Shoes hit cranks

Sorry to ask dumb question,!!!
The Uni’s and gear has came so far from many years back! ( Returning rider)

Is there a most popular shoe for Muni / XC .
Whats your choice for shoes or at least style.

I noticed on my cross training shoes, with the “fat wide padded heels” my heels strike the cranks way to often, sometime enough to almost take me off… Narrow heels have a fewer light bumps in to crank while riding.

Currently I’m still on my 47 year old Schwinn 24 s at 75 psi , (168ish straight cranks) with the plastic road pedals

Waiting for UDC to get my Nimbus 29er MTN

I love my Pearl Izumi shoes but on the UNI its hard to “feel” the pedals" so they are out.

My MTN bike I ride very natural (straight) not duck or pigeon footed , I ride Shamino Clipless very tight. over the past 6 months , i have done over 1900 miles on trails/tech riding. + no telling how many road miles. My pedaling style is set.

which Shoes or any other advice please

I’m pretty much a beginner myself but after this one year of trying different shoes on my muni I realized that I prefer to wear hiking boots because I often walk on steep uphill streches. However, my five ten freeride shoes (which I usually wear on my downhill bike) also work very well and are very firm on the pins, almost like clipless - without the possibility to pull on the pedal of course.

For Muni any variety of fiveten flat pedal shoes are popular. (Which model seems to depend on riding style and preference). People in more alpine terrain also often use hiking boots, especially when they do a good portion of hiking uphill.

I personally use some Scott FR 10s (because they were really cheap), pretty much a copy of 5.10 freeriders. So far I like them, and they seem to hold up very well.

I also tend to brush the crank occasionally, but never enough to throw me off. You can also try cranks with some extra Q-factor (KH-spirits) if narrower shoes can’t solve your issues.

+1 for 5.10 Freeriders. Earlier, I had a couple pair of 5.10’s stiffer models. They didn’t last. They started tearing apart, separating at the heel, and pieces of rubber tore off on the edges. Because they were so stiff and I am so heavy, the shoes couldn’t take it. When I switched to Freeriders, my feet got more tired after longer rides because the Freeriders were flexing more. I put an extra pair of insoles (from other shoes) into them, and that helped. I am on my second pair of Freeriders, now. The first pair wore down at the ball of my foot until the rubber was very thin. Other that that expected wear, nothing else failed on them. Amazing shoes!

Instead of buying shoes that you think you may need I would suggest to use the footwear you have and just keep riding. You will adapt.

New gear does not fix technique.

At the moment I’m riding in Sorels because they grip well on ice. Sure as hell not “unicycle shoes”!

I use hiking boots for all my outside activities and once they are a little tired they get delegated (trickle down effect) to my unicycle riding boots.

Point is that you can ride in anything.

So to say that you can’t ride well because of… (insert inadequate gear here), seems like just another excuse to buy something to fix your technique.

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This is true, but if your have heels that flare outward, that can be dangerous if they catch your crank as your foot comes down. Try to keep this in mind while riding, but it’s okay to search for.more purpose-built shoes.

I also like 5-10s, but it’s hard to figure out which ones to get! I found this great article that breaks it down:
I have a pair of Freeriders (ELC, with the cool colors) that’s a few years old, and use them for Muni. I bought them for Road riding, but my feet tended to get numb and the soles aren’t very stiff. However they do give you a good “feel for the pedals”. Good to start with.

For Muni, I currently have the Sam Hill 3. You want grip? Get one of the shoes in that line. But you have to really really want grip! It’s taken me a while to re-learn how to shift on my geared 36" because these shoes really do stay put on the pedals. I have to reposition my foot a little to the outside, then turn the heel in to get it ready for the shift. But the soles are quite stiff, the shoes are very burly and should last a long time. I hope. My earlier models did eventually come apart as elpuebloUNIdo described above. I Shoe-Gooed them together for a time, but eventually I had to replace them. Still love the Stealth rubber soles, so I don’t shop elsewhere for Muni or Road shoes.

I just started with uni’s as well, but have an MTB background.
I’m definitely not too crazy about the fiveten freerider (pro) on a uni since they have a wide base and therefore it’s easier to hit the cranks.
So I’m using the Five-Ten Sleuths now. Same grippy sole, but smaller and cheaper as well.
So far I’m doing great with them. I even removed the pins of my current uni (muni is on its way) and as long as it doesn’t rain you still have plenty of grip…

Other brand to consider: Ride Concepts.

I’ve been experimenting with some Northwave Tribe shoes lately. They’re narrower than the the Freeriders, with more heel clearance, and I find them more comfortable and grippy as day to day shoes.

I still tend to use Freeriders for muni. They’re more grippy on the pedals and inspire confidence.

I have a few pair, i will wait and see which ones feel the best with the pedals… I might have some crank brother flats around, i ride clipless on my mtn bike

I always wore old school checkered vans for years until two rounds of broken toes this year… I found a shoe online called indestructible shoes. They are a great unicycle shoe although s little heavy. They have steel toes, a nice slim profile a grippy sole with kevlar under the sole. Check it out $80, they take awhile to get once you order them but well worth it. One recommendation put bungie laces on any shoe you choose will prevent your shoelaces getting cought in your pedals.

Go to I wear the Ryder’s. They are awesome unicycle shoes.

The look nice and grippy, but don’t look like they’d offer much protection if you UPD and smack your foot on a rock or similar.

They are perfect for me. My style of riding is probably much more tame than yours, I ride primarily road and bike trails with some light off road. I will give that the Ryder shoe does not have ankle protection but the grippy sole and toe. Protection are awsome. They do offer some high tops but can’t speak on them.

Maybe this is completely dumb of me to suggest but have you tried the way you are positioning your feet on pedals? I ride a freestyle unicycle and practice street tricks and there really is no gospel position for my feet. Whatever gets them to the right spot when necessary works for me, so I am quite liberal with adjusting my foot position throughout my rides for what will get in the way the least.

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I think you mean heels pointing inwards? If the heels are outside, then they would never hit the crank.

@Robert_Hayes, do you have “Duck Feet”, meaning your toes point outward? Even if you do, I wouldn’t worry about it too much for now. I think there’s definitely an adjustment period. It is very common for beginner riders to hit the crank while riding. It takes a while to get comfy are correctly repositioning your foot on the pedal.

Also, rather than get narrower shoes, I think getting cranks with q-factor would more likely solve the problem, if it doesn’t solve itself with a little bit more practice.

Bicycles usually always have quite a lot of q-factor compared to unicycles, which sometimes don’t have any at all. That might even be the source of your problem, you currently riding no q-factor cranks when you are used to a lot of q-factor. When switching between the 2, even I as a very experienced rider need a adaptation time not to hit the cranks anymore.

After riding with KH Spirit cranks for a while, I returned to my Nimbus Venture cranks. I stepped on the cranks several times after making the change. But I adapted, and I am pretty sure that straight, low-Q cranks are right for me. Moral of the story: Don’t be too quick to judge things after changing your setup.

I wonder if having a lower saddle causes the foot position to become more duck-footed. I’m typing this while sitting on a chaise lounge. When my legs are straightened, my toes point toward the ceiling. When I put my knees up, my legs tend to separate, causing my toes to point outward, duck-footed. So, maybe a beginner, as they slowly raise up their saddle, will go from being duck-footed to more straight-footed? Maybe differences in saddle height might partially explain why a muni rider might prefer outwardly flaring cranks while a freestyle rider would like narrower, straighter cranks?

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