City & Commuting

Commute easier: The right shoes

9 Comments 14 July 2010

Photo by Aaron Courter

The concept of moving forward of operating a bicycle is quite simple: You, as an engine, convert energy from your body into the bike by applying pressure to the pedals, which in turn turn the wheels because skip a few steps. If you’ve ever held a biking shoe in your hand or your feet, you’ve probably noticed that the soles of those shoes are hard.

I remember as a kid watching my mom and her friends bike with their Swedish or Dutch style clogs and thinking they were silly, because they were not sporty shoes. Many people probably still think that when you’re doing sports, it’s okay to wear any kinds of sports shoes – like running shoes. The thing is, those shoes have very soft soles and their purpose is to dampen the impact your foot makes when it hits the ground. While this is good for walking and running, it’s actually counterproductive when biking.

The harder your soles, the less energy is lost in your shoes.

The late, Grand Wizard of bicycle knowledge, Sheldon Brown continues about pain in feet:

Foot discomfort is often the result of inappropriate footwear, specifically shoes with soft soles that concentrate the pedal pressure on isolated parts of the foot. It can also be related to riding in a too-high gear which results in more pressure of the foot against the pedal.

So if you are commuting shorter distances and are not in a hurry, riding with clogs might be a better option than those trendy sneakers and if you bike longer distances, getting proper biking shoes with hard soles will make your ride easier.

What are your best shoes for biking?

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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