Shoes

What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?

Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
types of sport shoes?

What has been the experience of this group?

All opinions are welcome.

Thank you.

Michel Y. Roy roym@dgabby.mfldclin.edu

Re: Shoes

Dr. Michel Roy (roym@dgabby.mfldclin.edu) wrote:
: What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?

I learnt to ride in a pair of old brown boots. This was because I was at college
and big scruffy boots, if not fashionable, were acceptable, and they were cheap,
rugged and never needed cleaning.

Anyway (back on topic) I like something that supports my ankle a bit, and I like
a good heel to hook onto the pedal. This is curious, because I also two-wheel
cycle a lot, and my cycling shoes have a very low-cut ankle and have the ball of
the foot over the pedal (as you should). Therefore, I cannot offer any
justification for my preference, and it could very easilly be because that was
what I learnt to ride wearing.

regards, Ian Smith

Re: Shoes

On Tue, 21 Nov 1995, Dr. Michel Roy wrote:

> What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?
>
> Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
> types of sport shoes?
>
> What has been the experience of this group?
>
> All opinions are welcome.
>
Wear the blockiest, most uncomfortable shoes that give the least possible grip
with the highest likelihood of getting caught in the spokes that you can
possibly find. Then switch back to anything else and you won’t notice you’ve got
feet at all. Seriously!

John

Re: Shoes

John J Lee <jjl101@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>
>On Tue, 21 Nov 1995, Dr. Michel Roy wrote:
>
>> What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?
>>
>> Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
>> types of sport shoes?
>>
>> What has been the experience of this group?
>>
>> All opinions are welcome.
>>

The best shoes I’ve ever had for unicycling are cycling shoes! they are stiff so
no power is lost in the flexing on the shoe. The stiffness gives more control
and power. they are low top so I can change the muscle groups I use while
peddling, mainly putting more emphasis on using my calf muscles when I need more
power. The shoes I’m currently using were intended for MTB use and have a fairly
rugged sole which sometimes get caught crooked on the pedal making it hard to
straighten out my foot on the pedal, It’s just annoying not bad enough to worry
about. I think I’ll switch back to road shoes next time.

I should also mention that I use half toe clips. This eliminates the dead spot
and allows the power stroke to last from about 10:00 to 7:00. They also cause my
foot to be placed with the ball directly over the pedal spindle. Other
advantages are more control and the elimination of the wet pedal/foot
slipperies. I should also say that I’m pretty sure that a few unicyclists out
there think I’m nuts. I have been riding with cycle shoes and half toe clips for
14 of my almost 24 unicycling years. I have never had a problem with getting
out. I hit a log in the middle of a pitch black path the other night on the way
home from work (there had been a bad storm) I suddenly found myself standing
10’-15’ in front of my unicycle.

the cycling shoes have an added advantage nowadays… velcro instead of laces!
or like mine a velcro strap that goes over the shoelace knot. If you don’t like
cycling shoes at least get a stiff soled shoe, cycling shoes usually have a full
length steel shank much like a heavy duty hiking boot. The energy transfer from
your legs to the pedals will be much more efficient.

Been away for awhile, got a new job, commuting 6 miles daily!

Eric

Re: Shoes

Concerning the use of cycling shoes and toeclips on a unicycle:

Eric Gebhart <poladog@nando.net> wrote:

>The energy transfer from your legs to the pedals will be much more efficient.

This is true, but probably not very important unless one is racing. Also, the
importance probably increases with the gear inch of the racing unicycle. Well,
at least it would seem to be a more important factor on a 48 inch big wheel than
a 24 inch standard racing unicycle.

A possibly more important factor in racing, is the chance a foot may slip
slightly, particularly in longer races. Toe clips will reduce this chance. Some
unicyclists have even tried putting velcro on the pedals (without toe clips) and
the bottoms of their shoes to eliminate slippage between the two.

Sincerely,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com

RE: Shoes

Cross training shoes work the best for me.

From: unicycling-owner To: unicycling Subject: Shoes Date: Tuesday, November 21,
1995 2:16PM

What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?

Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
types of sport shoes?

What has been the experience of this group?

All opinions are welcome.

Thank you.

Michel Y. Roy roym@dgabby.mfldclin.edu

Re: Shoes

>>On Tue, 21 Nov 1995, Dr. Michel Roy wrote:
>>
>>> What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?
>>>
>>> Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
>>> types of sport shoes?
>>>
>>> What has been the experience of this group?

Okay, my turn. I’ve heard lots of interesting opinions, some of which made me
want to go and try different types of shoes. It seems there are a lot of
different preferences out there. On one end of the scale are the
gymnast/acrobat/dancer/indoor types who use super-thin soled dance or gymnastic
shoes. These provide a good feel on the pedal, but provide no protection if an
errant beginner’s foot goes into the wheel. These type of shoes are also mostly
intended for indoor use, so would be less likely to be seen outdoors.

