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Commuters: Road or Touring shoe (or Other)?(18 posts)

Commuters: Road or Touring shoe (or Other)?timfire
Jan 2, 2002 1:11 PM
I am a new cyclist getting into road biking for part fitness, but also for the functionality of commuting (I'm a college student in Chicago). My first real road bike is right now on lay-away, but I have a question on/ would like some advise on shoes. What type of shoes do you commuters use? Do you go with standard road shoes or do you use touring shoes? Or do you use something different (Mtb or toe-clips)?

I do about about 6 hours of commuting during the week and then maybe 2 hours of recreational riding over the weekend. The old schwinn I'm using now has flats. I am weary of the low walk-ability of road shoes, so I was thinking of maybe going for some touring shoes.

Just wondering what everyone else uses.

--Timothy Kleinert
Stick with flatsmr_spin
Jan 2, 2002 1:28 PM
For a commute, just wear regular shoes and use flats. Get straps or clips if necessary. Then you won't have to drag around a second set of shoes everywhere you go.

My commute is now about 11 miles round trip. I use big platform BMX flats and wear tennis shoes, so I can hop on or off at will. It's the only way to go, especially since I often ride off at lunch in search of food, and it would be a real bother to change shoes all the time.

Save the serious biking for your off hours.
Jan 2, 2002 1:38 PM
I commute with Time ATAC pedals and mountain bike shoes. The shoes are comfortable, and very walkable. The Time system allows you to clip in and out exceedingly easily, and can be used with flat shoes in a pinch. However, if I was stopping every block for stoplights, I would use flat pedals and flat shoes (not Clipless) Stay away from road pedals and shoes.
re: Commuters: Road or Touring shoe (or Other)?guido
Jan 2, 2002 1:51 PM
I use my old Sidi road shoes, but its a pain in the @$$. If I have to walk, I take off the shoes and put on a pair of sandals out of my backpack. The reason I stuck with these cleated, hard soled shoes was because they ride so good, the quality of the ride being a major consideration. If the ride is over twenty minutes, cleated shoes are worth it, for me anyway.

The best touring shoes work with SPD pedals, the cleats recessed into the soles. You can walk in them and not ding up the cleat.

I've never been happy with touring shoes used with platform pedals, toe clips and straps. I've always had difficulty positioning the tread on the sole in exactly the right place on the pedal cage. The ones I've had always slipped around in hard efforts, hurting my knees. I need more positive contact to get up a good spin.

If you're going to be commuting 6 hours a week, you'll be better off with an SPD system or good road shoes.
re: Commuters: Road or Touring shoe (or Other)?KEN2
Jan 2, 2002 2:10 PM
I use Shimano SPDs on my commuter bike as do many others. The cleat is recessed so you can walk normally and there are many, many shoe options out there that work. The Shimano M515 pedal is a good, reasonably priced pedal (the pedal comes with the cleats so you just choose a shoe and mount the cleats).
Comfortable ShoesGreg Taylor
Jan 2, 2002 2:20 PM
I use mountain shoes (Diadora Jalapeno) with a SPD-clone pedal on my commuter bike. The commute is about 30 miles round trip, so decent shoes are a must. The Jalapenos are very reasonably priced, and have held up very well. The pedals are from Nashbar -- made by Wellgo and use a Shimano-standard SPD cleat. Very cheap (under $30) and they have lasted for frickin' ever...
Define "commute."jtolleson
Jan 2, 2002 2:21 PM
When I lived in the 'burbs at it was 22 miles each way, I used MTB shoes and Shimano pedals. Got the walkability from the recessed cleat but the performance I wanted for the longer ride. I commuted on my good road bike.

Now I live 2 miles from the office, and I commute on the backup bike with just toe clips. Not worth the shoe/pedal hassle 'cause it isn't exactly a training ride.

If your "commute" represents a significant part of your training, then definitely go Shimano clipless (IMO) with a walkable shoe.
Jan 2, 2002 2:58 PM
You can go either way. I prefer regular shoes (currently Timberland canvas hikers) for many reasons. The obvious being walkability. Secondly I like the idea that seasonal and weather changes just mean whatever shoe I'd normally wear is appropriate. Needing three or more pairs of SPD compatibles is expensive and a pain.

Chicago huh? So walking AND traffic.

Regular athletic shoes and strapless toe clips (Zefal) on platform pedals.


MTB shoes w/spd cleatslook271
Jan 2, 2002 4:55 PM
Do this on my mtb and commuter (an old roadbike). You can walk in them and you can even get some that look like sneakers if you don't (or can't) change shoes.
SPDRich Clark
Jan 2, 2002 7:01 PM
I ride 26 miles RT. I wear SPD MTB shoes because I can get off and walk if I need to. I keep my work shoes at work where they belong and change into them there, along with the rest of my clothes.

