Shoes for cycling: What do you wear? (competition closed)

Teva Shoes for Cycling

I’ve never been a big fan of riding with SPD pedals in London. Having to clip in and out at all the traffic lights and whenever I have to quickly come to a halt just doesn’t feel that safe. Plus, they are not usually that great for walking around in and they make me look like too much of a cyclist all the time.

Therefore, when Teva got in touch with me about their Links Mountain Biking Shoes and Pinner Biking Shoes I was excited to feature them on the site. What makes the Links shoe special is that they are fitted with technology that repels water. Combine that with their extra tough construction to resist daily wear plus the strong grip design and you’ve got a pretty tempting option for your cycle footwear.

Teva wanted to give away three pairs of shoes to three readers of London Cyclist blog so I thought this would be a great time to find out what footwear everyone uses to cycle in every day. Whether you pedal in flip flops or SPD shoes, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered in to the competition.

Our usual competition rules apply and please note that the smallest size the shoes come in is size 6. Teva also have a wide range of women’s multi sport trainers. To find out more about the Links and Pinner shoes checkout the Teva website.

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209 Responses to Shoes for cycling: What do you wear? (competition closed)

  1. Rudy 17/04/2012 at 10:52 am #

    Till now always skate sneakers and my old Nike’s AirMax90. Always toe clips. I only ride in cities and i like your site 🙂

  2. K 17/04/2012 at 11:36 am #

    A pair of wide Camper shoes do the trick for me.

  3. loz 17/04/2012 at 11:58 am #

    recently got a road bike with spds, spent 70 notes on shoes and cleats and now the wife is not happy that i want to swap flat pedals with toeclips!!! so these shoes would really be useful right now as my grey sneakers are competely oiled!

  4. Stewart 17/04/2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I’ve always just used an old pair of trainers. I do end up with soggy feet during winter so something that repels water sounds ideal!

  5. Artiom Chilaru 17/04/2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I’ve been worried in the past about riding with SPD pedals as well, but I decided to try it out a year ago.. I wouldn’t want to go back now!

    In a year I only fell down twice because of them, and both times happened in the first week, while I’ve been getting used to them. Since then, they’re a marvel, the ride is much more comfortable, you feel much more stable on the bike, and unclipping has never been a problem, whether at traffic lights, or in emergencies!

    And using SPD pedals in the city isn’t that bad. You just use MTB shoes, so walking in the city wouldn’t be a problem anymore. Finally, if you’re worried about comfort and style, you could always go with something like this:

  6. Niall 17/04/2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I use Altberg All Weather Originals on the folding bike for the commute. Waterproof, strong sole, great foot and ankle protection, and lovely leather. Some old Teva cross hike/canoeing shoes for mooching around with the kids on the bikes at the weekend and wading in the stream. I am between off-road boots because I’m lazy and haven’t had the mountain bike out all year.

  7. Hugo Cavalier 17/04/2012 at 5:09 pm #

    I use Puma Ducati Testastretta’s. These are motorbike trainers (obviously), but have the rigidity of a cycle shoe with a handy metal heel for those foot out moments. They fit rally well into my zefal strapless toe clips and are great on long or short rides. I’ve got versions I & II as I liked them so much, Puma have released a version III, but I’m not fussed on the detailing on these as much as previous versions.

  8. Ashley Brown 17/04/2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Rather sadly, I’ve ended up using some random shoes that my mother-in-law thought would be good before I started cycling. They’re comfortable and light so I haven’t had need to change them! Not waterproof though, so I end up with wet feet or wear some heavier boots (yes, boots!) if the weather is really bad.

  9. Lep Recorn 17/04/2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I wear a pair of specialised mountain bike shoes with spd cleats. Once you get used to them, takes only a few hours, cliping in an cliping out is second nature and does not cause any problems or danger.

    I go road cycling at weekends and wear a pair of specialised road bike shoes with keo cleats; these really are not suitable for commuting. However when I, very rarely cycle without cleats it now feels very odd and I keep losing the pedal as pull upwards during the cycle.

  10. Pete 17/04/2012 at 11:08 pm #

    I always use SPD’s on all my bikes and for commuting I actually feel safer because you know your feet wont slip off the pedals when you have to react quickly. A couple of times while riding a Boris Bike my feet have slipped off the pedals.