On the other end of the scale we have road and mountain bike shoes (ultra-stiff
sole), and even a guy who is comfortable and successful with toe clips. For the
record, I don’t recommend toe clips; if you try them, don’t ride real fast!

The Uni-Cyclone wears turf shoes. Turf shoes were very popular and common in the
U.S. back in the early to mid-80’s, but are hard to find these days. They’re
designed for soccer/football on artifical turf. They are sneakers that are
usually white, with a black, very knobby sole. On some, the knobs even extended
up the heel and toe, which was very nice for wheel walking skills. These days,
if I want Nike I have to special order them at about $55.00, or I can be cheap
and get a pair of MacGregors at Kmart for $19.99. That’s what I’m wearing now!

The knobby sole of the turf shoe gives a very good pedal grip, while allowing
the feet to leave the pedals whenever needed. For racing, these shoes go in
combination with rattrap pedals with big sharp teeth. There is a tremendous
amount of grip, but if anything goes wrong while pedaling over 200 rpm, the feet
can easily come off. The knobby soles are also great for all wheel walking
skills, giving a good grip from toe to heel.

The soles are not particularly stiff, but stiffness is a lot less important on a
uni than it is on a bicycle where you are always asking for maximum power and
mechanical advantage when you pedal. On a unicycle, you’re putting less torque
into the pedal, so a softer sole is less of a setback, even in racing, where I
prefer a very light shoe.

For distance racing (1500m or more), I used a pair of Nike Aqua Socks, those
things you wear when windsurfing (I guess). They’re very light, with a knobby
sole, and no stiffness at all. But when your feet have to go up and down about
1,000,000 times in the course of the race, I think lightness is more important!

Turf shoes seem to be very handy off the unicycle as well. Though they’re not
very good for basketball (regular basketball, that is), you can always spend
$150 (or the UK equivalent) for shoes that at least look better. My turf shoes
have a great grip on snow and wet surfaces (maybe not wet pedals), and an
especially good grip when climbing rocks. Last week I was in Glacier National
Park in Montana, walking on wet rocks at the edge of a gorge with a raging river
far below. Had to get that picture! My shoes didn’t let me down, and someday
I’ll get me a scanner and share some pictures!

Stay on Top! John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone unicycle@aol.com

Re: Shoes

-----Original Message-----
>I’ve been using Converse All-Star shoes (high top retro-style sneakers).
>
>The high tops provide good ankle protection, and the thin, smooth soles mean
>that you get a good “feel” of the pedals (and I like the style as well!)

YAY FOR CONVERSE ALLSTARS!!!

These have been my choice of unicycle shoe for over 8 years for the same
reasons.

In the wet I wear my waterproof hiking boots. I have to ride with the pedal
locked just in front of my heel (like the foot position on a stirrup on a
horses saddle). It is a little different from my normal foot position but my
foot stays there.

My 28" has ankle eating Bear Trap pedals on it. It also has a nifty toe clip
that does not hold your foot to the pedal but prevents it from slipping off the
front. So far I have not slipped off and have had no serious injury.

If anyone asks really nicely I will attempt to draw a picture of the toe clip
arrangement.

Wayne van Wijk wvanwijk@gil.com.au


Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything quotable.

RE: Shoes

I wear Vans for several reasons.
1. There is an outlet store somewhat near by, and they’re cheap.
2. Since they are skateboard shoes, they’re rather rugged
3. Also since they’re skateboard shoes, they’re pretty gripy.

                                            -Jim

> > I’d also be interested to know what other uni’ers use for shoes.
> >
> > I’m pretty new to the game (haven’t gone off road yet), and so far I’ve been
> > using Converse All-Star shoes (high top retro-style sneakers).
> >
> > The high tops provide good ankle protection, and the thin, smooth soles mean
> > that you get a good “feel” of the pedals (and I like the style as well!)
> >
> > However, these are useless in the wet because the grip disappears
> > completely.
> >
> > I did once try using trainers with much knobblier soles, but I found all the
> > sensitivity had gone.
> >
> > So it seems that the ideal is a light, relatively thin soled shoe, with a
> > slightly knobbly sole.
> >
> > Does such a thing exist???
> >
> > What do all you other guys out there use???
> >
> > Do you use one shoe for dry/on road and another for wet/off road???
> >
> >
> > Any suggestions/advice are welcome.
> >
> >

RE: Shoes

I don’t have personal experience with these shoes (yet!), but they look
promising: Specialized’s Fat Boy bmx/spd compatible shoes. They look like a
skater shoe (Vans, Airwalk, etc), but have a clipless-compatible sole. I’m
guessing that they’ll be reasonably stiff (a lot stiffer than most sneakers) for
efficiency, and they look like they have grippy soles. Best of all, they’re on
sale at Nashbar right now for a measly $20.
http://www.nashbar.com/catalog/bike/link_item?SB-FBS The usual disclaimers: I
don’t work for Nashbar or Specialized. Thought there might be other
penny-pinchers like me out there on the lookout for some good muni shoes…

