Unicycle Do's/Don'ts #1: Always wear same shoes

I’ve been riding for 6 years, but after a long break I feel like a total beginner.
So, I want to start a string of just a bunch of do’s/don’ts.
Including, minimal explanation, science or procedurals(do…do…).
Feel free to add your own, or poo poo my doo doo.

Here’s my first:
Unicycle Do’s/Don’ts #1: Always wear same shoes

-different shoe = different heights, different feel(hey it felt good yesterday, but today sucks)
Also, you don’t want “too much traction” = can’t eject when needed = falling down on into unicycle = sprains, deep lacerations,…etc.

-just be consistent, I keep my unicycle and my beat up New Balance 481v3 in my trunk.

-if you are changing your riding shoe or just happen to be caught with bare feet, just remember “not to feel overconfident” that you can do all the tricks. Work up to it.

I write this also to encourage “lurking” beginners to participate.
Especially, the people “who can’t even ride”.
You will continue this ancient hobby.


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Yep. One time I had a UPD mounting a basic 24" because I wore different shoes. The soles were too thick and threw me off in the mount. Injured my left elbow and it was sore for a month or more. Anyway, I wear Everlast high tops. I have 2 pairs. Thin soles, I can feel the pedals, and there is ankle protection so my ankles don’t rub against the cranks!! They don’t completely stop me from spraining my ankles though. I triple knot them as having laces caught in the cranks is terrible.

Another time I was practicing unicycling wearing mary jane flats, this was after work and I didn’t bring another pair of shoes with me to the netball courts. Well, I decided to ride a giraffe with them on. I went to dismount, rolled my ankle on the impact, grazing the skin on the top of my foot (mary janes are open at the top). These are it. https://www.myer.com.au/p/jamie-black-pump-312131890
Blood dripping. Anyway, got home that night and went to sleep. Next morning, I couldn’t walk. Went to the hospital emergency department. They decided I needed surgery. If i didn’t cut the skin at the top of my foot maybe the outcome would have just been RICE, but because my foot had been cut (grazed), they wanted to clean my foot really well and do surgery. I have sprained my ankle a few times in the past and they said I had ligaments inside the joint and they shouldn’t have been there.
Anyway, while maybe wearing them on a basic 20 or 24" is fine, maybe avoid wearing them in other unicycling situations!! YMMV.

After my ankle injury yesterday, I would say remember to use the brakes - if any, to control the speed of the wheel on steep descents.
( probably not a concern for beginners though)

I was at a skate park and tried to descend the steepest incline. I thought I could control the decent without brakes (forgot I had brakes in the rush to decend). Pedals went too fast, and I felt a sudden uplift on left pedal on ankle. I was wearing rigid ankle brace that has a pivot joint inline with ankle joint. Seems like a mild sprain.
I have actually previously been feeling weakness in this left ankle when using for pedal control for braking.

Don’t #1: give up. You’ll never learn how to ride or improve if you give up.


Absolutely! That’s got to be rule #1 for unicycling.

I’m going to disagree on the “not too grippy” rule, but that depends on skill level. For Muni (and Schlumpf riding), I want my feet to stay put unless I tell them otherwise. But this means repositioning after you start riding, something that’s not everybody’s favorite.


I didn’t ride for 2 weeks due to changing my tire(finally got a new 24 x 3, thanks Uni2,) and ordering a new tube.

So, trying to be able to free mount, SIF, backwards riding, and horse mounting, I found myself bailing out quite a few times. It’s almost automatic. My mind goes blank, but my legs go into “emergency mode” and time the dismounting perfectly at 3 and 9 o’clock.

This is where I’m glad I bothered to always wear the same shoes. Something too Grippy would fk me up, bad. At my age, recovery takes 3-4 times longer.

Especially, in riding SIF or idling SIF. You guys who can SIF know what happens if you try to dismount at 6 & 12 o’clock or any variation of that.

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