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  1. #1
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    Trail running shoes for flat pedals - Suggestions?

    So I'm about to begin a new hobby, namely riding a fatbike all year round from sunny summer days to rainy autumns/springs to snowy winters. I'm using large platform pedals w/ my bike and have no interest in buying cycling-specific shoe as I want a waterproof (or water repellent) shoe that's first a running shoe (or a hiking shoe that's suitable for light running) but that can cope with flat pedals. So no cleats and no fivetens, just shoes you'd normally buy for running/trail running/hiking but with suitability to flat pedals. I imagine I will wear boots when it's cold with heavy snow and some type of light flat-soled when it's summer and hot. However, in this thread, I'm looking for a shoe when the conditions are cold but not freezing, wet but not too snowy and where I can accidentally step to a puddle and not worry about wet feet.

    The criteria:

    • Can be used to running in both soft and hard (pavement) surfaces
    • Can be used with flat pedals
    • Waterproof/water repellent


    I did use the search function and found a few threads but most of them dealt solely with cycling-specific shoes. However, I did find in some threads that some of you are using Salomon's trail shoes like the Speedcross. The 4th gen version of this shoe is out but unfortunately they aren't the best in pavement running: the lugs wear out although I see some of you have filed them down in purpose to make them more suited to flat pedals.

    Would anyone care to suggest any other type of shoe? Salomon does have its Wings series which is more suitable for pavement with shorter lugs, but does the outsole get too flexible/soft for flat pedals with pins then?
    Last edited by Tigerman82; 08-19-2016 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    I like my evolv cruzers for riding, I'll still use 5.10s for any actual mountain biking, but if its just commuting or a quick ride i'll wear the cruzers since I like them off the bike a lot more than 5.10's. and if were more ok with the pins eating up the soles id wear them on the bike more. Did 60 miles of hiking and some up to 5 mile runs in hawaii over 10 days with them and they worked great. TONS of grip. best shoes i've had for scrambling up technical stuff.

    Also check out astral shoes. I really like my loyaks for running. they're for kayaking. but i've done 10+ mile runs in them and like them a lot better than most running shoes i've had. (but i like no support, low profile, little cushion) as you'd expect they're super good for getting wet. one of those 10 mile runs was up a riverbed/canyon in utah, running through water 1/4 of the time. really grippy rubber, good for pedals but i dont think i'd trust the soles durability on spikey pins. they'd be fine with less aggressive pins though.

  3. #3
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    You will find that running shoes are too thin and flexible in the sole for pedaling, IMHO. I like lightweight hiking shoes, low or mid ankle. So running with the bike next to you? Sort of not clear to me. I like Keens, only because they make size 15's. Why run, biking is so much faster.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    You will find that running shoes are too thin and flexible in the sole for pedaling, IMHO. I like lightweight hiking shoes, low or mid ankle. So running with the bike next to you?
    Sorry for being so unclear. I just meant that I like to run/hike and, when cycling, be able to take a break and stroll around in any type of terrain (be it muddy and wet or rocky). As there are those who use not cycling-specific shoes with flat pedals, I figured I could get a fall/early winter/spring running/hiking shoe and a decent cycling shoe at the same time.

    Unfortunately, at my location, I've decent access only to brands such as Nike, Asics, Salomon, Merrell, North Face, Adidas and Brooks, so I have to make my choice out of those. So I guess I'll look at light hiking boots that you could do at least light jogging in.

  5. #5
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    Adidas Terrex Trail Cross.

  6. #6
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    I hike in Salomon XA Pro 3D waterproof trail running shoes. Haven't ridden in them, but they may be worth a look. I ride my flats with Adidas Terrex Solos with a stealth rubber sole (like what's on the sole of five ten shoes). They're an approach shoe and pretty comfortable. Use them to hike occasionally as well.

  7. #7
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    I've used the Salomon XA Pro 3D as well on the bike for several seasons now. This would be my summer shoe as it has great venting. I break out the Salomon XA PRO 3D GTX for winter.

    I have a size 13 and large pedals, RaceFace Atlas and Spanks Spikes, no foot pain or heat whatsoever. Overall I've been super happy with these shoes for riding. Once seated in the traction is excellent. You get slightly more float than a sticky rubber shoe like the 2FO or 5.10, I like the float myself.

    Traction off the bike is better than any flat specific shoe out there. Ultra light and breathes excellent, plus fast lacing system is nice.

