Flat pedal kings Chris Kovarik, Nathan Rennie and Sam Hill each had their own signature shoe at one point. The common theme was that they had a wide, sticky sole with lots of protection. The Karver featured a lace cover and a higher ankle shank inside, while the Rennie was tall, supportive, and looked more like a boot than a shoe.
Wet shoes suck. The iconic stompers above were bulletproof and a game-changer for flat pedal die-hards, but took a fortnight to dry and weighed a metric ton when wet. I have always been blown away that there is still a huge hole in the market for waterproof flat pedal shoes. Five Ten came back swinging with the Trailcross GTX shoes which feature a high cuff to lock out debris and moisture. Specialized also built its Rime shoes to handle the occasional splash, but where are all the technical features you’d find on a clipless shoe, like lace covers, ankle protection and BOA dials?
Only What’s Necessary The FR-01s were the black sheep in the flat shoe market with their “off the beaten path” thanks to their polarizing design that split this shoe into two pieces; an inner liner and an outer boot section. The liner portion was offered in a hot/dry climate version, as well as a wet/cold weather pair, essentially offering two shoes in one. Unfortunately, the sole lacked grip and they quickly disappeared from the market before gaining any serious traction.
Obviously, there won’t be one flat pedal shoe solution to cover all types of riding, but there’s still definitely room for more comprehensive options in the world of flat pedal shoes.
What other features would you like to see added to a flat pedal shoe?