    After a while it becomes second nature clipping in and out, on the odd occasion I have come off I find that my feet magical unclip reducing the chances of getting trapped under the bike. You should expect 1 or 2 falls from not being able to unclip while you learn the pedals but it is seen as a right-of-passage and anybody who says they haven’t experience a fall at the lights because they didn’t unclip in time is lying.

    For commuting I would go with the MTB style cleats instead of the road ones and go with double sided or if you have single sided something with a wide platform for when you take off and can’t clip in.

  11. Cobus 18/04/2012 at 7:44 am #

    I cycle with old Specialized MTB shoes (SPD)….definatey not waterproof…this adds the challenge of stopping at red lights and never putting my foot down on my 7 mie journey to work.

  12. Rohan 18/04/2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I just use ordinary trainers (Pumas) that on a wet day like this are useless. Thanks for the review and will be looking to get something a bit more waterproorf.

  13. James 18/04/2012 at 2:58 pm #

    A pair of Specalized MTB BG shoes, with the SPDs pedals set as loose as they go. Prefer the SPDs to flats for the 5 miles on fast roads, quick release for the 5 miles in town.

  14. Kate 18/04/2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I’m wearing a pair of mtb spd trainers, but just for the firm sole, not using cleats. I prefer the idea of being able to wear ‘normal’ shoes, or at least normal looking, so will check out some of the suggestions here.

  15. Adam 18/04/2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I wear a pair of Lake mtb spd shoes you can walk in them easily as they they have soles designed to run in. Would never go back to not using cleats as the speed and ability to get out of situations quickly they give can not be beaten

  16. Larissa 18/04/2012 at 7:28 pm #

    I wear Vivobarefoot shoes on my bike, but I’ve recently realised that the lack of a hard sole is probably losing me power, actually.

    I use Power Grips on my pedals. Sooo much better and safer than SPDs and easier to use than clips.

  17. Rash 19/04/2012 at 1:50 am #

    A pair of Converse that slip nicely into my toe clips… I like to think that the rubber toe cap will keep my toes warmer and drier

  18. Bruce 19/04/2012 at 5:37 am #

    I wear Groundwork ‘trainers’ – well, they are not really trainers though they look like them. They are designed for constuction workers etc – with a steel toe cap and very toughly made. They are reasonably warm and water repellient – at least at lot more than normal trainers.

  19. DavidL 19/04/2012 at 9:59 am #

    I’m a cycling newbie so currently just wear a pair of old Nike trainers. Haven’t been soaked yet but have just bought a pair of Endura overshoes just in case its chucking it down when I leave in the morning. Some proper cycle footwear would be great!

  20. Mike 19/04/2012 at 6:14 pm #

    I use Shimmano SPD MTB Shoes. They allow me to walk a bit after cycling, and don’t really look like cycling shoes. I find it easy to get in and out of the clips, and the hard sole really helps with the power transfer. Most importantly, they are fantastic for hill climbs!

  21. MattG 19/04/2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I’m in the lucky position of having a fairly straightforward cycle to work with few stops so it’s clips all the way! In fact I’ve just changed from SPD to SPD-SLs for my Specialized Road Sport shoes but overshoes all the way for a day like today.

    I’ve got another (fixed) bike I ride when I’m after something simpler, with that I currently have SPD combi but as it’s not a sporty bike I’m thinking of getting rid of the clips in favour of straps… then shoes…no idea!

  22. Steffke 19/04/2012 at 10:25 pm #

    I use my normal shoes (Vans TNT 5) for cycling to work and Scott Trail (with SPD system) for riding my mtb.

  23. Emma 20/04/2012 at 10:14 am #

    I wear a pair of Dunlop trainers with football type circular grips on the base when I commute. I really like them in wet weather because the super knobbly grips mean that my feet just don’t slip on my pedals. They were also cheap and cheerful so you can’t go wrong.

    For everything else, it’s whatever shoes I want to wear when I get to my destination (mostly All Stars which do not grip on my pedals at all but look awesome).

