The World’s Most Dangerous Cycling Shoes

Chrome Shoes cause retinal damage

On Saturday morning at precisely 8:42 am my pal Brendan stepped gingerly out of the shadows beside the car to reveal the highly polished surface of the world's most dangerous cycling shoes. I'd prepared myself by wearing two pairs of sunglasses and a liberal coating of SPF 220, unfortunately the flight of sparrows torched by the first beam of plasma from his left foot wasn't so lucky.

While Brendan moved to put out the small fires started by the burning birds, I searched the car for dulling spray and methodically did a VSE for any exposed skin. We were adequately protected but I feared for anyone passing us on the road who happened to look down.

With the birds extinguished and wrapped in foil for a post ride snack, we set out from Luckys convinced it was just a matter of time before the military satellites spotted us and called in an air strike. For the next two hours we rode defensively, screaming at anyone or anything that came within 50 feet of us. When we stopped in Woodside Brendan emerged from Roberts Market with a half dozen eggs and a rash of bacon. You guessed it, he cooked the lot right there in the parking lot on the shoes. Again the surface is so shiny, clean up was a breeze.

Replenished by the breakfast, we headed back on eerily deserted streets that smelled faintly of fresh asphalt and barbecued beef.

The shoes just before my camera melted

If you've been following the comments on Velodramatic lately you'll know that Brendan always has a good story. I just wanted to make sure this one got into the public record with the accuracy it deserved.

22 Responses to The World’s Most Dangerous Cycling Shoes

  1. Did any cars drive off of the road because a flash of intense light blinded them? Those shoes are amazingly bright.

  2. Kolla says:

    This just may be the best written & funniest bike blog I’ve come across so far. It’s also been slapped ever so lightly with a silly stick, so I find myself roaring with laughter on a regular basis as I read my way through and catch up on older posts.

    Thanks – and please never stop blogging!!

  3. christopher says:

    He is a brave man for wearing those shoes. How does he not set himself on fire though?

  4. NewToCycling says:

    as kids, we often heard about other boys who had put mirrors on their shoes in order to…uhm…uh..spy on girls who wore skirts to school. Those shoes would sell like hotcakes in elementary schools around the world. if he had only had mirror-shoe technology back then…

  5. BR says:

    …luckily I was wearing my $6 safety glasses and no animals were hurt in this production. There seems to be a lot more ladies cycling these days but I couldn’t get within 10′ of one in these shoes without the pepper spray coming out.

  6. Richard says:

    You guys sure keep it fun. BTW, what model helmet is that?

    • BR says:

      That’s a 1963 or 1964..?? $49 BELL Whatjamacallit. It’s the worst helmet I have ever owned. I think it was designed for whiney domestiques because all of the sweat from the strongest riders in pace line migrates in mini storm clouds to my helmet and then runs down my face. Not the sides of my head, not the back, the face. Turn your head? Stream of sweat, look up? a stream, smile at a babe? a stream. It however is excellent for attracting and catching bees, yellow jackets, small birds, and hornets. Michael and I were descending a local hill one day and I acquired a yellow jacket at about 25 mph on the downhill. I must have looked pretty sad slapping my own head, steering with one hand, looking for a soft landing as the yellow jacket was biting by scalp. I flung the helmet off but it somehow survived that impact. I think I saw the yellow jacket fly away too. My chrome shoe supplier promised me a deal on a new Ionos but it’s likely painted in pink leopard skin or bright yellow with an arrow and “bees go here” to make it easy for large angry insects to find.

  7. Richard says:

    Word just came through that those shoes are actually fashioned from the ‘surveillance balloon’ found at Roswell in the late 40′s. So they’re lighter than light, 100% non-stick, they’ll always return to their original shape and if you listen carefully enough, they play an 8-bit version of the theme tune from Close Encounters – get’s faster as the cadence increases.

    Love ‘em!

  8. David says:

    Great blog and definitely one for the birds, but shoe blindness is right!

    One of my more acceptable fantasies is, when I have the time, to set up CAUBS. The campaign against ugly bike shoes and I hope you’ll forgive my using you comment column for a bit of a rant.

