Customized Uni Shoes

This is a thread about customized shoes. Yes, that may seem like a strange thread to some folks, but believe it or not there are some odd birds who like to “remake” shoes :slight_smile:

I don’t have any pics loaded, so you’ll have to use your imagination until I can post pics of my “creations”…

So why remake shoes?

Well, I have found that riding shoes are specific to either freestyle biking or mountain bikes, so the choices are often soft soled and flexy (freestyle/DH shoes) or stiff soled clipless shoes with terrible tread (mtb).

I have tried simple modifications such as filling in the cleat hole on a pair of a flat/SPD shoe like the Five Ten Hellcat, which has a nylon midsole with a sticky flat “skate style” outsole. The Hellcat is a decent shoe, stiff enough for all day riding without giving arch fatigue, sticky sole with decent pedal pin penetration, but it is also hot, heavy, and has a wide fit.

The second shoe I modified was a Specialized Tahoe, it’s a recreastional clipless mtb shoe. I had the sole ground down and then resoled with a special Vibram “fishing” sole. This worked fair, the sole did not end up being that sticky because the rubber is just too hard to get any pedal pin penetration, so it felt “skittery” on the pedals.

The most recent shoe I had modified is a Pearl Izumi X Alp. Again I had the sole ground down, but this time I went with a flat Vibram hiking boot tread, This tread is a “non heel” version, so it doesn’t have a step at the heel or any flat untreaded area. I have four rides on them so far and all I can say is WOW! I have been riding them for muni and for tandem mtb, they are super grippy, great arch support, and they hike like a hiking boot :slight_smile:

I’ll post pics later this week :slight_smile:

Wow, I knew you were crazy before, but now… :astonished:

I’ve added a stiff insole and made wool “oversocks” that both added insulation and kept the snow out of the ankles.

I have also re-soled but not for unicycle.

I’ve been wondering about this very topic, of late. So, thanks for starting a thread about it. There are all kinds of good recreational biking/commuting shoes out there that I think would be stiffer and trimmer, with a more performance fit than the DH/skate shoes that are being offered. Of course, they all have totally inappropriate tread on the bottom, since they’re made for clipless pedals. I’ll be super interested to see what shows up.

Those are my commuter bike shoes, and I have been thinking about them as a uni shoe. I love 'em for riding/walking around town. They are comfortable, supportive, stiff enough that I never feel my pedals (even under heavy loads), and the sole has held up well over the last couple of years with daily riding. So, durability there should not be a problem. With a good sole on 'em, these could be a serious contender for my next pair of uni shoes. Can’t wait to see your pics.

What they started as:

Just some follow up, still loving these shoes, riding them for both uni and for tandem mtb, great for hiking, stick to the pedal pics wonderfully, minimal wear from the pins, super tough soles.

I like that these are real bike shoes, easy on and off, easy to adjust, breathable and relatively lightweight for a shoe of such burly build.

I think any clipless shoe could be modified this way.