    The only drawback is you get slightly less toe box protection compared to a 2FO or similar. Ive been running 2FO for a few months now and happy with the protection but Ill go back to the Salomons in winter for sure.

  8. #8
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    I just tried flats for the first time last night (other then a Walmart type bike), I used some Hoka Conquest that I didn't like running in (I'm an ultra runner). I normally use them as street shoes, but think I'll use them for enduro riding.

    I would think the lugs on trail running shoes would reduce gripping surface. I have some worn down Speedcross, my favorite ever trail shoe that I used in the rain on my first XC (on the Walmart bike), but most of the climbs were muddy hills.

  9. #9
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    shoe you want is the merrell moab, they make a version with a gore-tex liner. a grippy flat like a wellgo mg1 coupled with those will give you a lot of traction. the sole of these is really good with the spikes of a platform pedal. this shoe is also great to run in. a bit heavier than a pair of asics but the waterproof and ruggedness really go miles

    the wellgo mg5 is about 60 grams a pair lighter and a thinner profile but you lose maybe 10% grip

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by racebum View Post
    shoe you want is the merrell moab, they make a version with a gore-tex liner. a grippy flat like a wellgo mg1 coupled with those will give you a lot of traction. the sole of these is really good with the spikes of a platform pedal. this shoe is also great to run in. a bit heavier than a pair of asics but the waterproof and ruggedness really go miles

    the wellgo mg5 is about 60 grams a pair lighter and a thinner profile but you lose maybe 10% grip
    Great shoe. I've done XC running, MTB on flats and hiked in em. Have had my current pair for 5+years and they seem to be indestructable. Little on the heavy side if you're going to race XC (running) but they are stable, grippy and rugged. Yes you can even run down descents on wet, slick rocks.

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  11. #11
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    i also vote for the Salomon XA PRO 3D. I have used nothing but these for trail running for the last 8ish years. I have also used them for weekend backpacking trips. they are great. I always opt for the gortex version for the waterproofing peace of mind. both salomon and gortex have great warranties and stand behind their products

  12. #12
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    In my opinion trail running shoes and flat pedals are far from an ideal match, aggressive tread patterns interfere with pedal/ shoe contact and limit foot placement. There's a reason that flat pedal specific shoes have a flat, nearly treadless sole.
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  13. #13
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    You can use trail runners with stubby pins and you won't notice any foot placement issues in non World Cup use....I'm guessing on the WC but not on ordinary use. Just move your foot. Your bike won't be unbalanced and send you into a tree.
    Adidas has a Boost(no relation) midsole that adds a significant benefit. It looks like white Styrofoam but never wears out. It dampens vibration transmission from your pedals into the soles of your feet. No more numb feet after long rock garden rides.
    The Response Trail Boost has a wider toe box than other Adidas shoes which can run a little narrow and require sizing up.

    Trail running shoes for flat pedals - Suggestions?-1boost-response.jpg

    You can also choose regular runners with Continental rubber like Adidas Supernova Boost.
    But don't use the longer sharp pin pedals good for DH. They tear up things.

  14. #14
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    I'll second the Moabs only from the Goretex standpoint. I have them and they are great hiking shoes and would do fine for running but wouldn't last as long. I got a hair-brained idea to start trail running to supplement my riding so I shopped and educated myself on proper shoes. I would strongly suggest you visit Men's and Women's running shoes and apparel, running shoe reviews: Nike, Brooks, adidas, Mizuno, Asics, Saucony & New Balance. They are tied in with Art's Cyclery group of operations and have some really great deals on a huge selection of running shoes. Their website is insanely informative and allows you to go in and plug in all the parameters that you seek including specific information about you and whether you are pronate or not, a heal striker or not, etc. They will then spit out a list of shoes that meet your criteria. You'll also learn about the build of the shoe and why you need what you need. I now know more about trail running shoes than I originally ever cared to. I ended up with a pair of Pearl Izumi trail running shoes and the beauty is I wear PI cycling shoes because they fit me so well and comfortably and are phenomenal in quality. The trail shoes do, as well. The sole on the PI, as well as many if not most true trail running shoes, is a wide flat platform that disperses over a greater area. My PI's have lots of little tread waffles, not deep grooved waffles like the Moabs. I actually think they would be very well suited for the pedal interface. What you won't get from ANY trail shoe is going to be the rigidity in a sole that helps with pedalling. If your riding use is casual at best, you'll likely be okay otherwise it may be pretty tough on your feet/arches.

