The Shoe Thread

Feb 13, 2002
Seattle, WA
Continuing my broke-a ss trend of figuring out how to make all my stuff last the longest: Shoes.

I have one pair of shoes. Currently they are Etnies es or something. These are great and have lasted me 1.5 years so far. This is most likely because I wasn't riding for appox 1 of those 1.5 years. The uppers are still fine, but the pins on my pedals are chewing out little holes in the shoes (my feet have to be in exactly the right place on the pedal).

I have noticed that skinny-pinned pedals (cullys, truvativ) grip excellent but chew out shoe holes very quickly, at which point they grip like crap. I am currently a die-hard Atomlab trailking man. PERFECT pins with consistent grip over the life of the shoe (the bearings are fine on mine because I am not a fat hack :evil: ) Also, certain shoes tend to get chewed up much more quickly. I love Vans Rowleys to death for the mad steeze and comfort but, god help them, the soles are made of bubblegum.

For awhile I was considering running different pedals on my BMX and my MTB so the shoes would have pins chewing on them in different places and last twice as long, but I love trailkings so much I don't really want to do that.

I also should be commuting to work on my clipless pedals, but I hit the trails after work and I am SO over clips (particularly on the AS-X).

I considered sticky-rubber shoes, but I expect they will die very quickly if I'm riding on them for ~2 hours every day. Also, they are severely lacking in the steeze department, and I like to wear the same pair of shoes for riding and for ballin'.

Anyway, my intention here is to start an intelligent discussion of grip and shoe-life. Am I doomed to replace my shoes every 3 weeks? Should I get one pair of pimpin' shoes and one pair of riding shoes? Can the pedal pin gouges in the sole be repaired? Once the rubber gets old does it dry out and get chewed up easier?


PS: Discussing shoes does not make me a fruitcake. I am a man. A big hairy man.


Turbo Monkey
Jan 19, 2005
North Carolina
Big hairy man types a lot of words...:)

1.5 years? Replace you're shoes. They wear out. I would buy another pair of Etnies like the ones you currently have. Then, buy a pair of 5.10 shoes *gasp*. DO IT. Switch shoes out for different types of riding and enjoy.

*oh and I am currently using Etnies and 5.10s and Speedplay Drillium pedals...fyi


May 25, 2005
Isla Vista, CA
I rode some Adio shoes for a while, which had really sticky rubber. Worked great, but after a year or so of use, the bottom of the shoe developed a huge tear in it, which goes straight through the shoe.


Turbo Monkey
Dec 18, 2004
spokane, WA
vans are always a good price for a durable shoe with great grip... ive bought 4 pairs of rowley xlt's. i think they discontinued that model though... the replacement is like the rowley xl2 or xl3. the classic waffle grip is great for riding. right now im riding vans dr. t's, but they are a bit heavier than the xlts.


Jun 10, 2002
i hate the Vans Waffle sole.

i say definitely have 2 pair of shoes. i had some Etnies (Joe Rich model) that were comfy as hell, but as soon as i started wearing them all the time, instead of just when riding, they died quickly (i was running Atomlab Air Corps). they lasted just under a year. i'm digging my Orchids right now. they're more comfortable than the Etnies, have the same herringbone inspired sole, and they have leather over the heel cup, preventing tearing.

for ballin, i alternate between the Orchids, a pair of Oakley Radars, and a pair of running shoes.

the Radars, while good for riding, and super stiff, couldn't match the Orchids for pedal grip. man i love that sole.


Mar 22, 2005
Kelso, WA
i use a pair of columbia light hiking boots. they are waterproof and are lighter than most shoes i have. stiff soles, great traction, and they are like GLUE on every bike iv'e ever ridden. high tops protect ankles. its a fluke i even tried em biking but my riding shoes were wet so i gave er' a go. soles will last forever, and i swear they stick so good sometimes its scary. the model of boot is called "trail dawg" check em out, you wont be sorry.


Jul 27, 2005
East Coast
I currently use Adio Kenny Anderson's and they're great but they're also on the rough side as of late so I'm probably going to get these "SCG" Tyrant shoes that Dans Comp sells for $20, about the same shoe as the "five ten" but like everything in bmx..its cheaper.


Born Again Newbie
Sep 5, 2001
Blah Blah and Blah
Well recently I just came to the realization that I can't ride clips for sh*t...so I've been using flats for absolutely type of riding I do.

I've also became pretty critical about my riding shoes - don't get me wrong, I think a good pair of flat pedals is as important, but the shoes is what makes the difference. I tried riding with a few other pair of shoes I have (e.g. Oakley, Vans, ...) but they don't offer the grip the Five Ten offer, which I've came to love!

The Impacts are worth every penny for me - Lately I've been doing a lot of trail riding and they aren't showing much wear. I say get a separate pair of kicks for ballin' and get some sticky shoes for riding.

I recently got a pair of Lake to try out, but I still doubt they will be any better than my 5.10's

- L


Underwater monkey
Mar 9, 2005
I used to ride Etnies, and loved them till I tried some Ipaths. Found the Ipaths to grip much better, and last longer. Had a couple pairs over a few seasons, and loved them except for one thing...Trails here are retarded rocky, and sideswiping rocks ripped out the sides on them. Duct tape was my newfound friend...

2 months ago I found the perfect shoe. Globes.
Rubber-tooth armoured on the sides for doing kickflips, but also works for me as rock and tree guards. Perfect grips on the bottom.
I just looked at the model name, they are the Rodney Mullen S4. Best of all, I found them in a dingey shop here that threw them to me for only $30, just to get them out the door. Seems nobody in Korea has size 13 feet except me, and they were sitting for a while...

I'm happy, and looking for more of the same, just to have when these ones finally die.

Mine are black/grey, but this gives you an idea about the side plating...


Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2005
DVS grip pretty well and have a pretty hard rubber compound. They last a good while and are pretty comfy too.

I also really like the Emerica Ellington's. They are my favorite shoe of all time. They grip very well and last a long time. The only downside is they are $90 or something like that.

Lakai's work pretty well too. Some pairs can be had for around $60 which isn't bad. They do however wear out very fast.

Circa's probably last the longest. I had my old Circa CM801's for close to 2 years before I had to throw them away. But, some of the Circa's cost upwards of $90 although some are in the $65 range.


May 9, 2003
I got the lotek troops they are really nice, but I havce only had them for 2 or so months, but they still look new. Before them I had DC Axis and they lasted me for about a year and a half, the sole id really thin though.
May 12, 2005
roanoke va
if you go for a sticky ruber shoe, don't wear them around town or ballin.
a) they look dorky
b) cement will tear them a new one faster then riding 3 hour a day will tear up dress shoes
c) they leave massave skid marks that are a biach to get up.
they do stick almost to good to flats and if you only use them for riding, even at an average of 2 hours a day, they should last ~2 years depending on your pedals. mine have worn well this season, and i'm getin average of 2 hours a day, but i've worn them around to school, work and such, so i'm gona have to get a new pair mid next season