Shoes for flat pedals- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shoes for flat pedals

    I asked my son to get in a pair of Raceface Chester's for my birthday.

    Assuming he does, what are good shoes to go with flats in the $100 range? When I travel, instead of carrying my clipless pedals and shoes, I rent a bike with flats and have used my Merrill low hikers which seem to work. I've used his Heckler with Chester's and Converse All Stars and that worked too. Do bike shoes made for flats really make a big difference? My son just wears old sneakers/running shoes. Am I overthinking this?

    Thanks and sorry if this question has been asked many time. Going through MTBR, I did not find any readily available post on the subject which surprised me.

  2. #2
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    Plenty of threads that mention 510 shoes which seem to be the defacto standards for flat pedal shoes.

    I just got a pair of Freeriders I'm going to try in the next few days.

  3. #3
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    I personally can't stand the looks of any mountain bike specific flat pedal shoe currently available. Maybe it's because I grew up riding bmx bikes, but I don't want to re-live the chunky late 90s/early 00s era that all these mtn bike shoes somehow still look like. I'd rather just ride in a pair of Vans again.

    With that said, I've had 5.10s before and the grip is phenomenal (better than other shoes I've tried including pearl izumi and shimano). I've recently switched back to hiking/trail run/approach shoes, though, 1) for a wider toe box and 2) I moved to AZ and I like trail shoes for better grip with the inevitable hike-bike sections of steep loose rock.

    ATMO, these days I sort of feel like the size, shape, and grip of the pedal (relative to the size and shape of your foot) make more of a difference than which brand of shoes you buy...plus you can always add a footbed to a slim pair of trail run shoes if you need more support!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba View Post
    Do bike shoes made for flats really make a big difference? My son just wears old sneakers/running shoes. Am I overthinking this?
    The biggest difference is the stiffness, and the stickiness.
    MTB specific flat pedal shoes have a stiffer inner so the shoe doesn't flex, and your foot doesn't bend around the pedal.
    This will make better power transfer, and your feet should be less tired on long rides.
    How well they stick varies from brand to brand, and even within brand.
    They all will stick to the pedals better than a pair of All Stars.
    The stiffness will mess with you at first. They're crappy to walk around in because they don't flex, but they're not walking shoes they're riding shoes.
    The great thing is right now there are a lot of options. A few years ago there was on 5.10
    If you have a local store that is actually open and will allow you try something on that's the best bet.
    I have found that I have to size down for MTB shoes because they are so boxy.
    I wear a 10.5 in all my shoes, and boots, but consistently a 10 in MTB shoes, and I've now owned 3 different brands.

    Currently I'm on the Ride Concepts Live Wire. I love the shoe, but would like a little more grip so when they wear out I'll try another version. Hell Kat I think. Whatever.

    Sometimes REI has sales on 5.10s and Giro so can save some money there.

    good luck

  5. #5
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    I been riding chuck taylor Allstars for the last 6 months. At 1st is was a little strange but the more time I have on them the more I like it. I can't stand the look of 5 10 shoes and I have a pair that are sticky but no more than the chucks. Those 5 10s are boxy and feel like that to me while riding. That is why I tried the converse in the first place.

  6. #6
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    Iíve managed to put holes in my freeriders in a year. Iíve also managed to put holes in my freerider pros in 3 months. Pretty disappointing but I kept wearing them. Now the inner cardboard has shattered into 5 pieces and the insoles arenít flat anymore. I need something thatís tougher.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverTeletubby View Post
    Iíve managed to put holes in my freeriders in a year. Iíve also managed to put holes in my freerider pros in 3 months. Pretty disappointing but I kept wearing them. Now the inner cardboard has shattered into 5 pieces and the insoles arenít flat anymore. I need something thatís tougher.
    I just recently switched to flats after many years on clipless and this is why I went with RC shoes rather than 5 10s. I must have read a hundred comments in the past few months pretty much saying the exact same thing you just said. Nice and sticky but not durable.

    After 2 months or so of riding the livewires with Chester and one-up pedals pin damage is nearly nonexistent.

  8. #8
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    I've used RC and five tens with about the same results 5-6 months at best but I like the feel of both so I stick with them. I've used vans and Converse allstars but they only last 3-4 months at best. Been looking at maybe trying some adidas superstars in the future.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    i find vans very grippy. try atwoods. my freeriders just wore through after 1 year and i cant afford new ones every year. unless you're riding world cup dh vans are fine

  10. #10
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    Old BMX'er from the early 80's. Vans for life. I probably have over 50 pairs.
    Bucksaw, Farley, and a Sturgis....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverTeletubby View Post
    Iíve managed to put holes in my freeriders in a year. Iíve also managed to put holes in my freerider pros in 3 months. Pretty disappointing but I kept wearing them. Now the inner cardboard has shattered into 5 pieces and the insoles arenít flat anymore. I need something thatís tougher.
    This is also my issue. 2 months on 510s and a few of the circles on the soles are starting to look like crescent moons.
    Then again, my riding buddies have 510s that are going on 2 years with minimum wear.

  12. #12
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    Thanks to all that responded. I have some ideas now.

  13. #13
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    I wear cheap vans, work well for me.

  14. #14
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    By cheap Vans, you something like the Converse All Stars I have? I.E. nothing special in the way of a sticky bottom or a firmer sole? I get my All Stars for around $50.
    Thanks

  15. #15
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    5.10s have been the "go to" shoes for years. But recent batches seem to lacking quality. Ride Concepts have seemed to be the up and coming flat pedal shoes.