  15. #15
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    Arcteryx Acrux shoes might be good. The soles do not have a deep tread pattern and the rubber is pretty sticky yet durability is pretty good. I have used many pairs of the Soloman XA shoes too. They don't grip flat pedals very well at all. Not even close to a 5:10. I found the Arcteryx soles more durable and far gripper than the Soloman's. I had some of those Moab shoes too. Really good hiker but I can't get my size in Canada. Got mine in Moab of all places.

    You can get three versions of the Acrux. Regular, GORETEX or the shoe with removable sock liners so you can run one or the other and remove them for drying. I just bought my second pair of the SL version which is the non GORETEX. I usually get about 6 months from any other shoe but these lasted a year and a half. I have two labs that get two to three hours walking on trails a day. Some trails are pretty steep and rough so I am hard on footwear.

  16. #16
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    These work great for me. Although, I don't think they'll work well in wet conditions. I shaved the tread where the pedal makes contact. But, there's still plenty of tread for hiking.

  17. #17
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    So a small update. I started playing around with flats on my trail bike for fun after doing an enduro that was real soft and loose, and tried a pair of Hola Stinson ATR shoes that I bought and didn't like. They grip the pedals insanely well. I haven't looked into it since I live in the southwest desert, but since they are designed for ultra distance running, I'm sure they have water resistant version.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    You can use trail runners with stubby pins and you won't notice any foot placement issues in non World Cup use....I'm guessing on the WC but not on ordinary use. Just move your foot. Your bike won't be unbalanced and send you into a tree.
    Adidas has a Boost(no relation) midsole that adds a significant benefit. It looks like white Styrofoam but never wears out. It dampens vibration transmission from your pedals into the soles of your feet. No more numb feet after long rock garden rides.
    The Response Trail Boost has a wider toe box than other Adidas shoes which can run a little narrow and require sizing up.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1boost response.jpg 
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ID:	1093289

    You can also choose regular runners with Continental rubber like Adidas Supernova Boost.
    But don't use the longer sharp pin pedals good for DH. They tear up things.
    Was it these you meant: https://www.keller-sports.se/p/adida...iABEgKn3vD_BwE

    That outer sole seems to have holes in them exposing that boost foam or whatever it is. Will these really work and what does that boost midsole do?

  19. #19
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    You can try some approach shoes like Evolv Cruzers, Five Ten Guide Tennie or Approach Pro, or La Sportiva TX3. They have flat outsoles so they can work well on flat pedals but can also do some decent hiking and trail running
    Last edited by savannahayes; 08-27-2017 at 10:14 PM.

  20. #20
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    I have tried Adidas Terex and found they are not the best as the heavy knobby sole messes up with the pins/ get uncomfortable spots if a knob ends up on a pin etc. I tried them as the sole is pretty stiff.
    More recently took to trying my New Balance runners (860v6). Not a trail shoe, but with a fairly flat sole. It also an older school fairly heavily built support shoe, so it's not too soft or thin in the sole. Better pin engagement, more comfort.
    There was a thread a while ago of a few people using a Nike training shoe, as opposed to a pure runner, bit firmer built and flattish soles.
    Suggest avoiding a mega knobby trail shoe and try a more traditional flat soled runner. Also avoid the mega light shoes like Nike frees

  21. #21
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    I have been using Altra Lone peaks and superiors trail runners. I like to use them up running then finish them off as my mountain bike shoes.I went back to flat pedals in the mid nineties and have tried just about everything. For me this is by far the best set up.they do make the Lone Peak with a waterproof neoshell. They have some new models I would like to try soon. For big backcountry rides trail runners are the ham!

  22. #22
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    I got tired of grubbing up my lighter colored or white tennies on some hiking and picked up some inexpensive hiker type shoes.
    They have a stable, flat platform and no super-soft rubbery tread. Turns out they make darn decent flat pedal shoes. Big 5 Sporting Goods- anywhere from $18 on up to mid $40's
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  23. #23
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    I just got the Adidas terrex solo swifts. They have the stealth sole and are pretty flat but they have holes in some places, exposing the foam over it. I think these are the newer model since the ones I've seen posted here don't have holes. They are also pretty light, only 245 g per shoe.

