If you follow the local bicycle scene (especially if you are on the Shift List), you are probably aware of the big discussion going on about safety and visibility. How bright do you have to be in order to be effectively seen by car drivers? How many lights should you have? Should you wear reflective clothing? All these questions and many more have been asked, but there have been few definitive answers other than "the brighter, the better."
One thing that gets left out in these discussions is footwear. Maybe because it's assumed that everyone wears bike-specific shoes? I don't know. I do know that I do not wear bike specific shoes. Boots in winter and Chucks in summer is my usual foot attire.
But I may have found the answer! Perusing the fine selection at the Ghostown Project's Clothing Swap at NW 6th and Flanders, I found this pair of shoes. Not only were they Doc Martens with substantial soles, but they were also my size! Of course, the colo(u)r is pretty non-standard, which may be the reason why they were so willing to give them to me without the prerequisite clothing swap.
And what's so wrong with these shoes? Sure, they are yellow (which may be a relic of the 90's and the overdone color selections in Doc's during that heady era). But yellow is visible. Yellow dazzles. Yellow STANDS OUT. Everybody notices these shoes. And that should include car drivers. I mean, if I get hit by a car while biking with these shoes on, will the judge believe the motorist when s/he says "I didn't see him?" Everyone in the tri-state area can see these shoes! I may even add an element of traffic calming to city streets with these shoes. All the car drivers will be stunned with my footwear, they'll be driving extra slow!
I mean, look at the photo above! Look at how the shoes stand out against the ugly carpet! The only thing that can make it better is by putting some reflectors on the heels (as suggested by Robo), which I may just do. Watch out, Portland, these shoes DAZZLE!