    I would suggest looking Enties for a skate style shoe. They have different styles/stiffness.

    https://www.etnies.com/us/mens/shoes/

  16. #16
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    Vans are too flimsy and unsupportive for me. I use Freerider Pro's because I like a stiff sole. I get a bit over a year out of them. That's totally acceptable for an athletic shoes. Even my basketball shoes would be worn out after one season when I played competitively.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karmatp View Post
    I wear cheap vans, work well for me.
    That's totally acceptable for an athl 192.168.100.1 192.168.1.1 jpg to pdf etic shoes. Even my basketball shoes would be worn out after one season when I played competitively.
    Last edited by polotadisa; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:29 AM.

  18. #18
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    I tried trail/running shoes but they didnít grip all that good. Went to Nordstrom rack and got some nice vans for $40 and they work great and have taken quite a beating and are still serviceable two years later. I always wore vans for bmx so it could be a bit biased as well

  19. #19
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    When I switched from clipless to flats, I wear Vans for them. That was back in 2006. Truth be told, I've been wearing Vans since I was 12 or 13 so I am absolutely biased.

  20. #20
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    I have enjoyed my specialized 2foís for the past year
    2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
    2017 Rocky Mountain Blizzard -50
    2015 Giant Fastroad

  21. #21
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    Just get the 5.10's Rev. They are stiffer for better power transfer and they are better at sticking to the Chesters, as well.
    Just call me Ray

  22. #22
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    How do you like the grip and how does the rubbler on the bottom wear on the pedal pins for those specialized 2fo?
    Last edited by timsmcm; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:11 PM.

  23. #23
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    If you want to try skate shoes maybe look at DC or Etnie. I bought my kid some DC shoes because the sole was firmer then his Vans plus they don't have that waffle pattern on the bottom which gets torn up quickly on the pedals.

  24. #24
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    I was using regular skate shoes at first. Bit the bullet with some basic $100 510 Freerides and couldn't believe the different level of grip. Definitely worth bike specific shows. The Freerides are ok. Not the most comfortable but not awful. Pedal grip is great though.

  25. #25
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    Final Decision:

    I received the Raceface Chesters for my birthday from my son and my wife is buying me shoes of my choice to go with them.

    I decided on the Five Ten Freerider DLX. They get a fair amount of recommendations and my LBS has them in stock. Wear may or may not be an issue. I am not hard on bike shoes and have been using the same pair of Sidi MTB shoes for over ten years. Maybe 15. They have lasted so long, I don't even remember where I bought them.

    Thanks again for all the input.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba View Post
    Final Decision:

    I received the Raceface Chesters for my birthday from my son and my wife is buying me shoes of my choice to go with them.

    I decided on the Five Ten Freerider DLX. They get a fair amount of recommendations and my LBS has them in stock. Wear may or may not be an issue. I am not hard on bike shoes and have been using the same pair of Sidi MTB shoes for over ten years. Maybe 15. They have lasted so long, I don't even remember where I bought them.

    Thanks again for all the input.
    Have fun. I can promise you one thing though your 510's will not last 15 years if you use them. 15 months maybe

  27. #27
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    I ride six months. I ski six months. Sometimes I ride my road bike. I should get three years out of the 510's.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by UEDan View Post
    This is also my issue. 2 months on 510s and a few of the circles on the soles are starting to look like crescent moons.
    Then again, my riding buddies have 510s that are going on 2 years with minimum wear.
    There is quite a difference between OG 5.10 shoes and post Adidas buy out 5.10s...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesPM View Post
    There is quite a difference between OG 5.10 shoes and post Adidas buy out 5.10s...
    Would you say the increase wear due to softer materials attribute to additional grip or just extra hobby costs?

  30. #30
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    I keep thinking about trying a pair of 5 10s but when I've tried them on the past they just didn't feel that comfortable. I've been using Vans Old Skools for the past year and they actually seem to work well enough. Really, I've toured in Vans and done back to back 120 mile days without issue. Obviously mountain biking is different. For now I'll keep rolling with Vans. Oh and I use Chester pedals. The combos works for me.

    What's really crazy is that when I'm riding dirt roads in the summer, I'm all about Bedrock Sandals. They work well and feel great in the heat. Obviously you don't want to wreck in them. And you wouldn't want to use them for mountain biking. I prefer the basic model for cycling.
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  31. #31
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    I just bought some Ride Concepts Livewires. they are a bit more stiff than my old Freeriders, but the Freeriders were pretty worn out. so far, they feel great. I missed a turn at a local trail and ended up doing a lot of hiking on a steep hillside. the Livewire soles gave me confidence in spades on the loose, steep rocks and soil. so far, I love em, but I hope they will offer a little more flex as the break in.

  32. #32
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    Has anyone ever used the leatt 3.0 flat pedal shoes? Wonder how they hold up.

  33. #33
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    Shoes for flat pedals

    Jeezus. You guys are animals. I'm on season 2 with my Freerider Pros and they look mint.

    I have maybe 5 pair of 5-10s. They all stink like a$$, they get wet and don't dry out for days (and stink even more), they make my feet numb after 1.5 hours, and all of them are ugly AF. But they seem to last for me.

    Like I said - you guys are animals.

    EDIT: about the worst thing that has happened to my 5-10s has been the non-biking pair I wear with jeans that my GF bought me for xmas 2 xmases ago that I f'ed up the rear cuff by trying to put them on without untying them. That's it. And I counted. I have 7 pair. All functional. Some 10+ years old. He11, I even have an old white and green pair of the Sam Hills. Those are ooooold. And yeah - you guessed it - still lots of life left in them.

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    Shoes for flat pedals-img_0145.jpg
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