Flat pedal shoe recommendations

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gordonbennett
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Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by gordonbennett » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:00 pm

Hi folks. Long time lurker, first time poster.

After piling on some excess reserves over Christmas I need to back out on the bike asap but my only footwear options are wellies or a pair of pristine white Dunlops.

I recently moved away from SPDs to flats and loving it. However I’ve worn through my crappy pair of Airwalks and now looking for something a lot more suitable. I found the skater aesthetic looked “rad” but was put off by the lack of grip in the mud and sponge-like properties. I’m not gravitating toward a walking/hiking shoes.

What would you recommend investing in or definitely staying away from?

Here are my demands:
  • Preferably waterproof
  • Good grip for hike-a-bike (curruntly riding singlespeed)
  • Bonus points for a layer of warmth
To give you an idea of the expectation benchmark, I rode a pair of Shimano MW81s into the ground over a 4 year period. Anyone know of something that resilient but non-SPD?

Hope you’re all well and enjoying the indoors :wink:

AndyTheBikeGuy
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by AndyTheBikeGuy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:17 pm

I have a pair of 5Ten Freerider EPS which have primaloft and seem to be pretty waterproof other than over the ankle obviously. I've found that when water does get it, it warms up pretty quick and stays warms like in a wetsuit.

The grip is the stealth sole which is great on the pedals and I haven't really had issue with it on anything other than ice. I used mine for a couple of years before moving to SPDs on the MTB but would recommend the 5Tens.
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Landslide
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by Landslide » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:35 pm

I've got some 5.10s, the Impacts. They're fairly weatherproof until all the rain gets in at the ankle, at which point they resemble buckets. Pedal grip is fantastic, but for hike a bike and walking in mud, they're non-starters. I'm not convinced any MTB-specific flat pedal shoes have enough off the bike grip for my needs.

Given that hike a bike tends to involve steep, loose/slippery terrain, I opted for some Decathlon walking shoes:

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/men-s-wat ... R-p-302348

Waterproofing has been good (apart from the ankle hole), and they are less buckety than the 5.10s. Grip on the pedals (Nukeproof Electrons) is still very good, and for hike a bike they're great. I've used them for everyday use as well as riding, and got over 2 years out of them.

I've found ankle gaiters have helped a lot with waterproofing and keeping my feet warm.

Cheeky Monkey
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:46 pm

I forget the model number but Shimano do something similar in shoe and boot form. I also forget whether they are available in clipless and flat pedal variants, so could be a useless suggestion for something you didn't want :wink:

If they are like other Shimano's they'll come with a cover plate that means you can use them without cleats, like regular footwear.

They're on my wish list so I'm just going by positive comments that have appeared on here previously. Maybe something for you to add to a long list :cool:

Edit - Shimano xm9 or xm7

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:03 pm

Columbia Fairbanks Omni-heat.

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gairym
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by gairym » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:35 pm

I've only ridden in Inov-8 fell running shoes for the last six or seven years.

Nice soft rubber on the soles so they're super grippy on pedals and great grip during h-a-b.

Also really light so they dry very quickly when they get wet.

I use the GTX version in winter/wet weather but obviously then they do hold water more if/when it gets in.

The main downsides are that they're expensive if you buy full price (I never have), they don't last that long (as they're über minimalist and light) and the soles aren't stiff (so if you're used to SPD's then you'll likely find them unsupportive for the mid-foot) but I've never had any issues as I'm a lifelong flatty.

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johnnystorm
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by johnnystorm » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:39 pm

I've got Shimano GR7s and my missus wears GR5s. I personally wouldn't worry about waterproofing as they always seem to get wet any way and take longer to dry out. A pair of knee length sealskins or similar is the best I've found for keeping warm ann dry.
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Alpinum
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by Alpinum » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:10 pm

FiveTen Trailcross
Best flat pedal shoe every made in the universe :lol:

Seriously, it's really good. Comes in GoreTex flavour. I use the XT one.

I had the second Generation Trailcross (think it was called SL and Adidas branded) and found it so good, I was afraid the new version wouldn't match the predecessor's performance.
I find it better...
Not by much, but once worn for a few days, it fits superb and no matter what others say, I've never ridden shoes with such a grippy sole. It can be a bit too much depending on like and pins/pedal.
Sturdy in the right places.
Light in the right places.
Walks lovely, perfect stiffness for riding - harder than a trail running shoe, more like a mid weight hiking boot/approach shoe.

Vaude, (non Stealth rubber) Adidas, Shimano and other vibram soles, Inov-8 and a bunch of others, they just proved to me, that the Stealth rubber is in a league of its own.

The lugs on the heel/toe area of the Trailcross make a significant difference to other 5.10's when walking, so you get pedal grip thanks to the button profile (as in the 5.10 Impact shoes) and hiking grip.

I used to ride all hardtails/rigid bikes with SPD's, since I kept loosing grip on my pedals from the battering.
Now, for the first time in years I can ride my insanely fast hardtail without being clipped in and fearing for my legs when it gets choppy.
gordonbennett wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:00 pm
Preferably waterproof
Kind of. Its got a big opening on the top, but a membrane that will Keep your feet dryer than one without.
gordonbennett wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:00 pm
Good grip for hike-a-bike (curruntly riding singlespeed)
It oozes grip. In mud a mud spike fell running shoe will be better. But that's the only place where a mud spike wins.
A good trail running sole or hiking sole tends to be a bit better on loose and soft surfaces, but the don't offer the pedal grip.
On the other hand, the fantastic pedal grip of the 5.10 Impacts isn't good for walking softish surfaces. The Trailcross bridges both.
gordonbennett wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:00 pm
Bonus points for a layer of warmth
Not a particular trait of the Trailcross, but just get it a size larger and wear thicker/more/warmer socks.
The Trailcross comes true to size.

