If you ride either unicycles or BMX bikes, what shoes?

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Nyah, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Nyah

    Nyah
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    I'd like to try unicycling (road-riding, not muni) and am not sure if minimalist shoes will work for it. Before my realization of minimalist footwear, I would've chosen among the classic models of Vans for this. Not now, though, as I can no-longer accept such a badly-shaped compartment over my foot. Will super-flexible minimalist shoes be too uncomfortable pedaling? If so, would one of Altra's non-minimalist shoes work and, if so, are there some models that are more recommended than others? Do these Altras have ridiculous arch-support that can't easily be removed? I should probably take out my old bicycle and test it with minimalist shoes before even posting this but, it's too rainy at the moment so, I might as well go ahead and get your opinions on it.

    Edit:
    I've tried my minimalist shoes on a BMX bike with DX-type pedals. I no longer have any concerns about riding with them. There might be a different issue to be concerned about though, such as damage to the sole when using metal pedals. I'll probably try some pedals made out of rubber.
     
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    #1 Nyah, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  2. Barefoot TJ

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    Hello, Nyah. It's been a while. Good to hear from you.
     
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  3. Nyah

    Nyah
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    SweetT J, it's always nice to see you up on my screen.
     
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  4. Nyah

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    After only four days of learning to ride a unicycle, the sole of one of my Feelmax Osma original model shoes is breaking up. I refurbished it with Shoegoo. The damage didn't really show up until I was starting to get forward movement down, via consistent pedaling. This tells me that plastic bear-trap style pedals are too aggressive for minimalist shoes. I'm going to switch them for pedals intended for beach-cruiser bikes. They're supposed to be comfortable enough to be ridden bare-footed so, hopefully, a viable solution to the problem.

    If only I could get classic-style Vans with extra width in the big toe area (and maybe less width at the back - essentially the shape of Altras). The design would be incredibly easy for the maker to implement. On classic Vans, the sole is essentially just a sheet of patterned gum rubber approx 3/8" or 1/2" thick. This is stacked with an insole and then wrapped with rubber tape that makes up the side-wall. So the only real difference would be a sole piece that's cut to the different shape. In addition to using this shoe for unicycling, I'd also use it for skateboarding. I wish I'd included that in the name of this thread. BMX riders would also be able to use this shoe. There seems to be a complete dearth of shoe options for minimalist footwear fans who miss these sports.
     
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    #4 Nyah, Aug 12, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  5. Nyah

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    In addition to ordering some rubber-block pedals, I took a power grinder to all of the teeth on my plastic pedals. They're now smooth, perfect for minimalist shoes. They probably wouldn't work for someone on a bicycle but for a unicycle, especially while learning, they are apparently fine. I practiced with them yesterday and my feet never felt like they were going to slip off.
     
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  6. Nyah

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    I just discovered a shoe that might be what I'm looking for. The Hiit XL from Altra. It's apparently been out for at least a year now and I'm only hearing about it just now. Bad marketing on Altra's part. It's not even on their website.
     
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  7. Nyah

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    In researching these, I found that, according to the consensus of customers who bought this shoe on huge online shoe retailer, the fit of this model, in comparison to other Altras, is too narrow in the mid-foot and the opposite in the back-end (causing heel-slippage). I'll be checking out the updated version, 1.5, instead.

    Edit:
    I've since tried the Altra Hiit XT 1.5
    Verdict: they're terrible shoes. You can find my detailed review of them here:
    https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/altra-hiits-are-the-pits.21453/
     
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    #7 Nyah, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  8. Nyah

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    I finally settled on a shoe for unicycling. The Lems Primal 2 are working for me. For the first three weeks of learning I wore a pair of previously-retired Feelmax Osma original model without insoles but the un-cushioned ejections started taking a toll, forcing me to stop. My injuries healed up fairly quickly but it took a lot more time for me to settle on a pair of shoes. It would be great if I could find a classic Vans-type shoe with a foot-friendly shape, because then I could also use it for skateboarding as well. The Lems Primal 2 are severely in-optimal for skateboarding but for unicycling at least, they seem suitable. They're the most cushioned minimalist shoe I'd seen yet. For running, I prefer my Altra Adams. For the un-natural action that happens with surprise ejections from the unicycle, the Lems (probably their Mariner 2 model as well, which I also tried on in the store) work.
     
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