More Footwear Questions

I know that footwear for MUni/trials has been discussed quite a lot recently, especially the AXO/661 Dually shoe saga. I have a couple of questions that weren’t discussed (I think).

I noticed that my current skate shoes flex an awful lot when I am riding. I can’t help think of how much energy I’m losing in every pedal stroke to shoe flex. I wonder whether using skate-style shoes with a stiffened sole designed for cycling would be better. I believe Vans make some. I’m guessing that the trade off with the stiff sole is that you’d lose some pedal sensitivity. Has anyone tried using such shoes? Also are the AXO/661 Dualys’ soles stiffened at all?

My other shoe related question is does anyone other than me get blisters on the inside of their foot’s arch after a trials or MUni ride with lots of hopping and drops? Seems worse on my non-chocolate foot [marshmallow foot?]. Maybe it’s due to having my foot too close to the crank when landing in the power position. Maybe insoles would help. Maybe I should see a podiatrist. Maybe I’ve just got a foot fetish!

Any suggestions…?

Re: More Footwear Questions

Tony, you go fast enough without having to worry about losing power to a squishy shoe surely!

Only time I’ve tried stiff shoes was when I tried my clipless pedals + clipless shoes on the unicycle. That was a while back and ended up in a few faceplants. I thought the power was much better but most of it was due to the fact I was able to apply power throughout the pedal stroke circle. Pedal sensitivity was also good but that was probably because I was locked in to the pedal.

I wouldn’t say you have a foot fetish unless you are eating chocolate and marshmallows off your feet.


Re: Re: More Footwear Questions

Yes, I’ve tried the clipless pedals scam too. It was great until I fell off with painfull results. The kind of shoe I was meaning is a stiffened skate shoe, probably not as stiff as MTB shoes with cleats.

Oh, what about chocolate marshmallows? :smiley:

The hot setup…maybe

For new riders that need advice, and maybe some old riders that still injure their ankles regularly.
Leg armor doesn’t protect the ankles!! During the course of a normal day of UPD’s, the ankles usually get cut/bruised, especially during MUni rides (when you get those surprise UPD’s because an obstacle was overlooked or covered up). Hiking boots prevent this (and they are plenty stiff), and they don’t take long to get used to. The ONLY ‘zero injury’ MUni rides that I have enjoyed (in spite of many crashes) were with hiking boots and 661’s.
Just a thought.

I have a pair of Airwalk MTB shoes along with my airwalk skate shoes. I got them new off ebay for only $6 (including shipping)!

Anyway, they have a stiff sole and a rather high arch and keep my foot in a good position the whole ride. I wore them for my longest ride and my feet didn’t really ache afterwards at all. They’re similar to the Sprocket model, but I think they’re an earlier model. They have laces then another tongue over the laces with 2 velcro straps to hold it down, so the laces are hidden. They have a place to clip to clipless pedals but I just leave the little thing to hide it on.


Re: The hot setup…maybe

Curiously I almost never hit my ankles. I last time I bashed my ankles was when I was learning 180 uni-spins on a unicycle with the Pashley-style bearing holder bolts. These bolts would sometimes bite my ankles. But ever since that unicycle went to the great scrapheap in the sky I’ve never hit my ankles. So high-top style boots are not a necessity for me. I do wear Roach leg armour, however to protect my shins.

My foot blister’s kinda raw after today’s ride. Maybe more riding will fix it… :wink:

The shoe questions I had were regarding pain. Whenever I wear shoes with flexy soles, my feet start to hurt. I used to wear my running and cross training shoes but that didn’t last. The pain only went away when I started wearing my hiking boots. I also found that I like shoes with very small arches, shoes with large arches resulted in large amounts of pain.

Do other people have this problem? I used to run a lot and while running, I found that I could only run in “trail running” shoes, regular shoes gave me bad backaches.
Are they’re any skating shoes with flat arches and stiff soles?


Daniel, you might want to try putting orthotics in your shoes. That way the arch support will be right whatever shoe you use! They give great support to your foot, and they stiffen the sole a bit, too.

I wear light weight Hiking boots/shoes. Found almost everywhere. Mine are from Cabella’s. Wife’s are Sierra Lite Brand.
The sides of the ankle come up over your ankle bone. The back (by the achilles) is cut low so that pointing foot down is not binding. We love them.

The knobby sole grips the pedal. Steel shank is stiffer. Lateral ankle movement is restricted during UPD (less chance to sprain).

Two Thumbs Up.:smiley:

I ride 661(formerly Axo Dually) shoes for Muni and Kirchart Emericas (skate shoe) for freestyle.

The merits of the 661 are touted heavily on previous posts, and here’s my two cents.

Pros: very comfortable. Good ankle protection. The best tread pattern for pin grippage I have found.

Con’s. Sole is a tad soft. Although this gives adequate stability for most situations, your feer are slightly vulnerable in extreme drops of say, 3 feet plus. I put a Dr Scholl’s insert in a while back and this improved the shoe considerably. The orthotic made the shoe more comfortable and gave the needed stability.

It’s a trade-off between the ability to feel the pedals in a softer sole vs stability and protection of a firmer sole. All in all the Dually is adequate. I would prefer a slightly stiffer sole, but haven’t found anything elso out there that compares to the Dually over-all for Muni.

Some swear by hiking boots for Muni. The key here is a good tread pattern that works well with pins. This can be hard to find ijn a hiking boot. Personally, I think not having some kind of high top could be suicidal to your ankle. Take a crank in that inner knobby shin bone thing just once and you’ll see.

When I bought the Emerica’s I asked the guy for the skate shoe with the stiffest, most durable sole and he suggested the Kirchart Emericas. This proved to be very good advice. This shoe is awesome. It should be for $100!! Extremely comfortable and very snug fit. My feet don’t slide around like they would in a cheap shoe. I also picked up some Nike Airwalk skateshoes cheap, and while they are comfortable and acceptable for freestyle, they pale in comparison to the Emericas.

I have tried the Emerica’s on my Muni and the sole is the perfect stiffness for Muni. Significantly better than the 661. They also have a very good tread pattern. But they give no ankle cover so I won’t use them for Muni.

As to those blisters, my guess is that cheap socks and/or a loose fit could lead to blisters. Check out Thorlo runners socks - these are like 6 bucks a set but worth it.

Guess I have a foot thing too.


Thanks for your thoughts, Joe.

I’ll certainly try and find a pair of those Emerica Kirchart skate shoes next time I go shoe shopping. Should be fairly soon as my current pair are pretty tatty…

As for my wierd blisters on the inner arches of my feet, I think I’ve found the cause. It’s a combination of relatively loose fit around that part of the shoe and leather upper foldover on big drops. I mean foldover in the same sense as tyre foldover - the leather folds down over the side of the rubber soul. This causes rubbing and tenderness and then blisters in that order. I guess the cure is to get some better fitting shoes. However, I’m now developing a nice set of callouses so hopping doesn’t hurt as much now!