Commute easier: The right shoes

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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By Markus Sandelin

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.