Ride your bike in heels – it’s easier than you think.

5 Feb 2015


Thanks to Lucy who commented on my last post about riding my bike as she was wanting some tips for riding in heels. Riding in heels is easier than walking in heels for one simple reason.



It’s not too tricky to ride in heels. If you can walk in heels you can ride in them. No one puts the pointy heel of the shoe onto the bike pedal. If you can throw your thoughts back to the last time you rode a bike, you’ll probably realise that the part of your foot that goes on the pedal is the ball of your foot, which for the purposes of this post I will call your toes.


The most challenging things people find about walking in heels are fairly straightforward. Keeping balance is hard, so is walking on your tip toes. Your weight is placed differently to when you are walking in flats and it’s much hard to walk from heel to toe.



Well guess what! When you’re on a bike, you ride with your toes and most of the time your weight is on your butt. If you don’t have to worry about the heel of your shoe, and where to put your weight, what do you have to worry about?



Shoe grip. This is really important with any shoes you might wear riding a bike, but especially when riding with heels. Because there is (unless you’re wearing wedges) a large gap between the heel and your toe when you’re wearing heels, if your foot slips on the pedal the foot can end up in a really awkward position with the pedal wedged between your heel and toe. This will happen if you have heels with a slippery sole on the toe. I've got some great shoes with grip, like this pair of Seychelles heart heels from HelloHoliday. The grip on the bottom is amazing. Perfect for riding.
If the shoes have those shiny plastic soles, or you would worry about slipping in them on a smooth, wet surface, they aren’t ideal for riding on a bike. Even if they are flats. Flat shoes with slippery soles are just as bad, so a shoe with grip should never fail you. I often stand up when pedalling to take off from a stop or to get up a hill and when I do that I want to be really secure.



Nervous about the whole heel thing? Start with wedges. Wearing wedges will eliminate the gap between toe and heel. You still want to aim for something with grip.



The height of the heel won’t matter. They height of the platform under the toe will. How high the toe platform is will impact how much leg extension you have and how close you feel to the pedal. I feel that this impacts on how much control I have over the pedal itself.



If you are worried about sweaty or smelly feet, try socks or stocking while riding, and also look at some good sports deodorisers. Look for ones generally used for sports shoes.

If you have any questions about riding with heels, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.
Maybe I should write about how to ride in a skirt next?

        - L


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