‘Barefoot’ Cycling Shoe Promises Natural Cycling Action

Cycling shoes have become stiffer and more technologically advanced for decades, but at the cost of the anatomically-natural motion of the forefoot.

To enhance cycling performance and take advantage of the powerful flexor hallucis longus muscle (it curls the big toe downward), cycling juggernaut Shimano partnered with a company familiar with unorthodox designs — Vibram.

The PentiCleat

The result is the world’s first FiveFingers Cycling Shoe, the PentiCleat.

Based on years of research on the riding style of the barefoot bikers of Jakarta, the shoe capitalizes on information gleaned from this group of cyclists who are renowned for speed during bold, alleycat-style races and incredible load-hauling capability through busy city streets.

GearJunkie got the scoop this morning. While details remain sparse, the PentiCleat ($280) will hit the market later this summer and feature a highly-breathable upper, velcro closure, Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, and a Vibram outsole with five “fingers” for toes.

We’d love to test this shoe, but it seems unlikely before they hit the market with secrecy surrounding the release.

“If you had such amazing technology, would you share it with the world?” said a Shimano rep who would not speak on the record.

All specs and more images on Page 2 of this post…

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.