This is my first bicycle touring shoe. I have been working on this prototype for a while. One day, Joel Metz, a local bike guy, brought some Carnac touring shoes from his collection for my inspection. I really loved the classic look and the straightforward design. No liner, big holes, low heel. Best of all, there was no messy cleat interface to accommodate.
Joel later emailed me some pictures of bike shoes from his catalogs. The pictures he sent included shoes from 1890, 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940 and 1960. The design I chose to reproduce is from 1960.
These shoes have been reinforced just under the ball of the foot to keep the sole from flexing too much while pedaling. It was designed to be used with clip and strap pedals. You could use them on any pedals you want, though the cage pedals will chew into the leather sole. Flat pedals would be fine, or no pedals at all. I think they will make fine summer dance shoes.
The spring steel shank on this shoe is right through the crease line. The crease line is the line on a diagonal from the big toe ball mount to the little toe ball mount. When you walk forward, the shoe bends on that line. The shank is noticeable when walking, but not too weird. These are totally walkable compared to a hard plastic touring or racing shoe.
The upper is vegetable tanned pig skin. There is no upper liner, but the foot bed liner is veg tan cow. The sole is nubuk finished red Italian soling leather. I’m going to take them for a spin on the bike this week and cut a slot for the rear cage of the pedal.
I also learned from Joel that touring shoes were sometimes made with a wooden sole. I’m going to give that a try sometime soon.