Shoes advice

I’ve looked up past threads but I have a specific set of questions as I generally own and wear only very flexible, zero heel, thin proprioceptive sole ‘barefoot’ style shoes. Since reading about Suzy’s broken foot, I have been wearing my most solid pair other than actual walking boots, but they have a lugged rather than smooth sole which I’m guessing may not be ideal? I have rubber pedals. What would you look for in a shoe? What sort of sole etc? I was definitely feeling a bit slippery on my pedals this morning with the ground wet after rain.

I have good experiance with five ten shoes. Very sticky rubber and long lasting overall quality. I am using the five ten freerider.

I wear the Five Ten Freerider for women and love them. They’re made for mountain bikes with platform pedals. The soles have a special rubber that gets sticky when wet. Just the other day I couldn’t help notice my feet sticking to the kitchen floor when I had to fetch something after being outside during light showers. Not sure if they’re available in the UK. I ordered mine online through Zappos. If these are not an option perhaps you can find a similar shoe. Look for flat sticky soles with some good padding inside.

As always, other unicyclists will have other ideas on what they prefer. Just like saddles, it’s hard to tell what others might like or hate. I do know there are many who wear Five Tens.

What kind of riding are you doing? 5.10’s are a good choice if you want to stick to pinned pedals. With “rubber pedals” I’m not sure they are the way to go.

For freestyle it seems like softer soled skate shoes, or even indoor soccer shoes, are more popular.


jrtops brings up a good point. I currently have metal pinned pedals on my unicycle and Odyssey Twisted PC pedals with plastic pins on my bicycle. I got the Odyssey pedals for my unicycle a few months after learning to ride. I prefer them over ones without pins. When I upgraded to an Oracle unicycle it came with very scary looking metal pinned pedals but I quickly got use to them. Knock on wood, I’ve never had a pedal bite in two plus years of riding.

5.10 spitfires.

Before throwing down money on 5.10’s, you might consider getting some cheap skate shoes. They’ll be firmer and grippier than what you currently have, and there’ll be ankle protection.

I’d change the pedals to Twisteds or the like and see how grip was before I thought about changing shoes.

Where is the best (least expensive) place to get 5:10’s. I am ready to take the plunge.

Have those, love them. Will get the same when worn.
Having said that, I wouldn’t fork on fancy shoes in the learning phase. Just something comfy and not too bulky.
When we were at Unicon, I noticed the huge percentage of people wearing Adidas Samba indoor soccer shoes. And that was across track racing, muni, trials, freestyle, etc.

I have 5.10’s (impacts, the Danny MacAskill signature shoe and spitfires) and I also have a pair of Globe Tilts. I usually wear the Globes for any riding I do. I’m on either Superstar El Plastique (19" trials and 24" muni) or Nukeproof Electron (29" muni) pedals. Both types of pedals are basically the same, plastic body with adjustable grub screw type pins.

The superstar pedals are available direct (, the Nukeproof pedals are on Amazon or, and the Globe Tilts were from Amazon. Plenty places online sell 5.10’s, though I bought all my pairs at Fort William at the mtb DH World Cup cos there’s usually good deals there!

5:10 for me too

I have the Impacts. Shoes for non muni and the boots for muni, so they’re not worn very much. But the boots are handy in that the front bit stops my KH shin pads from sliding down. I have a pernament mark on the front of my ankles made by constant rubbing. A bit like battle scars.

Wish I’d got them first time out instead of wasting time on at least three pairs of cheaper versions.
Better if you can try them on for size, though my shoes have stretched a bit after being tight to begin with.

Best place I know is the closeouts section of their site.

I recommend trainer-style cycling shoes (without cleats fitted). They have good stiff soles, without being too stiff. They also tend to have Velcro straps over the laces, eliminating the risk of getting a lace wrapped round a crank.

It’s usually possible to find bargains online, but for unicycling I just use Lidl ones. They’re decent quality and last for years. It’s worth signing up to their newsletter to get a heads up of when they’re getting cycling stuff in:

Thanks. They have the 5:10 high impacts for $80. Before I go for it how do the sizes run? Do they run big, little or pretty much can I order my normal size and get a good fit.

Adidas now owns Five Ten.

Each person’s foot is different of course, but I usually wear US 11 and I have had about 5 pairs of FiveTens over the last 8 years. My first pair were 11’s and too short and I often hit my toe, so the last 4 pairs have been 11.5s (EUR 45): 2 old-model Impacts, Freeriders and 1 new-model Impact.

My foot is pretty narrow and the 11.5’s are only a touch wide for me (but pretty much all shoes are wide on me) so I guess they don’t run too wide. For a tighter fit (especially width) I often put in an extra footbed which also makes them warmer and adds cushioning.

So I guess I am saying that they run a bit short in the length and normal-to-narrow in width, so order a half size bigger than usual.

For real?
Not that it changes much to the Samba shoes which are pretty cool casual shoes. Once in a while the suede version reappears, even cooler.

Yep, about five years ago. I think some models use the same rubber.

I agree. I have a pair of skater shoes, and they are good when riding in the forest and also in cool weather. In the summer, when riding longer trips (20-30 km) on asphalt, I prefer lighter shoes, that don’t get so hot.

Best regards,