Re: "Touring" shoes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Matt O'Toole, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    !Jones wrote:

    > 25 years ago or so, there were inexpensive shoes produced that were
    > essentially canvas sneakers with a stiff insole. I had a pair made by
    > Cannondale; however, there were other manufacturers at the time.
    > These were generally known as "touring shoes"; that's how Nashbar
    > listed them in their first catalog. There was no such thing as a
    > "mountain bike" then unless you built it yourself.
    > They were OK for riding and a person could also walk pretty well in
    > them. Further, you could wear them as you walked into the office and
    > everyone didn't turn their face away and snicker... a trait not shared
    > by much of today's bicycle attire, I'm afraid. Is that product still
    > on the market anyplace?

    Those older "touring" shoes aren't common anymore, becuase everyone's using SPDs
    now. However, most of the cheaper SPD shoes can be used either way. These are
    very similar to the older touring shoes. They have stiff soles for SPD use, and
    a cutout for the cleat. They're great for platform pedals if you just don't
    remove the cutout. Some even have "cleat" ridges like the old ones. Same with
    all the BMX-specific sneakers on the market. I have some Answer Flatfoot
    sneakers like this, for around town. They're clunkier than my Sidis for riding,
    but far more suitable for walking or standing around in. There are dozens of
    these models on the market, and they appear on sale at blowout prices all the
    time. I think I paid about $20 for my Flatfoots. Check Nashbar, Performance,
    Supergo, Pricepoint, etc. If you're close to any of these stores, go there.
    They often have piles of them on sale in-store, not available otherwise.

    Vans is really big in the BMX market, with several dual-purpose SPD models, and
    plain BMX sneakers with stiff soles.

    Someone mentioned police-specific shoes. These may be a good idea too, but
    they're designed for running as much as cycling, so the soles aren't as stiff.
    They're comfortable for riding all day, but not as efficient as full-on bike
    shoes. However the soles are very effectively non-skid, which most bike shoes
    aren't. Someone has been selling the Sidi police model on eBay for $25-40,
    which is a great buy.

    Finally, I see a lot of the older touring shoes for sale on eBay, NOS. If you
    have an old favorite, it's worth looking for it there.

    Matt O.