John Childs E-mail me

Hey John Childs,

E-mail me at:

I’m on a quest, once again, for the perfect trials/MUni shoe. What Van’s shoe model are use using that you wrote of in past posts. The new 661 looks much improved… but $80? Also, you had mentioned another shoe in a post that I can not locate.


i use vans oldschools and they are super grippy. they are only $40, made out of cavas. and have a super waffle sole.

I have found that the canvas don’t last as long as I would like. Too, I think that the heavier, leather shoes that I’ve used in the past have had firmer soles that prevent bruises/stress from higher drops. I recently have had great luck with a pair of Van’s but my nubbed KH cranks began tears that have grown since into huge holes. Time to replace them.


Re: John Childs E-mail me

T, I’ve found a couple posts that might help by searching on the word “dually” (which is I think the other shoe in question). First one is here.

But the one I think you are thinking of is this one.

Hope these help, since it looks like JC is taking Christmas Eve off. Hey, maybe that’s because he’s really (shhh) Santa Claus.

Hey John! I’ve been good. Can I have some new KH gloves?

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the contribution and heads-up on the posts. I did a search and found the same but I had, tucked away in the corner of my mind, a recollection of a shoe that John had mentioned other than the Van’s and Duallys. This morning, lying in bed ina semi-awake state (Tennessee), I remembered the name… Lake “Freeride” Shoes. Here’s the link:

Happy holiday,

Reading more closely John’s posts (after Tom’s suggestion/reminder) I now see that I had at first overlooked John’s post with the Lake suggestion.

Thanks, again, Tom!


Whew! I’m back.
Sorry Tom(b). Couldn’t get you the KH gloves for Christmas. The longshormen elves got backloged and the shipment from Santa’s shop didn’t make it in time.

Tom(b) linked to some past threads that covered things pretty well.

I haven’t tried the Lake freeride shoe. They look like they’d be good. If you go to the Lack Cycling web page for the shoe and click on the link to enlarge the photo you can see the tread pattern. It looks like it would give good grip, but maybe not as good as the Vans Off The Wall waffle sole or the 661 wavey sole. Someone is going to have to try the Lake shoes and report back on how well they work. The Lake shoe is more purpose built for biking than the Vans.

The 661 Dually has great grip and is a nice shoe for muni. However, the sole is a bit soft so I have to use a stiffer sports sole insert with it or else drops hurt my feet. I got Dr. Scholl’s Advantage Sport insoles which are something like $15.

Vans are also nice. It’s hard to name specific Vans shoes because Van’s changes their styles every year and shoes that were available last year or the year before are no longer available. I took a quick tour of the Vans web site and DansComp. It looks like current shoes that have the right sole are the Rowley XL2, Greco 2, Escobar, Bucky Lasek, and the Estilo. The low top Dr. T shoe may also be good. It has a modified Off The Wall waffle sole that looks like it will still grip well. There are probably some others, on the Vans site that I missed.

The XL2 is a lighter weight shoe. The uppers have more fabric (less leather or faux leather) and may not hold up as well to muni use.

The Escobar has a loafer kind of style. The picture at DansComp doesn’t make it obvious. But if you go to the Vans web site and look at them in all brown you’ll see that they look very loafer like. Not your normal skate shoe style.

They also have a high top version of the Dr. T. I don’t think the high top would be good for muni because it would interfere with proper ankle movement while pedaling. It does cover the ankles and might be good for trials.

If you find a pair of Vans shoes that you like, I would suggest buying at least one extra pair of the same shoe. Vans changes their shoes so often that you may not be able to get the same shoe next year. I have a couple pairs of Vans in reserve just in case.

Vans needs to make a shoe designed for freeride biking. I think it would be popular for the BMXers, freeride bike riders, and muni riders. Something with ankle padding and reinforcements over the toes and other high wear areas. Some sort of lace management to keep the laces out of the cranks and pedals would be nice too.

I agree. Vans are kinda keeping with just skate shoe but I think they would make alot more money if they broadened their market a little. I got the Off the Wall Estilos they got the waffle sole awesome grip but the soles are flexxy not very good for drops. Though vans changes their shoes each year they shift the disigne around so your last years favorite with a different name, usually.


Here are the shoes I wear for unicycling and mostly everything else, too. By the way, do you like my laces? They are actually made for rollerskates, but I just cut them a little shorter and put them on my Vans. My Vans are called Big 'B’s to be specific. They work really good for unicycling, but if they get wet and I try to unicycle (even on metal pedals) they slip off. They have the waffle bottom just like yours.

I want to be cool too and post a picture of my shoes on a brown carpet!!!