  24. David 20/04/2012 at 10:17 am #

    It depends on the weather and the bike of choice. When I am on the Dahon Matric Folder, it is a pair of Specialized SPD’s, if the sun is shining it is a Friday and I am feeling expansive I have a natty pair of Dromarti Leather Road shoes, that are matched to the Genesis Flyer, in my mind they look great. Finally if I revert to a Boris bike, for convenience, then a pair of Salomon Cross Training shoes are the best, stiff sole and waterproof. I have been known to cycle in anything that comes to hand, although in common with some of the comments above, once used to clipping in, I feel less secure on standard pedals.

  25. Jason 20/04/2012 at 10:21 am #

    I tend to just ride around in a pair of old slip-on Vans! They act like a sponge if I get caught out in rain but dry pretty quickly too when I get back home! Totally agree on the SPD shoes in London, I just don’t feel as safe using them with all the stops and starts on my commute!

  26. Axel 20/04/2012 at 10:25 am #

    As a relative cycling newbie (6 weeks) I am still wearing my standard trainers (all adidas FWIW!!!). I have however purchased some Shimano A530 pedals which are one side clipless, the other side platform – so before I fit them, I just need to get some shoes, some which won’t look too out of place in the shops/pub. I believe there are ones out there which can pretty much pass as normal trainers.

  27. Chris 20/04/2012 at 10:34 am #

    I use SPD (non SL) on all my bikes, and have two pairs of shoes…

    A pair of Specialized shoes for warm & dry weather – and it really does have to be warm and dry, as they’re more mesh than anything else.

    A pair of Northwave Celsius boots for the rest of the time which are absolutely wonderful – warm and waterproof, so long as you wear something to stop water making its way down your legs and in through your socks!

  28. Mike 20/04/2012 at 10:35 am #

    As a mountainbiker I usually ride in flats so I can leap off at a moments notice (frequently), though I do have some SPD’s for when I want to do some pure long distance XC. I’ve used them on the road in London too, and still felt quite safe. Make sure you’re not dialled in too hard!

  29. Pete Clark 20/04/2012 at 10:42 am #

    Specialized MTB shoes (not SPD). On my hybrid I have those little cages you jam your toes into which is a bit of a half way house. Like others I’m nervous about being able to unclip quckly and unexpectedly. I keep promising to take the plunge and migrate to SPDs but I’m happy with what I’ve got. I also like having one pair of shoes that I can use on my hybrid and my mountain bike.

    I’ve got some Bontrager neoprene overshoes which keep them dry but are a bit of an upper body work out to get them on.

  30. AJay 20/04/2012 at 10:47 am #

    I use a normal pair of pumas (I think), the ones with little bobbles on the sole – light, fit easily into my toe clips and grip well on the pedal, but useless when it rains, although they do dry quickly enough.
    I tried some SPD cleats but embarrassed myself on a hill as I couldn’t get out of them quickly enough. I’d consider trying cleats again if the shoes weren’t all so unwearable with regular clothes on so these Tevas are an improvement but ideally I’d prefer something a bit more feminine, less skater-y.

  31. Dave 20/04/2012 at 10:47 am #

    I wear Adidas Stan Smiths.

    The aren’t the best and I have been considering whether to go for clips or SPD’s.

    These look like a nice compromise though.

    Was always put off with riding around London in SPD’s.

  32. Rob Allen 20/04/2012 at 10:47 am #

    Plimsoll commuter! Light and comfortable, but I dread the rain

  33. Roisin 20/04/2012 at 10:52 am #

    My usual runners but uber miserable when it rains so I quite fancy these shoes!

  34. Martin Vines 20/04/2012 at 10:56 am #

    I work from home and a commute on the bike can happen at any time, when I need to visit a client or attend a meeting. So for work, I have just two pairs of leather shoes a black pair and a brown pair. Both are Brasher Likoma GTX. Otherwise on a weekend cycle I use trainers. Just got the Power Grips (thanks to a blog on this web site), so I am looking forward to using more muscles and improving the speed.

  35. Peter 20/04/2012 at 11:03 am #

    I usually wear some Lonsdale trainers. They’re not specialist bike shoes, but have a firm sole and are reasonably showerproof, although when I wore them from London to Paris they really did let the water in. Next day though they were dry and wearable again which is a plus. Keep toying with the idea of spd, but not come to any real decision yet. Probably I’ll stick with the firm trainer and toe clips which seem to work for me

  36. Brian 20/04/2012 at 11:05 am #

    I wear Brasher leather outer/goretex lined walking shoes. They have a stiff sole and keep my feet dry and warm. I wear Sealskinz waterproof socks.

