Picture of Barefoot Friendly Bike Pedals
IMG_2338 2.JPG

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!

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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.

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Brian9926 days ago

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

crashzoom2 months ago
Love the idea
darrenhall8 months ago

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)  darrenhall8 months ago
I haven't seen that, I'll have to look it up!

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

M3G (author)  emilygraceking8 months ago
Congratulations to yourself as well! Have you recieved the PM with the forms you need to fill out to claim your prize yet?

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

M3G (author)  emilygraceking8 months ago
Thank you so much!
ladykalous10 months ago

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)  ladykalous10 months ago
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 M3G9 months ago

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)  rockingrandma9 months ago

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

leest86 ladykalous10 months ago
You can't be serious can you?
kenyer ladykalous10 months ago

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.

Very simplistic, but also very practical! Good Job!

M3G (author)  TrollFaceTheMan10 months ago
Thank you!

No thank you, for sharing :)

ttowngirl10 months ago
All of us hopped on bikes as kids. This is awesome.
M3G (author)  ttowngirl10 months ago


ttowngirl10 months ago
Perfectly simple!
scientist8010 months ago
duuude u r genius
M3G (author)  scientist8010 months ago
Thanks man!
heibert10 months ago

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)  heibert10 months ago
That is a good point, thanks for commenting!
karlpinturr10 months ago

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)  karlpinturr10 months ago
Great suggestion! I did have a bad experience with the underside :)
yespotato10 months ago

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

asalter211 months ago
This is brilliant
M3G (author)  asalter211 months ago


jpade11 months ago

great idea

M3G (author)  jpade11 months ago
cdstudioNH11 months ago

Brilliant and hilarious... I love it!

M3G (author)  cdstudioNH11 months ago
bricobart11 months ago

Best hack of the week! ;)

M3G (author)  bricobart11 months ago
Thank you!
bergerab11 months ago

So simple but awesome!

M3G (author)  bergerab11 months ago
camping crazy11 months ago

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 crazy11 months ago

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

craftclarity11 months ago

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.

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