    This is what I mean: adidas M TERREX SWIFT SOLO - Robuster griffiger Herren Stealth® Zustieg-Schuh - OutdoorSports24-Shop - 10% Vorkasse-Rabatt und versandkostenfreie Lieferung - Marken-Outdoorsport-Ausrüstung und -Bekleidung

    https://www.alpinetrek.co.uk/adidas-...pproach-shoes/

    The grey triangles are foam, so I don't know if these will work for pedals with screws, since they could rip the foam. But maybe I could adjust the screws(unscrew them a bit) so they don't reach the foam. I have nukeproof electron pedals on the way. Right now I'm using some wellgo's without screws, they just have some rectangular raised areas for grip.

    By the way, does anyone know how to upload pics on here?

  24. #24
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    I bike both pavement and off-road trails (mostly flat multi-purpose with some roots and rocks, but nothing difficult). I ride flat pedals and have been using a pair of lightweight running flats for road riding (Nike Fitsole Lite). For trail riding I use my Merrell Moab low hikers, but want something less bulky. I began looking at lightweight trail running shoes, specifically those with zero drop (heel to toe) such as https://runnerclick.com/merrell-vapor-glove-2-review/. Merrells seem to fit me well with their wide toe box. I don't especially want a bike specific shoe.

    Am I looking in the right direction or are there better options such as cross-trainers?

  25. #25
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    I tell ya I went for a family ride on some flat pavement and some access road trail in a pair of trail running shoes...oh man worst ride ever... grip was ok but the support and pedal power made me think I was in flip flops. Feet went forward, shoe and soles bending... my feet were sore and never broke 15 mph.. had there been a hill I would rather had walked..

    my 5.10 spitfires are older now, and looking for some new ones.. I do want lighter but the search is not easy if you want good grip... no great grip..

    5.10 makes some trail runners tho

  26. #26
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    I have a similar footwear view as you. Want to be able to hike around either hab or adventuring. Agree that a compromise must be made (tread hike grip vs no tread pedal grip). Also think thicker soles will be better for continuous impact absorption. I vary between Altra Olympus or Lone Peaks with longish flat ended screws and are fine for anything non-World Cup and soles hold up ok.

  27. #27
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    Salomon! Did I mention the Salomons? Salomon all the way!
    Those who have those ... V's on the sole to provide grip, as in the photo someone else posted in the thread. Those are super light and great, and give you plenty of grip for pushing the bike up the steepest uphills (I've been able to climb up steep dirt river embankements using those).

    Another great advice is Keens, for every time you need to wade torrents. I just wished I could find a Keen alternative that weighed a bit less. Keens are my choice for biking in the Sierra, for wading torrents.

  28. #28
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    I run with Hoka One One shoes. Love them for both trail and road running. They work pretty well with flat pedals when I use them.

  29. #29
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    6pm.com has Adidas Terrex Solo-somethings for about $70 right now. I just bought a pair. hopefully they hold up better than my Giro Jackets.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattyice View Post
    Great shoe. I've done XC running, MTB on flats and hiked in em. Have had my current pair for 5+years and they seem to be indestructable. Little on the heavy side if you're going to race XC (running) but they are stable, grippy and rugged. Yes you can even run down descents on wet, slick rocks.

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    Merrell Moab waterproof (Goretex) are my favorite hikers and I wear them all the time. Just seems they are too heavy/bulky to work on flat pedals. I'm trying a Merrell barefoot trail runner and it seems to be a good compromise, though I find the grip to be less than ideal on the pedals. I suppose it is a trade off between traction on the trails and the pedals.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucapcp View Post
    Salomon! Did I mention the Salomons? Salomon all the way!
    Those who have those ... V's on the sole to provide grip, as in the photo someone else posted in the thread. Those are super light and great, and give you plenty of grip for pushing the bike up the steepest uphills (I've been able to climb up steep dirt river embankements using those). Another great advice is Keens, for every time you need to wade torrents. I just wished I could find a Keen alternative that weighed a bit less. Keens are my choice for biking in the Sierra, for wading torrents.


    Wish I could wear Salomons . . my son swears by them . . . . but they just don't fit me well and I find my Keens to be too wide in the toe box for the pedals. Asics are always a good fit and I sometimes wear my Gel running shoes when biking, but the tread is a bit too much.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailGoat View Post
    i also vote for the Salomon XA PRO 3D. I have used nothing but these for trail running for the last 8ish years. I have also used them for weekend backpacking trips. they are great. I always opt for the gortex version for the waterproofing peace of mind. both salomon and gortex have great warranties and stand behind their products
    I'll vote for these. I don't run in mine much but use them for winter fat biking and general fat bike exploring around lakes and rivers since they are waster proof, grip good enough, and are still comfy to walk in.

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