  37. Mars 20/04/2012 at 11:06 am #

    I only have the one pair of cycling shoes with cleats. Having had a few “moments” with the clip-in/out when commuting, it’s now second nature and it definitely stops my feet slipping off the pedals in the wet – too many nasty gashes as a kid to want to go back to that! Endura overshoes only work on top! and they’re falling apart. So if you’ve got any kind of “sole” vent you’re just going to get wet! The Tevas look great, though. And if they’re grippy on a pedal… it’s all good!

  38. Christos 20/04/2012 at 11:11 am #

    I’ve ended up just using Adidas sambas on my road bike and SPDs when I’m out of London. Can’t seem to clip in fast enough after the traffic light ending up cycling one footed. Now with the rain though it’s getting awfully slippery just with the trainers. Considering getting some super grippy five ten cycle shoes. These Tevas look as sturdy as a tank though and as waterproof a Michael Phelps! Sign me up!

  39. Francois 20/04/2012 at 11:14 am #

    I just use my runners … which means the water gets in whenever I hit a puddle… rather stupid I know 🙂

  40. Paul 20/04/2012 at 11:22 am #

    My Time All Road Gripper pedals have a flat platform on on side and ATAC clips on the other so depending on where I’m going or what I’m doing I use my Specialised MTB shoes or normal shoes.

  41. Mark 20/04/2012 at 11:27 am #

    I wear Karrimore walking shoes, as the sole is nice and firm but they got very very wet last night! I have reversible pedals so that I can cycle in normal shoes or with cleats. Not that I’ve ever got around to buying the latter – I agree that for London commuting it would seem to be a real pain – but at least I know I could if I wanted to!

  42. Si 20/04/2012 at 11:45 am #

    I have an old pair of Adidas classics which I tend to wear – the wide rubber front keeps my toes dry and makes my SKS toe clip a little more comfortable. They do, however, have a massive hole in the bottom so they’re not great on days with puddles – plus I think they’re on their last legs (sorry if that sounded like a pun). They’re fine for the commute though as I change shoes when I get to work.

    I am starting to see where the benefit might lie with some proper cycling shoes these days and so I’ll probably be looking to upgrade soon. I’ll definitely check these out.

  43. Gert 20/04/2012 at 11:46 am #

    Both my commuter and touring bike have touring pedals. I don’t like SPD pedals.
    I’m usually wearing a pair of (thin) leather Reebok trainers; they’re OK-ish but
    you’ll get wet feet when it’s raining and when it’s warm your feet get rather hot.

  44. Kevin Sharkey 20/04/2012 at 11:51 am #

    I wear an old pair of Merrell trainers I bought years(2003 I think) ago in a sale in Blacks.
    They are gortex and I usually wear them without socks but they held up pretty well in the washing machine. They are on their last legs now to be fair.
    In the summer I also wear a pair of ecco sports sandals I got in a sale (pattern emerging here). They have neoprene underneath the straps so still provide some warmth even if it gets a bit wet.
    The Teva’s look like a decent option though.

  45. amandeep 20/04/2012 at 11:53 am #

    Adidas Originals … but have noticed that as the sole wears out (from walking) the more you feed the uncomfortable pedal!

  46. Paddy McCann 20/04/2012 at 11:57 am #

    I wear an old pair of Asics running trainers. I don’t like any sort of clips commuting in London and they do slip!

  47. John 20/04/2012 at 11:57 am #

    An old pair of New Balance trainers. Not much good when it’s cold though.

  48. Mark 20/04/2012 at 11:59 am #

    For London commuting on a road bike I use 1 toe strap but without tying in. Right hand non kerb side. useful as you get the efficiency of the upward movement but can easily put your left foot down at lights. Any old trainers but would like something more waterproof. Teva’s look nice.

  49. Thomas 20/04/2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Andreas,

    I usually wear leather ‘converse style’ shoes from Aldo when I ride. I got drenched at last summer’s Sky Ride and I was wearing a pair of canvas plimsolls, not a good feeling.

  50. Jinn 20/04/2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Rather sadly I use my normal every day shoes. I commute 8km each way, every day, rain, sleet or snow, and have slipped off my pedals several times in the rain, however I’d rather not use SPD’s.

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