Introduction: Barefoot Friendly Bike Pedals

Picture of Barefoot Friendly Bike Pedals

In the summer I try to go without shoes as much as possible. There's something liberating about having your bare feet in direct contact with the ground. There are benefits to being barefoot too; walking around barefoot also stimulates the flexibility and mobility of your foot, and results in a more natural gait (Wikipedia). However, there are some limitations to being barefoot; one of them being how much harder it is to ride a bike, especially with pedals like these. Instead of reincarcerating my feet, I decided to come up with a solution. I found that the pedals are quite comfortable and great for casual rides, the key word being casual. Please be careful!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Wheels Contest and the Summer #mikehacks Contest!

Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:

- Two sponges (preferably ones with an abrasive side that will grab your feet)

- Zip Ties or elastics

- A box cutter

Step 2: Make the Pedals

Picture of Make the Pedals

- Use the box cutter to cut the sponges down to the size of your pedals.
- Place the sponges abrasive side up on top of the pedals.

- Use the Zip Ties or elastics to secure them in place. Make sure you have full coverage of the pedals.


ShawnM35 (author)2015-10-06

I found that these [ ] are totally comfortable and don't slip or restrict pedaling at all.

So, the pedal attachments need to be slightly larger than the pedal because the foot treats the pedal differently when it is barefoot vs having a shoe on. Basically, more platform is needed when barefoot.

M3G (author)ShawnM352015-10-06

Thanks for the info!

MeneerRuud (author)2015-07-25

I love biking barefoot. But, even with my plastic pedals, my feet start to hurt after about 5 km. So I took some old flipflops and cut two 'pedal-sized' pieces. Then removed the sole, made two cuts trough which I pulled some velcro. Then placed the sole back with spray glue.

It's like biking with flipflops, without the flipflops!

M3G (author)MeneerRuud2015-08-21

Wow, that's genius!

LiveCrafts (author)2015-08-20

So simple! Never even thought of that! You're a genius!

buck2217 (author)2015-07-01

great idea just don't forget and use your feet as brakes

Brian99 (author)2015-04-26

I am going to do this and I showed my one friend too. I never wear shoes in the summer.

crashzoom (author)2015-03-23

Love the idea

darrenhall (author)2014-09-16

You clever bugger - I love this instructable - wicked, just wicked.

Have you seen the skateboard with the deep carpet on it - nearly wet myself laughing, then thought " ya know what - that's a bloody great idea ".

Good job.

M3G (author)darrenhall2014-09-16

I haven't seen that, I'll have to look it up!

emilygraceking (author)2014-09-04

Congratulations on the contest win! I love how simple and ingenious your idea is.

M3G (author)emilygraceking2014-09-04

Congratulations to yourself as well! Have you recieved the PM with the forms you need to fill out to claim your prize yet?

emilygraceking (author)M3G2014-09-04

I haven't received the form yet. I am SUPER excited about going on some watery adventures with the new gear!

M3G (author)emilygraceking2014-09-04

Thank you so much!

ladykalous (author)2014-06-28

Great so we are now encouraging kids to ride with out their shoes? Whilst this might seem like a good idea, its really not. Stubbed and scrapped toes, torn up feet when they crash and burn. Just like a helmet to protect their head, their feet should also be protected.

M3G (author)ladykalous2014-06-28

This is true, children should wear protective gear when riding a bike. However, this was intended for older, more responsible people who have some experience riding bikes, not kids.

rockingrandma (author)M3G2014-08-10

I tore every ligament in my left foot when I stood up to get more leverage and my bare foot slipped off the pedal. I was already moving so my toes hit the ground first, were pulled backwards, then they touched my heel as the rest of my left leg followed. Then the pedals came back around because my other foot was still firmly on it and all my weight too. The pedal caught the back of my leg and helped to drag my leg under. As I fell forward and to the left my right foot got caught in the spokes of the rear tire and broke three toes.

Being older and more experienced doesn't keep you from injuring yourself because you were too irresponsible to wear shoes like I was.

M3G (author)rockingrandma2014-08-10

I am so sorry to hear this. I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.

leest86 (author)ladykalous2014-07-13

You can't be serious can you?

kenyer (author)ladykalous2014-07-09

When you walk barefooted a lot it will probably not be more dangerous than biking with shorts. (when you are always wearing shoes and have delicate feet, you are probably right) It would probably be a fair discussion about what would be more harmful for a child: protecting them less from scuffs and bruises or keeping them from experimenting and finding their boundaries.

leest86 (author)2014-07-13

wow. years ago kids never wore shoes anywhere unless going out for dinner. Theres nothing wrong with this. I hope you walk around with knee, elbow pads and a helmet in case you trip on a walk.

M3G (author)2014-07-13

Of course a driver needs a seat belt, that is a much more dangerous activity.

TrollFaceTheMan (author)2014-07-11

Very simplistic, but also very practical! Good Job!

M3G (author)TrollFaceTheMan2014-07-11

Thank you!

TrollFaceTheMan (author)M3G2014-07-11

No thank you, for sharing :)

ttowngirl (author)2014-07-11

All of us hopped on bikes as kids. This is awesome.

M3G (author)ttowngirl2014-07-11


ttowngirl (author)2014-07-11

Perfectly simple!

scientist80 (author)2014-07-09

duuude u r genius

M3G (author)scientist802014-07-09

Thanks man!

heibert (author)2014-07-09

i agree with barefooting, but anyway we have to think about not only comfort, but safety. equip your bike with chain and chainrings (sorry if i incorrectly call bicycle parts in terminology) with some covers (shields) that prevents you from contact with moving parts, like on this pictures.

M3G (author)heibert2014-07-09

That is a good point, thanks for commenting!

karlpinturr (author)2014-07-07

Nice idea - I'll vote as soon as I've posted this.

I wonder if it'd be worth putting the sponges on the OTHER side of the pedals as well - for when you don't notice they've somehow flipped over, so you find out the h a a a rr(gh!)d way..?

M3G (author)karlpinturr2014-07-07

Great suggestion! I did have a bad experience with the underside :)

yespotato (author)2014-07-01

My uncle lost 2 toes by doing this... but i still do it XD

asalter2 (author)2014-06-26

This is brilliant

M3G (author)asalter22014-06-27


jpade (author)2014-06-25

great idea

M3G (author)jpade2014-06-25


cdstudioNH (author)2014-06-24

Brilliant and hilarious... I love it!

M3G (author)cdstudioNH2014-06-24


bricobart (author)2014-06-23

Best hack of the week! ;)

M3G (author)bricobart2014-06-23

Thank you!

bergerab (author)2014-06-23

So simple but awesome!

M3G (author)bergerab2014-06-23


camping crazy (author)2014-06-23

Simply genius!! I go barefoot everywhere around home in the summer but hated how the pedals drive into my feet!! By the end of the summer its no problem because your feet are tough enough but in the beginning... Ouch

M3G (author)camping crazy2014-06-23

I know how you feel, the first couple of weeks suck!

craftclarity (author)2014-06-23

Fantastic idea!
I agree with the barefoot thing. I've been practicing 'Earthing' for the last month or so and it has paid huge benefits in terms of my peace of mind and helping me maintain a relaxed approach to life.

M3G (author)craftclarity2014-06-23

It's great, isn't it? :)

craftclarity (author)M3G2014-06-23

Yep. It sure is.

About This Instructable




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