Foot position

i ride my unicycle with my toes pretty much, or near them. is this the wrong place to put them? or is it just preference?


I ride on my toes also. Thats just what is comfortable to me.

In the two wheeled world it is definatly more efficient to use your toes for riding large distance hence toeclips and SPD clipless pedals having the cleats mounted in the toe of the shoe. Presumably this is also thesame for unicycling, if your saddle is set to the correct height. I personally find that the bridge of my foot slips over the pedal though and its hard to change what you naturally do, for trials its also alot easier to have your whole foot on the pedal (i think)

hello. i also used to ride with my toes, but one i started doing 4 foot drops or so, i started hurting my ankles. so i forced myself to put my foot forward a bit so the middle of my foot was over the pedal. i dont think its really a big deal unless youre getting hurt. so basically do what you want id say.


also interesting to see that you can ride seat dragging infront, lol

I have been wondering whether I have my feet in the wrong position for quite a while. All of the pro’s seem to do it differently. I ride with the pedle in the middle of my foot. Should I try using my toes? Will it help me hop better.

If it feels good for you, then keep doing it. It’s mostly just personal preference, but different positions have different advantages and disadvantages. Ideally I would prefer my feet slightly further forwards than you have pictured, with the balls of my feet on the pedals. That is for riding fast on even ground, and it allows you to do a technique which people call “ankling”, which uses the flexibility of your ankle to maximise the smoothness of your turning circle (I don’t fully understand the concept but I think that’s what happens when you have your feet in that position). On uneven surfaces such as steps and offroad, I prefer to put my feet even further forward, so the arches of my feet are over the pedals, and the heel of my boot wedges against the back of the pedal. This gives me more stability and less likelihood of my foot being dislodged from the pedals from the bumps. I also like having my arches over the pedals when doing drops, this stops my feet from folding back upon impact, as I have rather weak feet and ankles.
Check out this old thread for a similar reply.

i would suggest keeping the middle of your foot over the pedal. its definitely more useful for trials and street. im not sure about flatland, muni, or distance seeing as i dont do any of those.


That is correct. For freestyle riding you want the balls of your feet over the pedals. That allows the ankles to get into the act and allows you to have a much more smooth and round pedal stroke.

For trials and off-road riding where you are jumping around most riders will put the arch of the foot over the pedal. That makes it more comfortable for landing big jumps (it is less likely to over flex the ankle on a hard landing). When not jumping around most riders will move their feet on the pedals to have the balls of their feet over the pedals. That is a more efficient pedaling position and makes it easier to pedal at higher RPM’s.

I like using the balls of my feet. It feels nicer to me.

However, I think it’s personal preference, the ankling thing is possibly not true. In two wheeled cycling, people have been saying that ankling makes a more efficient pedal stroke for years, but no-one has actually come up with any evidence for it.

Jobst Brandt who is a big cycling science guy is pretty much against ankling:


Re: Foot position

i learnt to ride with the arches of my feet on the pedals and the heels of my shoes firmly wedged against the backs of the pedals
this was the advice i got from Charlie Dancey’s (otherwise?) excellent lil’ book ‘learning to ride your unicycle’
he suggests that riding with the balls of your feet on the pedals is for experts and if u’re still reading his book, u’re far from being an expert

once i managed to ride and wanted to achieve ‘expert’ status (‘ex-’ has been, ‘-spurt’ drip-under-pressure :roll_eyes: ) by learning how to ride with the balls of my feet on the pedals, it was a major adaptation
it was as if ‘eliminating’ the additional flexibility of the ankle made it easier to ‘get’ controlling the uni and once the ankle was added back in, it was (almost) like learning to ride all over again

this post isn’t supposed to be a suggestion of any kind

just a shared experience