is stiffer than running shoes. The thicker, stiffer sole will be important if you are pedalling 120km a day.

If you are going to go without MTB shoes, I would ditch the double-sided pedals for the trip, and just fit platforms, maybe with clips and straps. MKS makes some nice ones, I think, and they are Japanese.

If you do decide on clips and straps, and with something like hiking shoes, you may need to fit a spacer to get the spindle of the pedal under the ball of your foot, rather than towards your toes.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
I pedals I already have on the bike are double sided one side clipless the other flat pedal. How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
I have bike shoes with recessed cleats that I no longer use. They were comfortable enough on the bike but I wouldn't even want to walk across a parking lot in them. That's not to say it's not doable but it wouldn't be comfortable for very long and I just don't see the point when the pay off on the bike is so small (or for me non-existant).
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Old 02-20-15, 09:43 AM
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If the shoe sole is Rigid, as you walk your foot flexes. Your heel will try to ride up out of your shoe.

Do you want to restrain your foot or let it slip out like a penny loafer ?, you choose..



How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
Get double sided MTB pedals and ride in your Hiking Boots then .

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-20-15 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 02-21-15, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
If the shoe sole is Rigid, as you walk your foot flexes. Your heel will try to ride up out of your shoe.
Yet my bike shoes are among the most comfortable for walking that I have. Just not in hiking conditions.
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Old 02-21-15, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333
How walkable are the MTB shoes? because the shoes I wear on the bike I also want to be able to go hiking about 30km in.
I think 30 km is a pretty long hike to be considered a normal part of a bike tour, so I consider it a distance that is worthy of shoes specific to the task. I tend to pack crazy light (8-14 pounds base gear weight is normal for me these days), but I'd wear my bike shoes on the bike and take some light trail runners for the hikes if those hikes will be more than a few miles.

It probably boils down to how much focus each activity has on the trip. Most tours I focus on the riding and minimize the hiking. For that I make do with bike shoes for the short hikes. If you are talking 30 km hikes I would consider that more of a dual mode trip and take more optimum footwear for both. If you prefer to pedal in "normal" shoes I guess the choice might be the same for both, but it wouldn't for me. I'd probably bite the bullet on the extra pair of shoes, after all you can still go pretty light if you take a minimalist approach on everything else.

One other thought... My usual approach is to limit any hikes to a couple miles or a bit more, but on one tour I bought a pair of light trail runners when I stopped for a week of sightseeing and hiking in Yosemite. Would this 30 km hike be in one particular spot on your tour? If so you might consider trying to figure out how to have extra shoes only for that portion of the trip. Buy them mid trip? Mail them to yourself? Mail them home?
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Old 02-21-15, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Would this 30 km hike be in one particular spot on your tour? If so you might consider trying to figure out how to have extra shoes only for that portion of the trip. Buy them mid trip? Mail them to yourself? Mail them home?
That's something I was starting to think about. My hike is on an Island Yakushima at the very start of my trip. I'll add that the island is amazing I have been there before but did not get to hike much of the trails or travel around the whole island. I guess I could take an old pair of runners, and toss them out when I leave, and take clipless MTB shoes the rest off the way, and just take the cleats off when I want to walk around seeing the sight for the rest of the trip.
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