Vans are great for skateboarding and everyday wear, but are vans good for cycling? Let's examine these shoes to see whether it's a good companion for your rides.
If you just have started cycling, chances are you want to use your existing shoes instead of getting a dedicated pair from the get-go. Got Vans in your collection and want to put them on for cycling? But are Vans good for cycling? Here's your answer!
Are Vans Good For Cycling?
Yes, Vans can be used for cycling, and it's ideal for casual riding around town. Thanks to the iconic waffle grip pattern, you can enjoy a good grip either on skateboarding (as it is intended for) or cycling.
A solid grip plays an important role in bike riding. If the grip the shoes provide is poor, your feet will slide off the pedals easily, which can slow you down and put you at a higher risk of injuries and accidents.
The flat, grippy soles of Vans are also compatible with the flat pedals. Paired with the grippy nature, Vans' soles have what it takes to keep your feet in place for an efficient ride.
The lack of arch in Vans shoes makes them quite comfortable for casual rides around town.
For a more extended and treacherous path, you will find the lack of ankle support uncomfortable. In such cases, you'd better be off with a more supportive pair of shoes.
In terms of foot protection, you'll get a reasonable level of protection from these skate shoes. The use of canvas makes these shoes durable against impacts. On top of that, their toes are also reinforced with rubber, which gives you extra protection for the upper part of the feet.
Unfortunately, not all Vans can provide you with a comfortable ride. Slip-on versions can come off your feet effortlessly, so they are not cut out for cycling.
Most riders normally use low-top shoes for their rides, but they're forgoing the ankle support choosing these shoes.
Hi-top Vans can offer you that much-needed ankle protection aid and better foot protection. However, they often make it harder for you to perform tricks, so it's not the best choice for BMX biking.
Are Vans Good For Riding Flats?
All Vans shoes come with flat soles and a waffle rubber grip, making them ideal for riding flats. The soles are quite grippy, while the waffle sole further helps to make the shoes stick to the pedals.
Nevertheless, wearing these flat shoes requires solid footing whenever the rider catches the air because they tend to lift slightly.
Because Vans do not offer the ultimate rigidity, you may want to add an insole to make them feel more rigid for biking.
Are Vans Good For Mountain Biking?
In all seriousness, Vans are not ideal for mountain biking, especially for experienced bikers who frequently go to challenging mountain bike trails.
You will need a dedicated pair of mountain biking shoes that are up for the job. That said, Vans can be a choice for those new to mountain biking.
These new mountain bikers will likely start with some sort of flat pedals and use their existing shoes. The flat soles of Vans shoes can still provide a decent grip on these pedals.
But here is the catch! The flat soles of Vans are only grippy in dry conditions. If you're heading out to muddy or wet tracks, you'll soon find the traction vanishes out of the soles.
Vans are not a good option for trails laden with rocks and trees. You will need shoes with a greater level of protection for your feet in this situation.
For most bikers, the soles also are too soft. They won't provide your feet with enough protection when it comes to the tough conditions of mountain biking trails.
This means your feet will suffer more from impacts and drops with these skate shoes. Some riders notice pain in the bottom of their feet and lower calves while wearing Vans. They cannot be compared to a seasoned pair of cycling shoes.
On top of that, Vans are inferior to dedicated shoes in durability; they are just not meant for withstanding harsh conditions and elements.
Depending on your riding frequency and the trail conditions, a pair of Vans can get torn up only after a month of riding.
Do You Need Special Shoes For Cycling?
Casual riders can ride a bike with just about any shoes they have. However, we recommend investing in a specially made biking pair if you ride frequently.
The distinctive feature of bike shoes is the stiff soles, which is incredibly important to make the most of the rider's power output.
The stiffer the sole, the less energy lost when transferred from the rider's foot to the pedal, and the more efficient the riding.
Besides, riding shoes often have 2-hole or 3-hole cleats that help them clip better to the clipless pedals. This facilitates more efficient riding in each stroke.
They are also incredibly breathable, soy feet won't sweat profusely, and you can enjoy a more comfortable ride.
Which Shoes Are Best For Cycling?
Best Cycling-Specific Shoes
There are more than twenty models in this Five Ten series for you to choose from. Many avid bike riders of street and dirt jumps have tried these shoes at least once in their life.
Five Tens are flexible on the pedals. The stiff sole is just what you are looking for in a riding shoe. Their tacky rubber soles make it easy for the metal pins in the pedals for a firm grip.
Ride Concept is a household name in the world of mountain bike shoes. There is also a wide range of models, from affordable to expensive ones to suit all budgets.
The soles of Ride Concepts are generally stiffer than Freeriders, which translates to better energy transfer.
They give you a superior grip, so you can go through drops and jumps with more ease.
While these pairs might not be the stiffest shoes on the market, they provide you impressive comfort and flexibility for almost any style of riding.
Best Non-Cycling Shoes
City Bike Shoes
City bike shoes, or urban bike shoes, have an outer rubber sole that makes walking in them comfortable and provides additional protection for the sole.
Their toe area is flexible yet still reasonably stiff for bike riding. These shoes are good for casual cycling, urban cycling, or indoor spin class.
Indoor Soccer Shoes
Indoor soccer shoes often feature a gum rubber sole for better control and foot support. The aero shape of these shoes also allows you to be quick on your feet to react better on the bike.
Most importantly, they have hard, stiff soles, which is important for efficient energy transmission.
Trail Cross Shoes
These shoes are great for trail running and good for cycling with flat pedals. They come with a lugged sole that is made of thick rubber. The grip pattern and tread also give reasonable traction for your feet on the pedals.
If you are a casual rider who does not care much about style, bike sandals can be a good option.
Many pairs come with dual straps to keep your feet in place during the ride. These shoes are suited for hot weather, as the gaps on them allow your feet to breathe freely.
Are Running Shoes OK For Cycling?
Running shoes are not recommended for bike riding. They have flexible cushioned soles that yield easily when you exert pressure on them, which leads to substantial energy loss from your foot to the pedal.
Bike shoes, on the other hand, should have stiffer soles to guarantee optimal energy transmission.
Are vans good for cycling? We only recommend them for casual road riders. Vans come with decent sole stiffness, good grip, comfort, and foot protection; thus, it is suited for less-demanding rides.
Because they are not made for tough road conditions, you'll soon wear them out swiftly when wearing them on tougher tracks. On top of that, you won't get the comfort that you would with dedicated cycling shoes.