Flat pedal newbie here - question about shoes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flat pedal newbie here - question about shoes

    So my first ever pair of flat pedals is supposed to be on the big brown UPS truck for delivery today and I am trying to figure out what do do about shoes. I have been riding clipless for 30 years, so this is going to be a big experiment for me. I am used to cycling shoes having Velcro and straps, but it seems that all the shoes designed for flats have laces. Why? Laces just come undone and get caught up in your crank. The only ones I have seen without laces seem to be the $150 Shimano's and I am not quite ready to spend that much money on shoes for an experiment that might not last too long. So I guess my question is whether anybody makes a Velcro strap type of shoe that is designed for flats and doesn't cost $150. None of the shops around here carry any flat pedal shoes except for REI and all they have are 5 10's.
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  2. #2
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    FWIW, I have laces on my 510s and that has never happened.

    I do a double knot, and so far so good.

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  3. #3
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    My 510's have laces. I just tuck the bows under the top cross laces. No problems.
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  4. #4
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    I have never had my laces come undone and get caught up in crank since elementary school. I guess its a style and "steeze" thing. Also, it isn't needed to be as tight as there won't be any pulling up component. And nothing says awesome bail and crash as going full yardsale and having shoes flying off somewhere while your glasses go off somewhere else!
    Oh and if you get shoes in non-clown colors, you can wear them casually too. I like using my first gen Danny Mckaskills for walking around too.
    And if you forget your shoes for your after work ride, you can use your work shoes too! My SAS shoes actually gripped pedals awesome!

  5. #5
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    I always tuck the laces in. I prefer laces to all the BS straps, buckles, and boa junk.
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  6. #6
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    Laces allow you to better fine-tune the fit. As other have stated, just tuck the extra in.

    With 5.10's, I've never even had a lace come loose. Tie them in a proper bow (if your bow has a granny knot instead of a square knot, it won't be as secure- I had to force my brain to relearn how to tie shoes when I realized I was doing this) and pull it tight as hell.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Why?
    I blame fashion, laces are cooler.


    Personally I think ratchets or boa are more practical and offer a better and more customizable fit.
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  8. #8
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    My 5-10s are switched to Lock Laces. Simple to put on, simple to tuck. No issues, 5-10's are awesome with a good set of pedals with pins. I use RaceFace Chesters. Love 'em.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Personally I think ratchets or boa are more practical and offer a better and more customizable fit.
    Pretty much anything that goes on your feet is like this. If you've ever rock climbed, look at the shoes- velcro is the easiest, laces offer the best fit. No other real options because of size and weight.

    I also own single and double mountaineering boots. They just have good lacing systems (lowers laces have a lock and are essentially separate from the upper laces). BOA's are getting more common though.

    And then you get into AT/ski/snowboard boots...ratchets replace velcro on the simplicity end, and again you see BOA in the high end...but no matter what application, they're always finicky and overly prone to failure.

    If someone has really done BOA well on MTB shoes, then more power to them. But as a whole, laces are a clear winner and likely to remain mostly the sole option for flat MTB shoes.

    Easy solution: learn to love them. Five Tens should work great for most people's feet, because they're made to be generic. No high arch, fairly wide, lots of padding to allow eventual break-in to your foot shape. Pay attention to where the shoe is too tight or too loose, and adjust the laces accordingly. For the same reason that they don't come untied, the fat laces tend to hold tension, so if you just snug up your bows and assume the laces will slip and even out (more like a pair of Vans)...you're probably gonna feel some tightness at the bottom and wiggle around at the top, or vice versa.

    Not to mansplain laces to anyone, just sayin'.

  10. #10
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    Laces out Dan!

    in light of the conversation, it had to be said

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Pretty much anything that goes on your feet is like this. If you've ever rock climbed, look at the shoes- velcro is the easiest, laces offer the best fit. No other real options because of size and weight.


    Obviously you've never tried on a good pair of cycling shoes with boa or ratchet straps.

    Hate the laces
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneTheJeep View Post
    nice sig!

  13. #13
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    I've ridden bikes nearly my entire life, from training wheels to MTB, the better part of a half century, all in shoes with laces. I don't have problems with my shoes coming untied, and have never had them get caught up in cranks or anything else. I suppose it is a bit surprising that stuff hasn't caught on the laces and untied them, but it hasn't happened, although they are regularly clotted with burrs. YMMV.

  14. #14
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    510 Freerider Pro now have an elastic loop on the tongue area to tuck in the extra lace - some 5.10 (like my Maltese Falcon) also have a flap that covers the laces.
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  15. #15
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    Someday 510 will come out with a modern shoe.
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  16. #16
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    btw just kidding so all you 510 fanboys can settle down.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Obviously you've never tried on a good pair of cycling shoes with boa or ratchet straps.