    I contend that we have developed a collective blindness to the hideous products of the big bike shoes manufacturers. From clumpy, overweight MTB shoes, (not everybody who uses SPD pedals is planning to wade through six inches of mud on every bike tour) to gaudy road shoes ( not everybody using road shoes is on their way to perform in a circus)

    I don’t doubt that some are technically excellent, carbon soles, well aerated, easy to adjust etc., but I think it will take the resources and clear sightedness of someone like Rapha to go back to basics, take a fresh look and produce something that is up to spec and that those not suffering from shoe blindness would be prepared to wear.

  9. Purescience says:

    I dunno, I think these look kinda cool. But I agree I think it’s time the chaps at Perren St had a look at cycling footwear. There are plenty of shoes out there that work well, but none of them quite cut the mustard in the style stakes.

  10. Kurt says:

    Has anyone tried riding with the Dromarti cycling shoes?

    Made in Italy in old school style.

  11. Stan says:

    If you want something retro, that works with SPD and won’t kill the wallet check out these


    Exustar Commuting Shoes
    . I have a pair on the way

  12. David says:

    Thanks for the links, I guess these are all exceptions to some extent.
    Interesting that they are all a bit retro, are we so lacking in original thinking and imagination?

    My earlier comment was not to be taken altogether seriously but I think what I’m trying to get at falls somewhere between two thoughts:

    One. That the bicycle is an aesthetic masterpiece, almost perfect form & function refined over many years and more than the sum of its parts, are we really to ride around on these ‘works of art’ in lurid road shoes or SPDs not fit for purpose?

    Two. The question of real choice. There must be a dozen or so big bike shoe companies out there but 95% of what they produce is all the same. Are we dictating what they produce or have we fallen in to the trap where by they are dictating to us because we don’t question what they produce? (The American car industry in microcosm?)

    Sorry to take Velodramatic’s original very funny posting and turn it slightly serious but Bredan’s new Northwaves really were the final straw, I just hope he can generate enough solar energy from them to power him up the hills.

    • Stan says:

      I very much sympathize and agree with your opinions about shoes. For a long time I rode in “SPD sneekers” (SH-MO38), but I’ve worn them out so I recently went on the hunt for some lightweight, walkable SPD shoes that don’t scream like a night at the disco. The new SPD sneekers all seemed quite chunky with unnecessary bling. So I finally settled on the SH-MO76 MTB shoe which has a fairly restrained tread ie no soccer cleats and is black and white. I ordered the Exustar Commuter shoe from Wiggle in the UK a week ago with the idea that it might be a month before I saw them, but today I got an email that they had already shipped. I think I’ll do a BikeSnobesque comparison between the 2 shoes when the Exustars arrive.

      I’ve looked for a source for the Vittoria 1976s, but no amount of Googling leads me to a site where I can buy them. The Exustars are readily available which is a definte plus.

      • David says:

        The Exustars look like a very good deal, I would be interested to know how much they weigh, they look pretty light.

        I’ll probably get the Dromartis in the end, despite the cost, as they seem to do well in the reviews.

        Wiggle are usually very quick, they used to send out a little pack of ‘Sweets’ with ever order… not sure if they still do so.

        • Stan says:

          The Exustars are 655g per pair, so they are quite light.
          The Dromartis Sportivos look really nice, but there are two things that give me pause; the price and the sole which looks as if it would be good in mud, but not on a smooth surface.

          • David says:

            A bike buddy friend of mine has ordered a pair, so I think I will wait and check his out before committing myself ;-)

  13. BR says:

    Now I regret that I didn’t wear my Jiggy Socks for the picture.

    http://www.sockguy.com/product1585.html

  14. Mark Rushton says:

    I have a pair of those N-waves and altho’ a good shoe their bling factor is eclipsed by a pair of white Sidis which win out on class. The N-waves are good (v.stiff sole) but perhaps best served in Kiss circa 1976. Perhaps good for blinding radar!

    re dromarti shoes, Brian at

    http://www.thewashingmachinepost.net has some reviewed.