In warm weather I switch to my SPD sandals, which as often as not I'll wear all day.

mtb / spd'sB2
Jan 2, 2002 8:56 PM
Just started commuting abit this fall. I've got 16 miles each way so I wanted a decent shoe. Started using a Sidi road shoe and Shimano 105 pedal, but the walking delimma got old quick. Took the shimano 747's off my mountain bike and switched to Sidi mtn bike shoes - works like a champ. Found another pair of used 747's for $30 and I'm all set now.

Use mtb stuffpmf1
Jan 3, 2002 5:33 AM
Tim --- I'm kind of a snob and think that a road bike ought to have road bike pedals on it. I use Time pedals on my road bikes. However, when I commute, or go on a bike vacation (which I do once a year), I use Time mountian bike pedals (ATAC ... I like the cheapest aluminium version) and mountian bike shoes (I use Carnac). Its just so much easier to walk around in shoes with recessed cleats which mtn bike shoes/pedals have. I work in a building with marble floors so walking with big road cleats would be very difficult/dangerous. When touring, they make getting off the bike and seeing the sights so much easier. You never have to take off your shoes. I've ridden across southern Virginia, the Rockies and Tuscany on my ATAC pedals.

There's really no reason you couldn't use this set-up all the time. Real road pedals have a bit larger platform and are a bit lighter. My wife uses Ritchey road pedals and mtn bike shoes (Sidi) for the same reason. The Ritchey road pedals are one of the few that fit in a mtn bike shoe. I think they're crappy pedals, but she likes them.
One vote for clips and strapsdzrider
Jan 3, 2002 6:22 AM
I find them by far the most adaptable. I ride in work shoes at lunch and trail running shoes for the rides to and from work (9 miles each way). I'm old enough to have ridden b4 clipless pedals and find getting in and out just as easy. I usually ride hard on the way home and I pull the straps a little tighter.
re: Sidi Dominator 3'sjrm
Jan 3, 2002 9:44 AM
Coverage, a sole and stability. Theyre also the only shoes i have...
Touring shoes anyone?timfire
Jan 3, 2002 11:43 AM
Thanks everyone.

For my commutes, I personally wouldn't mind having to ride with an extra pair of shoes, since I usually carry various stuff on a rear-rack. But my commute does require me to stop fairly often for stoplights, and that's where the walkability issue comes in.

Presently I am looking at either the Nike Pedali Combo or the Lake CX125 (on sale at Nashbar). Anyone haver any experience with these touring shoes?

-TImothy Kleinert.
Pedali ComboAndy M-S
Jan 3, 2002 1:33 PM
I have a pair of these that I bought used. The ones I have are very nice, but are basically unventilated--the main reason I bought them, so I would have something to wear on my commute during the fall/winter months.

I use road SPD pedals on my bikes, so all of my shoes will work with all of my pedals.

I wear road shoes for my commute because I ride it fairly hard, and the shoes are suited to the purpose. But then I don't have to do much walking around once I park my bike, and I do carry some Teva-type sandles in my pack.

Lights are pretty much a non-issue. That's standability, not walkability, and any shoe will do the job for that.

Where in Chicago are you commuting (I went to the U of C)? If it's somewhere you're going to be doing mostly walking, consider SPD-compatible sneakers or MTB or touring shoes...if it's mostly riding, road shoes and carry some alternative.
re: Commuters: Road or Touring shoe (or Other)?SnowBlind
Jan 3, 2002 3:42 PM
Hmm. since no one else said it:
I use road shoes and clipless. Yeah I know, I know, but really, I just keep a pair of loafers at work all the time and don't pack shoes at all.
30 mile round trip.
If you need more space and don't want panni's (don't blame ya) just a quick release rack from whoever and a good rackbag. I can carry lunch,clothes, pda, rain/winter with out much trouble and in 30 seconds I am back to a pure road bike if I want it. Plus, if I hit a fast pack on the way home, I can still hang with them as the drag/weight does not totally kill the racing speed of the bike, though I can tell the diff.
In hindsite, had I not had as much invested in the road shoes/pedals, I might have gotten ShimaNo mtn shoes/pedals.
re: clips and straps for commutingsalmonwheel
Jan 4, 2002 10:48 AM
I've found flats with toe clips to be the best bet for commuting. I commute about 15 miles round trip each day. The clips and straps allow flexibility in the shoes I wear, if I'm going somewhere etc. I also find flats easier at intersections etc. I use a beater for commuting and save my nicer bike for long rides ( I do commute on nice bike when I'm going riding after work. I have looks on my non-commuter. I use my commuter when I ride with my kids to the library or park. I find cycling shoes to be a pain for playing at the park or walking around the mall......