Are cycling shoes necessary , if so why ?


self serving virtue signaller
I was talked into when buying a mtb years ago. LBS was so sure it was a good idea, they have me them half price to convince me!

They were right, much better to cycle in than normal shoes.

But I'm a big fan of pedals with flats on one side, spds on the other, which means you can have the best of both worlds - just jump on if going down the shops, but get the advantages of clipped in for longer rides.
Shoes need to be a bit stiffer than typical running shoes but cycle race shoes need to resist the pedalling force of a professional sprinter, which is overkill for the average commuter.
Tourists and used traicommutets havel shoes which are stiffer than running shoes but have more flex than cycling race shoes. These work perfectly well under normal pedalling on flat pedals and are better for walking. MTB shoes vary from race to trail in stiffness. I had some Shimano casual ones that were similar to trail shoes.
You also have to consider the walkability, grip pattern and slipperyness of the sole material on eg wet stone or metal.
Yes, absolutely not.

Someone will be along shortly to deride any suggestion that being clipped in gives any benefits while others can prove there is an 13% improvement in power transfer from using the right shoes while clipped in. I have used SPDs for around..... 25+ yrs (gosh! :eek:) and have no idea if it helps with power but I do know I like the surety of being securely connected to the bike and prefer the stiffer soles. I can ride in normal shoes or trainers but don't find the flexy sole so pleasant and dislike the way my foot position can alter.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
I will potter about with normal trainers, but they aren't comfortable with clipless pedals (which is on every bike). I have, however, bought some SPD trainers for such occasions now - e.g. family bike rides to the pub.
Just wondering since l have never owned or used a l missing out . To be fair l am not competing in any way (except with myself) !
All opinions and expertise welcome .
Cycling shoes are stiffer than eveyday shoes to resist bending under pedalling force but race shoes are designed to resist the force of professional sprinters.
For everyday riders, trail walking shoes provide sufficient resistance to bending and have been used by commuters and tourists for long distances.
If you prefer to be clipped into your pedals, some of the more casual MTB styles give better walkability and grip on slick surfaces. Beware the hard plastic soles which only grip off road.
A coincidence you posted this, a work colleague of mine just walked in this morning and said "now I know why you wear those cleated shoes " his foot had slipped of the pedal in the wet and smashed his knee into the handlebars this morning.


Cycling shoes are a very personal thing; some love 'em, others just can't get on with them. If you plan on cycling any distance on a regular basis, then the stiffer shank of a cycling shoe will be more comfortable. There are oodles of shapes, designs etc. on the market suitable for platform, clipless and so on. so have a good look at what's available and decide which will suit you best. :thumbsup:
I ride a mtn bike unclipped with sturdy outdoor shoes and flat pedals. I ride my touring bike in any old shoes and flat pedals except when I put my clipped pedals on and ride with bike shoes and I always ride my road bike in clipped pedals.

Some advantages to clips is your foot stays in position and doesn't slide off in the rain and wet or when you hit a bump, the same doesn't happen on a mtn bike because I'm generally out the saddle and weighting the pedals. Touring is more relaxed so I don't much worry about things but I do have to change my foot position more as it moves around on the pedal.

Only once, when I rode a borrowed bike in running shoes for a good while, pushing hard did I suffer foot pain the next day, in fact i could hardly walk, the balls of my feet were in agony. Never happened since though.


Only my opinion, they are not necessary you your self manage with out them, but having said that i think you are missing out, on some club runs i can just pull up and rest a bit to recover as long as the others are not going to fast and i find that theres a big benefit going up hill with cleats on.

Personally i use road bike shoes but there are many that like sdp pedals because mtb shoes are far better to walk on, so again just my view but for very short distances they are not worth it but if you cycle a lot of miles then money well spent.
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