Wheel Walking


I was merrily wheel walking along (but I was only going 10m at a time), when out of the corner of my eye… I notice the heel of my shoe was all ripped up, the soul was flapping, and it looked like crap! I was just wondering… am I wheel walking wrong, or do I need a “special” pair of shoes??

-Joe :thinking:

new shoes.
pref with one peice moulded soles.
i can make a pair of cheap skateer style shoes last for quite a while.
my last pair £3 from a charity shop
converse alstars tend to die quickly and trianers with stuck on soles probably wnot last long either

Off Topic question on wheel walking.

Whenever I try wheel-walking I can’t even go 1 inch. Partly because I’m level two but I think I need a bigger wheel, there doesn’t seem to be enough room on the wheel for my feet. Do I need a bigger wheel than 20"?

I’m also Just starting wheel walking, (yesterday was my first day trying it) I can get like 10 scuffs of the tire and go like 5-10 feet. But then I seem to get kicked off the front because my feet cant keep up with my tire.

Is there any tricks to slowing down wheel speed and not getting ahead of yourself? I’ve seen other poeple do it and they allways tend to go slow.

As far as shoes go, get some skate shoes like evilewan suggests. I currently have some Van’s Rowley XLT’s they are supper counfy and have a good sole for riding.

leaning back will help.push hard on the tire as you lean back,push lean push lean push lean etc.

if your doing it on anything other than a 20"its gonna be thrice as hard.


It sounds to me like you have a similar technique to me. I really use all of the tyre and take as long strides as possible. This alos allows me to use the heel of my foot as the brake and it sounds like you’re doing this as well. My shoes aren’t ripping but they’re still new. Hopefully this’ll answer Checkernuts’s question as well.


p.s. Checkernuts,

What’s your name if you don’t mind me asking? I just feel a bit silly calling you Checkernuts (unless that’s your name which would be very cool).


Jagur speeks truely… going too fast is a clear indicator of leaning forward too far. I don’t feel quite the same about the wheel size though… it may be easyer on a 20", but I have problems get’n my big feet around the wheel without hook’n the crown -and find the 24" offers more room. Your balance point is different on a 24 since your weight is farther out front, requireing more lean back to counter-balance. Hummm…


I’ve been working on wheel walking for the last little while. I’m really getting the hang on it now. Finally I can go from riding into walking. It sure is annoying having to stop, get off, set your feet, and try to move. Plus you get a little momentum working for you.

I use my 20" for everything. Wheel walking is no exception. Walking on a bigger wheel will probably give you more room to work with. It may be a little harder, but as soon as I get my 26" MUni (!) I’ll be so much better than if I learned on a bigger wheel. (Hopefully)

My goal: be able to 1FtWW before March. Anybody know how long the transition from 2 feet to 1 takes?

I began a thread last week about wheel walking, but it turned into a thread on ‘old’. I had wished it had side tracked to shoes, so I’m happy that you bring up the shoe question.

I think I have found a great shoe for flatland unicycling. The shoe is an Onitsuka/Tiger Ultimate 81. This is a retro design, but upgraded.

This was the first fully supported running shoe, but the form is great for unicycling. The sole is absolutely flat. The tread is a honey comb with each cell containing a circle (looking like tiny suction cup). So the tread is very regular in all directions. It also smoothly rolls half around the toe, and up the back.

The sole also is very narrow. It doesn’t extend beyond the upper anywhere. It is as narrow as the Converse Allstar.

The upper is leather, actually a brushed leather, nicely padded. It is also nicely rounded so that your foot gets pushed back on to the pedal if it gets too close to the crank. Since I am a beginner and kind of clumbsy, the sturdy upper is great protection when compared to the Converse.

The inner lining is synthetic, and there is good arch support.

Personally I have sensitive feet. If the shoe weighs too much, my ankles start to hurt. Allstars make my feet hurt almost instantly, not because of weight, but the sole is so poorly supported. The Ultimate 81, I wear all day, every day, since I have three pairs!

In Seattle they sell them at Urban Outfitters, but I don’t know if that is a national shop or not. I think unicycle.com should get into the apparel business as well, and sell this shoe! Think about it unicycle.com: except for a few unicyclists that like to destroy equipment, most of us keep our unicycles for a long time. Apparel wears out quickly! Sell stuff that wears out quickly, and make everyone happy in the process. I have found that unicyclists have very unique requirements in apparel. With shoes, the width of the sole is important. I just learned that skateboarders like wide shoes to keep their foot from rolling over.

So back to wheel walking. I think once you can do it, you could probably do it barefoot, but a good shoe might help you learn faster. My thread was about pre-skills, and I think I have stepped back from wheel walking to work on the ‘tire idle’. The points I got from that discussion was that I need to be better at idling than I am. I need to do a slow, small stroke idle. The tire idle seems to put your center of gravity forward, so I’m wondering if one foot idle with foot extended would be a good pre-skill.

Think of it this way, iF your falling forward or going to fast: instead of going faster, try slowing down to correct your balence, makes it easier to to lean back.

Also make sure to put your toe on the tire right infront of the frame and use it all the way out to the heel.