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For much of my 40-year adult cycling career I chose to wear regular clothes and footwear. Mainly that was due to a belief that specialized cyclist clothing was something of a fad and an unnecessary expense.

Then one day, while thumbing through the Bike Nashbar bicycling mail-order catalog, I came across a Nashbar brand cross-training cycling/jogging shoe with Velcro straps and decided to try it. That was maybe a decade or so ago and I’ve worn them every bike ride since and never regretted the decision. Only recently did I buy a replacement because the Velcro strap on one of the Nashbar shoes no longer holds reliably.

I found that I needed to modify the shoes because the toothed rubber on the front of the soles, designed for grip when jogging, prevented them from entering my mini toe clips, about which I’ll talk more later. I had to carve off the excess with a utility knife. The photo below illustrates this, plus other details.

Nashbar cross-training shoes after modifying front of soles for use with mini toe clips

I really like the Velcro straps and that was an essential feature when I chose these shoes, plus their economical price. The Velcro makes for a quick on-off of the shoes but also holds them securely on the feet.

I didn’t realize before I bought them that cycling shoes have a steel plate integrated into the sole but it makes perfect sense. It’s not simply to allow attachment of a cleat for a clipless pedal if you have one: Its primarily to stiffen the sole so that when you press down, instead of the shoe flexing, all the force you apply is transmitted to the pedal.

Of course, this type of shoe is not as comfortable for walking, because it doesn’t have the flexibility in the sole of a regular shoe, but you quickly adapt.

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