Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the kind of bike shoes I like

More and more, I've come to think that making and buying things on a large scale isn't such a good thing. Rather it's better to make and buy something because we really want to and not just because it's a job or it's what's available at the store.

Be that as it may, I'm going to contradict what I just said and do a post which may be somewhat consumerist in its nature.

These above are my bike shoes. I wear them when I ride the Special K (Kinya's Specialized). When I ride the KT (Kao's Trek), I wear whatever shoes I feel like at the time. Special K is equipped with clipless pedals which I thought would be ridable with normal shoes, but that didn't turn out to be the case, so I need to wear shoes that can click into these pedals. I lucked out in getting these shoes as I found them at the Goodwill thrift shop and they fit me perfectly and as far as cycling shoes go, these are not as sporty and don't look too weird wearing them with regular clothes. There are quite a bit of people in Portland that wear full-on cycling shoes wherever they go, but I much rather wear shoes that seem like regular shoes. These are also very walkable as well.

So, I'm mostly happy with these shoes and I don't need to buy a new pair, but lately, I've been entertaining the idea of buying new pedals for a couple of reasons. One, my legs have been getting very sore on longer rides lately and different pedals could alleviate that problem. Two, I still would like to get pedals that could also be ridden with regular shoes just for short rides. I have KT for that purpose now, but when Kao comes back to ride it, I like to have that option. After looking at a bunch of pedals online, I think I found the pedal that might be perfect. And after that the consumer within me seem to want more, so even though I don't need a new pair of shoes, I looked to see what's out there. What I would look for in cycling shoes would be 1) wearability with regular clothes, 2) ease of walking, 3) comfort on/off the bike. I thought I would share what I found.

Mavic Alpine

These are made by Mavic who is better known as a manufacturer of wheels, but they have gotten into the clothing and shoes business more recently. I like these. They look a bit like low-cut hiking shoes and I think they would go with almost anything other than the most dressy attire.

Lake MX90

These are made by Lake who specialize in cycling shoes. The are OK, but maybe not great. The red accent is a bit sporty. Might go well with a slightly sporty casual look though.

Keen Springwater

I believe Keen is a Portland company and I would like to support a local brand, but again these are a bit sporty. I do see quite a lot of people wearing Keen sandals that are clipless compatible though. If I was looking for sandals, I might consider them.

Shimano MT60 Gore-Tex

These are made by Shimano who I belive is now the world's largest manufacturer of bike components. They have been making shoes for quite a longtime (like 20 years?) as well. These look even more like hiking shoes and they are made with Gore-Tex, so these miht be a good option for cold and wet weather. Slightly sporty, but I like that it uses suede.

Shimano SH-MT21

These are also by Shimano and are probably the younger cousins of my shoes (Shimano SH-MO20). Very simple and casual with brown suede. I think if they used the same color of suede and thread throughout, these could almost look like Clarks.

Marresi 700

And lastly, as an honorable mention, the good looking Marresi 700. These Italian leather shoes look quite handsome. However, I think these are more pure cycling shoes than the others and I don't think they would be too comfortable for walking.

Anyway, so that's that. Of all these, I think I like the Mavic and the Shimano SH-MT21 the best, though I would like to see more shoes designed with the intention of wearing them with regular clothes. I think I will wear my Shimano shoes until they either wear out or I decide to quit clipless pedals altogether though. I think as more and more people ride bikes, need for more variery of equipment will rise as well. I think there are probably others like me who want to go on long rides, but don't want to look like a wannabe racer, so I hope the shoe manufacturer will recognize that.


  1. Impressed with your choices.!! All these bike shoes are fantastic. You have nice pair.. looks much comfy and flexible.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, these are the best shoes I've had for riding and walking. I had another pair before, but they were heavy, stiff and really uncomfortable for walking.