    Hate the laces
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Someday 510 will come out with a modern shoe.
    Adidas Trail Cross SL - too bad they're so pricey and aren't sold many places. They also have laces but are far more comfy with my wide-ish forefoot than any Five Tens I've tried.

    I also have a set of Giro clipless shoes with 2 velcro/1 ratchet and have to agree that they're easier to fit, especially if you have feet that fall anywhere outside what manufacturers thinks they should be.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  18. #18
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    So I did my first 2 unclipped rides in 30 years this past weekend. On Friday, laces held up fine. On Saturday I had to re-tie twice. But at least they didn't get caught in the crank. I do like the more comfortable shoes. I got some Bontragers. And what the heck is a BOA? I thought it was a rather large snake. I had a HS biology teacher who used to keep one in a glass cage on the side of the classroom. He would take it out to walk the halls after school sometime. Scared the hell out of the custodian.
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  19. #19
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    BOA is new and only been around for 30 years now....haha

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    On Saturday I had to re-tie twice. But at least they didn't get caught in the crank. I do like the more comfortable shoes. I got some Bontragers. And what the heck is a BOA?
    Tuck the bow under as mentioned above.

    Not the snake. These work better.
    https://www.boafit.com/products
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    So I did my first 2 unclipped rides in 30 years this past weekend. On Friday, laces held up fine. On Saturday I had to re-tie twice. But at least they didn't get caught in the crank. I do like the more comfortable shoes. I got some Bontragers. And what the heck is a BOA? I thought it was a rather large snake. I had a HS biology teacher who used to keep one in a glass cage on the side of the classroom. He would take it out to walk the halls after school sometime. Scared the hell out of the custodian.
    Just to reiterate:

    https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/grannyknot.htm

    And then pull them suckers TIGHT.

    At the end of the day, you will have to pull HARD on the lace to untie them. No reason for them to come undone on the trail.

    I'd say YMMV, but unless they've switched to different laces, it definitely shouldn't...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Just to reiterate:

    https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/grannyknot.htm

    And then pull them suckers TIGHT.

    At the end of the day, you will have to pull HARD on the lace to untie them. No reason for them to come undone on the trail.

    I'd say YMMV, but unless they've switched to different laces, it definitely shouldn't...
    Holy cow. I had no idea that tying my shoes could be that complicated.
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  23. #23
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    Or BOA, just twist one dial. If you're running late for a ride you can do it on the bike.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Holy cow. I had no idea that tying my shoes could be that complicated.
    No kidding! Granny knot? Lol

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Holy cow. I had no idea that tying my shoes could be that complicated.
    That dude is definitely some kind of strange shoe-tying fanatic, but his site had good info. Shrug.

    The granny knot thing is legit. They don't stay tied nearly as well.

  26. #26
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    Tuck the bow in. Granny or knot, it'll stay put.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  27. #27
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    my wife works for a major bike manufacturer .. she keeps bringing me home mtb shoes.. first ones where horrid spd specific ones.. I HAAATE them, 2nd were more casual shoe style but with spd .. don't hate them as much..

    I still ride mainly in skate shoes..

    I really wish my wife got a discount on the freaking 5.10's .. i'm just going to buy a pair of the freeeriders soon..

    clipless pedals can **** right off.. flat pedal 4 life yo...

  28. #28
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    I have had laces come loose and get caught in the crank. It is not fun. On any shoe I ride in I switch out the laces for Lock Laces

    Personally I wear Sketcher Vigor 2.0 shoes for everything, walking, hiking, biking. They have a very soft front so are good for walking, a hard rubber middle, so are stiff in the arch support area, and medium stiff heal. They have gel inner cushion. And you can find them on Amazon for half or less than the price of 5.10s or other bike shoes. I buy them 2 or 3 pair at a time.

  29. #29
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    Well, just to prove that I am in fact a moron, it took me a week to notice that the shoes had an elastic loop for tucking in laces. So the lace problem is solved.

    I like these shoes now except for one thing - they retain my foot sweat like a mofo. By the end of a 2 hour ride in SC heat an humidity, I have sweat pouring out from the few openings these things offer. I am used to spd shoes that at least have some mesh to breathe a little bit. The flats just keep it all in. That will be nice if it ever cools down around here, but for now, it is a sweat fest.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Well, just to prove that I am in fact a moron, it took me a week to notice that the shoes had an elastic loop for tucking in laces. So the lace problem is solved.

    I like these shoes now except for one thing - they retain my foot sweat like a mofo. By the end of a 2 hour ride in SC heat an humidity, I have sweat pouring out from the few openings these things offer. I am used to spd shoes that at least have some mesh to breathe a little bit. The flats just keep it all in. That will be nice if it ever cools down around here, but for now, it is a sweat fest.
    What shoes did you end up with?

  31. #31
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    Bontragers. They were the only flat pedal shoes at any bike shop in town. They are very comfortable and great except for the sweat thing.
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