Cycle Seekers


cycling barefoot

Cycling Barefoot – Yay or Nay?

Cycling barefoot is not the most common sight when you’re out for a ride. Still, like many “new age” trends, you will find folks advocating for it in certain corners of the internet. The first question folks ask is “why” which is something we’ve been wondering ourselves. As such, we thought we’d explore the pros and cons of this unusual practice. There are some who swear by the freedom and connection it offers with the pedals and the road, while others raise concerns about safety and potential health risks. Let’s explore further the benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of Cycling Barefoot

Enhanced Sensory Experience

Riding barefoot allows cyclists to feel the pedals and road directly, enhancing their sensory experience and connection with the bike. This is usually a stated pro of barefoot walking advocates also.

Improved Pedal Grip

Bare feet can provide better grip on the pedals compared to some types of shoes, especially in wet conditions, leading to a more efficient transfer of power.

Comfort and Freedom

For some riders, cycling barefoot offers unparalleled comfort and a sense of freedom, without the constraints of shoes.

Natural Foot Strength

Cycling without shoes may contribute to the natural development of foot strength and flexibility, as the feet are allowed to move more freely.

Cons of Cycling Barefoot

Risk of Injury

Riding barefoot exposes cyclists to a higher risk of foot injuries, including cuts, abrasions, and burns from contact with hot pedals or road surfaces. Being mere inches away from fast moving gears and chains seems risky.

Reduced Protection

Shoes provide a layer of protection for the feet against sharp objects, debris, and extreme temperatures, which is absent when cycling barefoot.

Less Support

Cycling shoes are designed to provide support and stability to the feet, ankles, and arches, which can be compromised when riding barefoot, leading to discomfort or potential injuries.

Hygiene Concerns

Riding barefoot increases the exposure of the feet to dirt, bacteria, and fungal infections present on the road or pedals, potentially leading to hygiene issues and foot ailments.


While cycling barefoot offers certain advantages, the associated risks outweigh the benefits for most cyclists. We recommend not partaking in this practice as a result. The increased risk of foot injuries, reduced protection and support, and potential hygiene concerns make it an impractical and risky choice. The comfort and freedom provided by cycling barefoot can often be achieved with the right choice of cycling shoes that offer adequate ventilation and flexibility. Cyclists are better off opting for well-fitted cycling shoes that provide the necessary support, protection, and comfort for an enjoyable and safe experience.