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thenorthwind
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by thenorthwind » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:57 pm

I also ride flats and haven't yet found the perfect footwear, probably because there is no perfect solution. Grip on flat pedals needs a flat, soft-ish rubber, whereas grip on mud, wet grass gravel needs something with a bit of tread. Though the Trailcross Alpinium mentions may have found a solution to that - need to investigate.

Like gairym I have fell-running shoes (Salomon Speedcross in my case) that I use because they're light and hence quick-drying. Grip on loose surfaces is excellent, but because the lugs are quite big, they don't always fit on the pedals exactly how I'd like. I chose them because the soles are relatively stiff (stood in the shop and flexed them all).

Just got some Columbia Fairbanks like Colin's. Really warm. Flat sole, so good grip on pedals, but probably not so good on wet/loose surfaces (only tried on sheet ice so far so not really fair :lol: ) Quite a flexible sole as well, so maybe not so good for very long rides.

Like most things, it's all compromise.
Pedal grip or h-a-b grip (or maybe both with the Trailcross)
Pedalling comfort/efficiency (stiff sole) or h-a-b comfort (flexible sole)
Insulation (warm) or quick-drying and lightweight

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:01 pm

The grip on the Fairbanks is much better on soft/wet surfaces than the likes of 5:10, Shimano GR9 etc

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thenorthwind
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by thenorthwind » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:11 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:01 pm
The grip on the Fairbanks is much better on soft/wet surfaces than the likes of 5:10, Shimano GR9 etc
I hope they're better than than my 5:10s, but to be fair, my 5:10s might be Stealth rubber, but they're not designed for walking so are almost flat, and hence lethal on wet grass. The Trailcross have more lugs so ought to be better.

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Alpinum
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by Alpinum » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:42 pm

thenorthwind wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:57 pm
Like most things, it's all compromise.
Pedal grip or h-a-b grip (or maybe both with the Trailcross)
Pedalling comfort/efficiency (stiff sole) or h-a-b comfort (flexible sole)
Insulation (warm) or quick-drying and lightweight
Hmm... where I'm coming from I see the Trailcross more focused on riding, but as mentioned before, it's as capable for hiking as a riding shoe gets.

Perhaps it helps to reflect on what's more important for one self?

Just to give an idea, despite lots and lots of carry-a-bike/hike-a-bike, I put pedal grip above hiking grip, since when I slip when riding I more likely get into serious trouble than when walking the bike. Scars on my legs are the least issue here. I had some very nasty moments when slipping a pedal. Yes, my fault, but why not push things a bit further with more pedal grip.
The same for sole stiffness. I loose sensation when on pedals, but can easily hike with a stiffer sole. Notwithstanding the above, for pure hiking trips I prefer supple soles. Horses for course as usual.

The sole of the Columbia boot looks like a good balance of pedal grip and hiking traction. Would be nice to see FiveTen/Adidas offer more variation in their Stealth soles.
Ah... those luxury problems.

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Alpinum
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by Alpinum » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:46 pm

thenorthwind wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:11 pm
I hope they're better than than my 5:10s, but to be fair, my 5:10s might be Stealth rubber, but they're not designed for walking so are almost flat, and hence lethal on wet grass. The Trailcross have more lugs so ought to be better.
Don't expect any wonders from the Trailcross. Its not got mud spikes.
Yes, better than the classic 5.10 buttons, but no magic here.

rudedog
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by rudedog » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:36 am

Ive given up trying to find a decent winter option for flats and just wear hiking boots now - current decathlon ones for £45 are waterproof, good for hikeabike and grip is decent enough

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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by JoseMcTavish » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:01 pm

I'm another Adidas/5-10 Trailcross convert here - they are exactly the right balance of pedal and walking grip and comfy in both scenarios. I probably walked for around 70km of the HT550 in them without any issues at all. I bought a backup pair just in case they stopped making them before my first pair wore out!

They're not waterproof but there is a version in the pipeline which I'd love to try when they are finally released:

Trailcross GTX

ton
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by ton » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:12 pm

as the original recommender of the columbia fairbanks boots a couple of winters ago, i can now add another fantastically warm and comfy boot, to the 'soft shytes cold weather gear' guide.
recommended to me, by a friend who is a mountie, in Cochrane Alberta.

i have worn these since xmas eve, and have ridden every day in them since. distances up to 60 miles.
with merino ski socks. and as yet have not felt the cold in my normally frozen feet.

and regardless of looks, they are light and mega grippy on flat plastic pedals.


https://www.keenfootwear.com/p/M-TARGHE ... GH-WP.html

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gordonbennett
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Re: Flat pedal shoe recommendations

Post by gordonbennett » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:17 pm

Thanks for all the recommendations, there’s a couple on here that look suitable, I just need to get stuck into my Friday night beers and make a drunken purchase.

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