Best shoes for track racing?

What shoes are best for track racing with 24" unis? I think you need a combination of good grip and light weight. I am currently using Five-Ten Impact Lows. Grip is excellent, but in view of the high rpm I think they are too heavy.

Pedals is a related subject. I have KHEBikes Stimulatorz on my 24" racing uni. Plastic pedals with some plastic studs. (Metal pedals are usually not allowed on racing tracks.) For extra grip I have added some metal pins. Works good in my opinion, but if people have recommendations?

Lightweight plastics like twisted odyssey and Nukeproof electrons are good. 5.10’s are great shoes but yes, too heavy for track racing. I would use a something like a lightweight, quarter high skate shoe. Flexible but supportive. Maybe even an actual running shoe. I would also make sure the laces are well tucked or covered with a flap. Wouldn’t want to get them caught in the spokes at 3 revs per second!

has anyone tried the lightweight 5.10s

i’d assume that you would get the grip of the sole with a lightweight upper but i havent seen people touting them anywhere near as much as the impacts or karvers.

The best shoes for 24" track racing unis are MUni shoes, because you should be out riding MUni instead of doing silly stuff like 24" track racking.

^^ yes!

or at least get a guni and really fast :smiley:

Thanks for the advice of using MUni shoes. Are you seriously taking about silly? Unicycling is silly anyway, isn’t it.

No real need to get a guni - I have two already. And I have a MUni, too. I just happen to enjoy track racing as well.

Thanks, I’ll look into that. Not that many people on this forum are into track racing. MUni/XC, trials, street and to a lesser degree distance riding require sturdier shoes. That may be why heavier 5.10’s are higher praised round here.

Track racking does sound silly. Whatever that is…

I checked and couldn’t find any 24" track racking unicycles. It’s probably a new unicycle discipline. I wonder will it become popular.

Uni-track racing has been around for a long time.

Thanks Terry. I’m familiar with track racing but I was referring to tholub’s remarks about track “RACKING” as quoted by Killian. Track racing/uni-track racing, however, looks like great fun although like most others I have never tried it.

Oh, haha I completely missed that! My bad. :smiley:

Best thing about track racing is the starter pistol. Sometimes it wakes me up.

Heresy! :wink:

I agree with the lightweight running shoes. I normally wear 5-10 Freerides for all of my riding but yesterday I did a 60 mile road ride and wore an ultra light pair of New Balance running shoes. It made a world of difference. My pedal strokes seemed a lot faster and overall felt less fatigue. They have a normal cushy sole but the upper part is that really breathable light mesh. They also were completely dry and not full of sweat like my 5-10’s normally are. For track these would seem ideal.

Lightweight is important indeed, and a light mesh upper sounds fine. but I’m not sure a cushioned sole is good. I’d like to feel the pedal.

The Vans Gravel shoes I use for muni are I’m sure a lot lighter than most 5-10s. I have some cheap skate shoes which I often wear to ride (particularly when messing around) which are even lighter though - a lot more flexy than the Gravels though which is a potential issue for pedalling efficiency, I guess it depends what the important trade-offs are, and stiff shoes may not be all that important for track racking.

I’d certainly choose to wear the skate shoes to ride over a pair of running shoes every time - not only do you not get the unhelpful cushioning, but the flat sole also works better on the pedal. Well almost every time - I have worn thin, lightweight off-road running shoes with a very flat sole to “ride” when the riding involved a lot of time walking/running, such as at last year’s Mountain Mayhem. FWIW the shoes I used for that were Helly Hansen Trail Cutters, which are about the best running shoes for riding I’ve seen, given the relatively flat and thin sole.

When it comes to Tom Holub, he’s seriously talking about MUni. Other forms of unicycling, except basketball, are a waste of time for him. :slight_smile:

I used to be very into Track racing. Because that was the only form of unicycle racing, because unicycles only came in sizes up to 24". It actually made sense back then. But now, my main unicycles are a 36" Road machine and 26 & 29" MUnis, why would I want to pedal a 24" unicycle as fast as I can around a track?

Because a bunch of other people are doing it, at least at a uni convention, so it’s something to do. And I do still love the Obstacle Course, which is now called the IUF Slalom. Placed 3rd overall in that at NAUCC at the ripe old age of 51, probably with about as much practice as the two kids that were faster. But I used to practice it a lot.

My shoe of choice for Track was also what I wore for my other main discipline at the time–Freestyle. Artificial turf shoes. Those worked well for me because the ones I was using were lightweight, and had great tread for pedal and wheel-walking grip. I wore a lot of MacGregor Turf (or Golf) shoes, from Kmart. They were cheap, lightweight and worked well.

While ultimately you should seek a stiff sole, that only really comes into play during the first few seconds of any race. Flexible soles will dissipate your energy during hard acceleration, but once you’re moving it’s not important. At that point it’s all about grip, though grip has a lot to do with technique and training. Developing a good, high-speed spin.

Below is a picture from 1987 when I was trying to set a gliding distance record (about 8/10 mile). Good view of the turf shoe bottom, and the effects of gliding on it. Those shoes were Nikes, of course.

BTW, the pedals in that picture were my choice for racing back then; super-light Skyway Recreation pedals. Nearly weightless alloy shell, graphite/plastic body, steel spindle and no bearings at all. They worked, but more support for the foot would be better. Sometimes metal pedals are still allowed, but rarely if it’s a nice track.


Thanks aracer and John. I called Chainreactioncycles in the UK, inquiring what their lightest shoe is with Stealth rubber (the ultragrippy rubber by Five-Ten that I think is essential for my purpose). They came up with the Five-Ten Spitfire, which look somewhat like your 1987 Nikes, John. I ordered a pair.

Ideally I’d want a lighter upper than leather. For a few years, I’ve gone through several pairs of light ‘casual’ running shoes with a canvas top (sourced from a local shop), but they didn’t last long on my pinned pedals, and moreover the grip was only so-so. Then came my 5.10 Impact Lows, and the Spitfire should be the next step. I’ll see how this goes.

Better still are clipless, they go great on a mountainbike, and you should be out riding that instead of doing silly stuff like MUni :roll_eyes:

Anyway, back to Klaas question- I’ve been researching lightweight shoes and so far the one I like best in terms of tread and lightweight are the Merrell Bare Access 2s. The Merrell Trail Glove looks good too. There are a few other free running shoes in a similar weight range (New Balance Minimus trail was my next choice, but the tread has chunky studs which don’t look good for pedal grip).

My current shoes weight 600g, the Bare Access 2 weighs under 400g.

I’ve also ordered some Wellgo M111s (50g lighter than my current pedals, and 110g lighter than Wellgo MG-1s). All up a 250g weight saving, which is significant when it is rotating at 3x/s.

I’ll do a review once they arrive hopefully next week.