Shoe Doping Is Real. Here’s How Custom Kicks Can Up Your Game


Nick Squillari is a cycling shoe’s biggest cheerleader. A podiatrist and longtime cyclist, he was always a fan of a footwear, though he took his adore open in 2015. The Australian was acid Instagram for anyone as dedicated to shoes, though he came adult empty. “We’ve got dual million cycling pack Instagram pages,” he says. “Why isn’t there one for a cycling shoes?” So he combined Velo Kicks to combine and applaud a bike world’s shoe-crazy community. At initial Squillari featured any boots that held his eye, though he began to expose a globe-spanning subculture dedicated to customization. “I unearthed a integrate of people regulating decals, a integrate of people portrayal them,” says Squillari. “And afterwards it only avalanched.” Now a 62,000-follower feed serves as a height for tradition shoe companies, designers, and owners with almost-daily posts.

As his comment grew, Squillari also saw an augmenting direct for tradition shoes. So in 2017, he connected with a association that could make him vacant white cycling boots (lace-ups for $193, Boas for $207) that his supporters could use as a canvas. He also began operative with artists for anniversary Velo Kicks pattern releases and with a use that paints a customer’s art—WorldTour group Michelton-Scott is one client—onto any boots they yield ($313).

Most requests are for unite graphics, geometric patterns, and cocktail enlightenment (may a Force be on your shoes), though one male asked Squillari to commemorate his 2,300-mile spin from Perth to Sydney. “He wanted to commemorate all a things in that ride—including a dingoes he was removing tormented by during one point. So, there’s a dingo on them.”


For cyclists fervent to try their possess customization, Squillari says to start with decals. “Buy vinyl decals, like what’s used on a bicycle frame. They’re utterly hardy, by sleet and pulling off shoe covers. And if one gets damaged, only flay it off, purify a surface, and reapply a new one.”

As for removing your boots featured in a VeloKicks feed, it’s easy, says Squillari. Tag @VeloKicks in a post or Insta story, and he’ll try to find we a spot. “VeloKicks was founded on a subterraneous work of artistic riders; we’ll always sojourn loyal to that.”

The Shoe Doc is In Session

As a podiatrist, Squillari also has an penetrating seductiveness in shoe fit. “It’s unequivocally identical to bike fit, in that potency falls if we are not comfortable,” he says. “Nobody’s producing energy when they’re sore.” And while a too-tight shoe can means attrition and pain, too-loose boots can harm your bike handling. “The feet wants to know where it is in space, and a unequivocally lax shoe reduces that feedback.” When you’re forward or cornering, that feedback lets we feel a bike underneath we to drive your bike as well as possible.

How to Buy Your Perfect Shoes

To find a ideal fit, try on new boots with a hosiery you’d wear while riding. And do it in a afternoon or evening. “Since feet bloat as a day goes on, that gives we a improved thought of a volume required,” says Squillari. Once you’ve got them on, mount adult to feel for parsimonious spots. If your feet spills over a sides of a sole, they’re too narrow. If we can, take them for a exam float (BYO cleats).

When to Replace Worn Kicks

Take a demeanour during a upper: If it’s wearing divided or stretched-out to a indicate where we have to ratchet a closures down to a tightest setting, a support and control offering by a top is gone. If your heel is slipping out with any pedal stroke, they’ve mislaid their consent and you’re losing power.

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