Any shoe is a bike shoe once you slap it on a pedal, so in effect, I have a closet full of cycling shoes. That said, I’m a devotee of the tippy-tappy variety that attaches to the aforementioned pedals, if only to maximize my somewhat mediocre power output. The consequence of that devotion is a shelf in the basement, near the bike rack that houses my snow shoveling boots, but also a pod of cycling shoes of various specialization.
Quick aside: Why are they called clipless pedals when clipping is exactly what they do? Yes. I understand it’s a holdover from when the pros rode with toe clips, but it’s wrong, logically and linguistically. How can it be that you are meant to clip into a clipless pedal? And why did we ever call toe clips, clips? They’re more like pockets. You shoved your foot into a toe pocket to gain some level of purchase. Or maybe they’re just crappy stirrups.
The shoes on the cycling shoe shelf are: one pair white road shoes, one pair black mountain (gum sole), one pair Gore-tex winter boot (minimalist), one pair Gore-tex winter boot (maximalist). There is a further pair of old Sidi MTB shoes with a broken buckle that I don’t want to part with. I did buy the replacement buckles, but, and you Sidi folks will know what I’m talking about, I got the small ones not the big ones I needed. So those are “dead stock,” but I will ride them again one day.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, “He’s just gonna blaze right past that bit about wearing white road shoes.” Look, it is absolutely asinine for a guy who doesn’t shave his legs to wear white road shoes, and that’s exactly why I invested in a pair. The juxtaposition of Euro pro with Hobbit-chic was irresistible to me.
The two pairs of winter riding boots seem like overkill, but cold climate riders will back me up on this. There’s a big, big difference between riding at 30F and riding at 10F. Also, one pair was given to me to review back in the RKP days. When you live in a snowy place boots of all types seem to proliferate like rabbits in the spring. Are my boots mating in the darkness of the nighttime basement? Could be.
Before that visual settles in your mind, let’s get to brass tacks. This week’s TCIF asks, how many pairs of cycling shoes do you own? Is it too many? Just enough? How often do you replace the ones you’ve got? I never know how long they go on, especially since they do so little walking.