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Flat sports shoes for the decrepit wrinkly

montyharding

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Hi. I'm a 40+ and feeling it, and I'm looking for recommendations on a flat shoe in the skate vein for use when cycling + other sports related activities. My usual casual shoe selection ranges from the reinterpreted 'formal trainers' of Paul Smith, to variations on the Caterpillar theme. It's been about 7 years since I've actually done an activity that is specifically sporting, and I have discovered on groping about my shoeboxes that a pair of C1rca flat shoes I bought in 2000 or so has disintegrated
So - what should I buy? I'm obviously not looking for something which screams 'teenager' or 'trying too hard to be young', but I would like it to be stylish. I've been looking around the usual suspects - the current C1rcas, Vans, Etnies, Globe, e's etc but I'm not seeing which really grabs my eye.
 

wmmk

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Don't wear skateboarding shoes. Just don't. I'm fecking 15, and just about everyone at high school has realized that anyone wearing skate shoes who doesn't actually skateboard a lot is probably going to live in his/her mom's basement. Just sayin' Anyway, why do the shoes have to be totally flat? Running shoes are much better for sporting activities than any shoes with completely flat soles. No reason to worry about being stylish when you're out jogging or cycling or whatnot. Anyway, if the shoes must be flat, just get some chucks or something.
 

montyharding

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Originally Posted by wmmk
Don't wear skateboarding shoes. Just don't. I'm fecking 15, and just about everyone at high school has realized that anyone wearing skate shoes who doesn't actually skateboard a lot is probably going to live in his/her mom's basement. Just sayin' Anyway, why do the shoes have to be totally flat? Running shoes are much better for sporting activities than any shoes with completely flat soles. No reason to worry about being stylish when you're out jogging or cycling or whatnot. Anyway, if the shoes must be flat, just get some chucks or something.
The reason is that I'm going to be commuting (a reasonably short distance, so no need for bike-specific wear) often, and the reason they have to be flat is I'm only used to running flat pedals and flat soles work best with them. My bike handling skills / strength may have gone down the toilet, but I still like to have confidence on a bike - and running-type shoes provide too little of a contact area and don't allow me to 'curl' my foot around the pedals. As for style - well, I'm running a ~$9,000 bicycle purely for the aforementioned commute. A little style wouldn't be entirely out of place, would it
Chucks will be a little too old school, I think. @Composer: The Cortez don't look too bad at all. I might check them out. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
 

amnesiac

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adidas stan smith converse jack purcell I know you already have Stan Smiths but I don't think you can really go wrong. Chucks wouldn't be as much old school as maybe contrived or overly youthful perhaps? The JP's are more refined anyway as far as overall aesthetic goes. It's a very polished classic canvas sneaker.
 

montyharding

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Hmmm... I wouldn't say no to Stan Smiths (which I don't actually have) but I worry about white shoes, which is why I've never really even thought about buying them for anything other than court sports. Once it goes off white, it looks like crud...?
 

rfawcett

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If you spent 9kon a bike you might as well spend the money on proper pedals and shoes. I don't ride a bike anymore but when I did I had shoes that would clip into the pedal. Gives you alot more confidence because your feet aren't going anywhere.
 

bbaquiran

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Originally Posted by rfawcett
If you spent 9kon a bike you might as well spend the money on proper pedals and shoes. I don't ride a bike anymore but when I did I had shoes that would clip into the pedal. Gives you alot more confidence because your feet aren't going anywhere.

+1. Clipless pedals and the appropriate shoes. Shimano makes some shoes that look like hiking shoes. Around 5 years ago Vans made a pair of shoes with a SPD-compatible plate in the sole. They looked like regular black Vans skate shoes.

If you spent 9k on a bike, I'm assuming it's a custom road bike and not some downhill/freeride monster.
 

scoon0224

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nike air max's are not flat shoes. They have a thick-ass midsole, with a big ol air pocket in back. No feel on a bike pedal, which is the whole point of his search
 

montyharding

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Originally Posted by bbaquiran
+1. Clipless pedals and the appropriate shoes. Shimano makes some shoes that look like hiking shoes. Around 5 years ago Vans made a pair of shoes with a SPD-compatible plate in the sole. They looked like regular black Vans skate shoes. If you spent 9k on a bike, I'm assuming it's a custom road bike and not some downhill/freeride monster.
Nope, it's a cross-country FS bike. I know SPD's - they're for efficient pedalling over long distances, but if you're not going a long way and have any idea how to ride a bike apart from just pedalling it over everything, then SPD's are not for you. The other problem with 'regular looking' SPD shoes above all is that their tread depth makes the SPD less easy to engage/disengage over a 'proper' MTB/Road shoe. And there's also a good reason that everyone who actually has some bike control skills, as opposed to being the best at spinning their legs while wearing dayglo spandex, runs flats
I need to point out it's not just for biking but also just general loafing around after said commute. And there is absolutely no way I'm going to walk around like a handicapped duck making clacking noises from my shoe just so that the morning commute goes great
 

bbaquiran

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In that case, how about a pair of old-school vans (Vans Rowley etc.) with the soft, gummy waffle sole and pedals with the set screw pins/pegs are a good bet for MTB. This is what a lot of trials riders use, or used back when I was into the sport.
 

montyharding

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Rowleys already ordered along with a couple of others as a hedge before I posted this thread, but as I said, my eye wasn't too taken with them. I just went off the 'standard skate shoe look' - as has, as the posts above indicate - everyone who doesn't actually skate, so was looking for something else.
 

zippyh

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Have you ever actually tried SPDs?

If you're concerned about style, riding a $9K FS MTN bike for a commute with flat pedals is going to negate anything you do. Look up fred.
 

montyharding

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Originally Posted by zippyh
Have you ever actually tried SPDs? If you're concerned about style, riding a $9K FS MTN bike for a commute with flat pedals is going to negate anything you do. Look up fred.
Oh yes. I even ran a DH race with a pair of platform SPD's. I just don't like them in any form, especially not with the casual-style SPD shoes for the reasons I mentioned (not to mention that such casual shoes have to be laced mega-tight when used with SPD's to stop the foot moving in the shoe). And as I also said, I don't like clacking across floors if I were to pick an SPD shoe that I could actually have some confidence in. I'm not sure why we're getting so hung up on SPD's. Flat pedals (and I'm not referring to road touring ones with clip points, but ones like these) are perfectly OK even for ~20-mile round trip commutes if you have shoes that provide good traction. And as I said, my usual commute will be of a distance / speed that it doesn't matter what I ride on. And the fact that I choose to commute on a high-end XC FS bike is simply because I think the bike looks cool even with slicks, FS's are more comfortable and more relevantly because I can. Maybe I'm a 'fred' - I really don't care. I may be a crud now, but I can still manage a 180 from a trackstand most of the time. I just want an all-purpose casual flat soled shoe which is comfy, and e.g. I can step onto the bike, then off and spend the rest of the day in them. So they might get scuffed around a bit, but I'd like them to be stylish. Maybe mentioning the commute bit and the rest was a red herring. PS. The Vans Rowley, another Vans (long name, forget) and the Etnies Fader have arrived. Pretty much what I expected - so I'm still looking for something like that I mentioned above.
 

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