There has been some discussion among Outback and other Mirage drivers about how to set up the pedals: straps on, straps off, types of footwear, etc., so I thought I would put in my .02 worth.
1. Pedals: First off, the pedals are the same type that you find on the typical health club exercise bikes. The first thing the customers do when a new bike comes on the floor is to remove the restraining straps from the pedals. I first thought this was pretty dumb, but you quickly realize that the straps are not necessary to keep your foot on the pedal anyway. In addition, the straps are a PINTA to adjust each time you want to use the bike. So, my advice is to get rid of your straps?you won?t miss them much, if at all. If you have a ridged-type shoe or boot sole (see below), your feet will stay on the pedals just fine. And if you switch between bare feet and shoes or boots, or between different yakkers, you won't have to keep adjusting the straps.
2. Footwear: Lots of options out there now with all the "aquatic boots" available. I have tried dive boots with hard soles, dive boots with soft soles, flip-flops, TEVAs, tennis/athletic shoes, etc., but they all had problems of one type or another, especially with bits of sand and shell getting between your foot and the shoe--extremely annoying, not to mention uncomfortable. I have since found what to me is the perfect pedaling/wading footwear for any place you might find loose sand or fine shell substrates: neoprene flats boots, sometimes called wading boots (see photos below). These have a heavy-duty zipper down one side. They are sold by Offshore Angler (the saltwater branch of Bass Pro Shops) and Cabelas, among others, for from $20 to $40. They have a sturdy, ridged, and pretty much puncture proof sole, a necessity in my area where we have extremely sharp oyster reefs that will tear up a shoe if you wade-fish (or a boat hull) in a hurry. The ridged sole also provides plenty of traction/grip so that I had no problem with my feet slipping off the pedals, even with the straps in my garage at home.
3. Boots: The great thing about the type of flats boot you see here (in addition to the thick sole) is the Velcro closure strap around the ankle (black strap at top). The boots fit pretty snugly anyway, but not so snugly that bits of shell and sand can?t get in. However, once you snug up the Velcro strap, there ain?t nuttin? getting inside, except water. If you get a pair, be sure you get them with the ankle closure strap, since I have seen some without this. I first thought going all day with a boot full of water might be a problem, but it has proven to be pretty comfortable, since the boots act like a typical wet suit bootie to keep your foot warm. I seem to recall having seen advertised a flats boot with a built-in purge valve to get rid of excess water?seems like a good idea, but I am not certain that it is necessary. You can even drive your vehicle with these on (even with water in them) for short distances with no problem.
4. Socks: I have tried both a thin, nylon-type wicking sock that I wear inside hiking boots beneath my regular wool socks, or just a pair of regular, heavy, cotton athletic socks, and both seem to work just fine. The boots are extremely roomy, and caused me no rubbing, no chafing, and no blisters with either type of sock. Just order them in your normal shoe size. Try ?em?I think you?ll like ?em, especially if you pedal, paddle, and/or wade-fish.