I received an email from a co-worker yesterday with a link to check out these shoes. They are a high heeled sandal designed specifically for cycling. Although I don’t really consider myself a true “cyclist” I do enjoy going out riding my bike as often as I can, mostly on rail trails in York and Lancaster counties. I must say that in all the years I have been in the shoe business, and during all the hours on my bike, I have never been asked for a shoe such as this or even had it occur to me that there could even be a market for such a shoe.
I did a little research online and I have found that this seems to be a fairly new, but growing trend especially in larger cities and in Europe where commuting by bicycle is more common. A few of the articles and posts I read cite reasons from not wanting to carry and change into another pair of shoes to a simple desire to look and feel “fashionable” while engaging in an activity they enjoy. I must admit I was skeptic and even thought it to be a “gimmick” at first, but after looking around…WHY NOT??? I mean who wants to be on vacation, out on a bike tour, stopping for lunch at a cafe or do a little shopping and look like they’re in the middle of the Tour de France? How about stopping at your local coffee shop during your commute to work in a skirt or suit wearing sneakers?
While I certainly can not dismiss the concept, I also can not condone it without exceptions. First and foremost safety should be a consideration. I have done some mountain biking and ridden some pretty aggressive trails which definitely call for a sturdy, closed up shoe. Next I would encourage one to consider the functionality of the shoe not just for riding, but also for proper support of the foot.
Some quick research has yielded a number of options including the Evera Chase from Merrell which has several features to promote proper foot health and functionality as a cycling shoe including a soft anti-microbial footbed, arch support, and a tread pattern on the forefoot designed specifically to grip a bicycle pedal. Biking in High Heels? Not only can I not dismiss it, I even found “The Right Shoe” for it.