Peter Kittle Department of English CSU, Chico
530/898-5305 pkittle@csuchico.edu http://www.csuchico.edu/~pdkittle

> ----------
> From: wvanwijk@gil.com.au Reply To: wvanwijk@gil.com.au Sent: Tuesday, March
> 16, 1999 5:54 AM To: UNICYCLING@winternet.com Subject: Re: Shoes
>
> -----Original Message-----
> >I’ve been using Converse All-Star shoes (high top retro-style sneakers).
> >
> >The high tops provide good ankle protection, and the thin, smooth soles mean
> >that you get a good “feel” of the pedals (and I like the style as well!)
>
>
> YAY FOR CONVERSE ALLSTARS!!!
>
> These have been my choice of unicycle shoe for over 8 years for the same
> reasons.
>
> In the wet I wear my waterproof hiking boots. I have to ride with the pedal
> locked just in front of my heel (like the foot position on a stirrup on a
> horses saddle). It is a little different from my normal foot position but my
> foot stays there.
>
> My 28" has ankle eating Bear Trap pedals on it. It also has a nifty toe clip
> that does not hold your foot to the pedal but prevents it from slipping off
> the front. So far I have not slipped off and have had no serious injury.
>
> If anyone asks really nicely I will attempt to draw a picture of the toe clip
> arrangement.
>
>
> Wayne van Wijk wvanwijk@gil.com.au
>
> -----------------------------------
> Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything quotable.
> -----------------------------------

Re: Shoes

Unicycle@aol.com wrote:
>>>On Tue, 21 Nov 1995, Dr. Michel Roy wrote:
>>>
>>>> What is the best type of shoes to ride a unicyle?
>>>>
>>>> Cotton? Leather? Soles: soft? hard? rubber? crepe? leather? Sneakers? Other
>>>> types of sport shoes?
>>>>
>>>> What has been the experience of this group?
>

>
>On the other end of the scale we have road and mountain bike shoes (ultra-stiff
>sole), and even a guy who is comfortable and successful with toe clips. For the
>record, I don’t recommend toe clips; if you try them, don’t ride real fast!

I just want to emphasise they are HALF toe clips, no strap, the stop where the
the 2 sides meet. I also do ride pretty fast, especially considering a ride with
172’s. An easy speed for me is a cadence of 120 I regularly ride at 150. I need
the cranks and the stiff soles because I need all the power I can get. There are
a lot of really steep hills around here, Most runners in my area try to avoid
the hills in my daily route. The really stiff sole isn’t so necessary on flat or
gentle ups and downs. The HALF toe clips add extra control particularly during
an easy spin. They change the way you pedal but the benefits are no dead spot
and smaller wobble.

You really should try them John. I wouldn’t ride without them.

>amount of grip, but if anything goes wrong while pedaling over 200 rpm, the
>feet can easily come off.

I’ve never gone over 200, kinda hard on 172’s I hit 180 on occasion though. Half
toe clips still let you out. It might be because I point my toes down as they go
past 3:00.

>The soles are not particularly stiff, but stiffness is a lot less important on
>a uni than it is on a bicycle where you are always asking for maximum power and
>mechanical advantage when you pedal. On a unicycle, you’re putting less torque
>into the pedal, so a softer sole is less of a setback, even in racing, where I
>prefer a very light shoe.

me too.

>For distance racing (1500m or more), I used a pair of Nike Aqua Socks, those
>things you wear when windsurfing (I guess). They’re very light, with a knobby
>sole, and no stiffness at all. But when your feet have to go up and down about
>1,000,000 times in the course of the race, I think lightness is more important!

Good Idea!, Can you feel the rat trap theough the sole at all? that could hurt
after a while.

I have some old cross county shoes that are incredibly light but have a
smooth sole (they have spikes), they work OK but would be better if they had
a knobby sole.

This is definitely an interesting thread.

Have fun

Eric

Re: Shoes

Jim Hahn wrote:
> I wear Vans for several reasons.
> 2. Since they are skateboard shoes, they’re rather rugged
> 3. Also since they’re skateboard shoes, they’re pretty gripy.

I wear Converse SkateStars. These are skateboarding shoes too - they have
excellent grip and a fairly thin sole. Perfect for unicycling. They’re also
very comfortable so I tend to wear them even when I’m not unicycling…

Regards, Mark.

Mark Wiggins, | markw@ftel.co.uk +44 (121) 717 6255 Fujitsu Telecom Europe
Ltd,|----------------------------------------- Solihull Parkway, | o Birmingham
Business Park, | In the land of the pedestrian, /|\ Birmingham, | the
one-wheeled man is king. << ENGLAND. | O