There’s a huge amount of hogwash flying around out there about cycling specific shoes being ‘essential’ for cycling any distance at all. So much so that manufacturers even make commuter specific models, apparently purposely designed for the daily grind.
The alleged merits of cycling shoes are that their stiff soles and mechanical attachment to the pedal makes for a more efficient pedalling stroke. The funny thing is that us average punters, hell bent on depriving ourselves of our disposable, buy this science without the means of proving or disproving the theory.
But sandals? Surely a step too far? Well I hate to break it to you, but I did a 30 mile, hilly mixed terrain ride last week wearing a pair of Rohan sandals with no issues whatsoever. No chafing, no apparent loss of power and the blissful feeling of the summer air wafting over my delicate pinkies.
I also did Sky Ride Birmingham shod thusly, including a go on Rollapaluza’s roller racing rig, recording 25 seconds dead for 500metres standing start.
I do have a few key recommendations for prospective sandalled bikers. A model with a non exposed toe is good, as is a strap around the back of the Achilles. A grippy sole is also desirable.
So you can ride and ride strong in normal shoes or even sandals. The key is to get grippy pedals with a good, wide footbed.
Forget about the pulling up on the pedal stroke. It’ll only distract you from your power stroke. Think about it. Do you really think you can augment the power of your left leg pushing down by pulling up with your right? At best you can unweight your upcoming leg but you don’t need clips for that.
Forget about stiff soles too. Strong feet, ankles and supportive pedals are all you need.
For more on this Google ‘Rivendell Shoes Ruse’ for further pondering.
ps: I don’t do socks and sandals. I’m saving that for my dotage.
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