Shoes for footbiking: a new thought

Vivo Barefoot shoesFor my Thanksgiving ten-miler through a local golf course this morning, I put on some rubber-soled street shoes for some reason. The soles were kind of thin and I realized I could feel the bike a little more than usual.

And as the heels were barely higher than the soles, I had a revelation.

Regarding deck height, many kickers have thought through the shoe angle: If the shoes were thinner, it would effectively lower the deck … but the kicking foot would also be lower, negating the advantage.

But, the kicking foot kicks with the ball of the foot, while the standing foot is resting on the heel. So if the heel of the shoe were even with or lower than the sole, the deck height would effectively be lowered.

The old Earth Shoes come to mind, albeit briefly, being too klunky for footbiking. (Actually, I find they’re still in existence, and selling a lightweight style or two.) What might be better are low basketball-type sneakers, or even Vivo Barefoot shoes, which have an ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole, and which strive to replicate the barefoot stance, but with warmth and protection.

I have a feeling that the natural, barefoot, stance is better for most applications including kicking, that stance being the result of our original equipment.

Anything besides the running shoes that some kickers habitually wear, with their giant built-up heels.

UPDATE: I bought some skateboard shoes and as a test I put one on and put my old kicking shoe on the other foot. Standing straight, I could feel about a half-inch difference in heel height. And on the bike (with both shoes on, duh), it does feel as though I lowered my deck a half-inch.

I know nothing of the skateboard world, but they’ve been around a long time (I broke my leg on one of the first commercial skateboards in 1961) and the idea is the same as kicking, so I took a gamble on the development of their shoe technology. They’ve apparently thought this through long ago.


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