While lots of people laud the greatness of flat pedals, I’m not normally a flat pedals person. I love riding with SPD pedals. The bright snap they make as I clip in, pulling up on the pedal stroke, and the little tick on the pavement when I dismount and walk purposefully to my final destination. I love it.
Usually I wear Sidi’s as my cycling footwear of choice, but when it comes to spring and warm summer days, I like to wear more ventilated shoes. Otherwise, my feet get SO HOT!
Last summer, I picked up a pair of the Keen Commuter Cycling Sandals and have since been using them regularly as my spring and summer commuting footwear.
I slip the Keen’s on, and a tightening “buckle” locks the laces into place. There is no tying of these laces, just cinch them down and go.
Pros: Ventilated, comfortable, easy to walk around and do errands off the bike, still make that cool clicking noise that cycling cleats do, quick to go on the feet, no shoelace tying. This last one is especially important, since no one ever taught me to tie my shoes. KIDDING! Just making sure you were paying attention.
Cons: Laces seem to uncinch a tad while riding, and they are not as narrow in the heel as I would like. Another con is that, since I don’t always wear my Keens with socks, they are developing some foot funk. This is important for you to know should you happen to
run into see me when I’m wearing them. In addition, it takes a little more oomph to unclip with the Keen’s as opposed to my Sidi’s. Nothing unmanageable (or I’d return them), but noticeable.
Verdict: They’re pretty good. I think, overall, they work ideally for people with slightly wider feet than mine (or at least wider in the heel). However, I love the Keen Commuters for days when I know I will be doing a lot of on and off the bike activity. The Keens may not be the best cycling-specific shoes I have ever owned, but they are the best spring and summer commuting shoes I’ve had.
I would only use the Keen’s for 50-mile rides or less, but I know one person that rode them last year at Paris-Brest-Paris. 1240K in Keens… it’s true!
Anybody out there also using the Keens or have other suggestions for some good cycling-specific commuter shoes? The comment line is open!