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. Jean-Philippe 20/04/2012 at 12:20 pm #


    I use my good old Adidas trainers. The sole kind of locks in with the pedal which is very convenient. However they do not protect against water at all. 🙁


  2. Simon 20/04/2012 at 12:28 pm #

    It varies: I wear SPD touring shoes for commuting and any time I’ll be spending a lot more time in the saddle than walking, unclipping is second nature and I don’t even notice doing it. At other times I just wear whatever I happen to have on my feet (shoes, boots, sandles in the summer, trainers if I’m cycling somewhere for a run etc).

    I do have some waterproof covers that work pretty well, but I never seem to have them at the right time so wet feet are always a shower away – on Wednesday this week it felt like cycling home with my shoes full of water….

  3. Rich C 20/04/2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Black Converse shoes, which I can get away with wearing at work during the day. They’re not ideal though, canvas, and the sole gets slippy in the wet, so I was looking for an alternative…

  4. Lisa 20/04/2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Normally I wear a pair of old trainers, and if it’s wet I’ve got a pair of Altura commuter overshoes in a large size that fits over them. But I have been known to wear snow boots in mid-winter, and before I got the overshoes I used to wear wellies in the rain. When cycling to places not part of my commute I wear whatever shoes fit my outfit, sometimes high heels (which are easier to cycle in than walk in!)

  5. Sheila 20/04/2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I use straps (loose)!for in city with my old Saucony running shoes but I use SPD for training.

  6. Goonz 20/04/2012 at 12:56 pm #

    I have mountain bike spd shoes and also just bought proper road shoes which look great and are very light on my road bike, but as you say Andreas very difficult to walk in and sounds like I have higher heels than the most women wear!

    The mountain bike version are great as you can actually walk in them so a good compromise between the 2.

    i could never go back to normal pedals.

  7. Geoff Cooper 20/04/2012 at 1:13 pm #

    In the process of upgrading to SPDs (dual-purpose so I have a back-up option). Though having read “7 things you should give up to be a happy cyclist”, maybe the 8th could be, “Don’t worry about type of footwear, you’ll be home soon anyway”.

  8. Kevin F 20/04/2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I tend to wear what’s on my feet at the time, Trainers, clogs, cleated shoes although on a longer ride & definitely off-road it’ll always be the latter. I’m lucky in that I have reversible pedals so can choose to suit

  9. Darren 20/04/2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I use SPDs on recreational/longer rides but when I am cycling in to work, I actually wear lightweight hiking boots along with my Superstar Nano flat pedals as I get lots of grip with this combo….

  10. Bokers 20/04/2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I used to wear trainers but made the switch to SPDs 6 months ago – transformed my commute. Proper cycling shoes are almost completely waterproof, also the cleat on mine is recessed so you can walk around without sounding like a tap dancer/scratching wooden floors etc.

    I know its seems wrong to have your feet secured to a pedal in London traffic, but it heightens your awareness because you have to predict whats going to happen ahead of you. I did fall over 3 times at red lights when I made the switch – once outside Bank tube in front of some very amused commuters!

    Now it’s second nature and far more efficient with bonus of dry feet.

  11. Chul 20/04/2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I ride a single speed with a pair of specialized mountain biking shoes (easier to walk in if necessary) and crank brothers eggbeaters. I find them to easier to clip out of than SPDs when city riding.

  12. Paul B. 20/04/2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I wear a nondescript pair of cycling shoes with cleats. Never get my feet wet because I don’t go out if it’s raining, or looks like raining! I retired 7 years ago and so don’t have to go out. Cycling is for enjoyment and I don’t enjoy getting wet. However, I do agree that cleats take a bit of getting used to. Made a bit of a pillock of myself early on by falling off a couple of times, much to the amusement of my wife.
    I’m not a commuter and only go to London if I have to, and then only by train. However, love the blog. Always something interesting to read, even for us country bumpkins.

    • Goonz 20/04/2012 at 2:10 pm #

      Agree with giving others amusement during the first few weeks of cleat training.

      I decided to practise in the park and sods law there had to be a group of kids there so I soon had an audience as I fell again and again.

      Still I’d much rather be a laughing stock to a bunch of kids in a park then fall flat in front of a bus or car on a main road in London.

  13. Dave Greenwood 20/04/2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Usually, just whatever shoes I want to be wearing when I get off the bike; most days that’s a pair of black brogues. When it’s so cold that I need to add an extra pair of socks, I wear a pair of cheap cycling shoes from Lidl (which were great VFM, BTW).

    • Goonz 20/04/2012 at 2:11 pm #

      I have been hearing a lo of good things about cycling gear from Lidl. I didn’t believe it at first but I might have to go see for myself.

  14. Andrew 20/04/2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I wear Specialized BG Comp MTB Shoe, I wear them for both road and MTB use, and I have Time Atac clips on all my bikes. I would prefereably use eggbeaters, but since I have 4 bikes all with TA’s fitted the cost to change is just to much to justify.
    I have in the past used Power Grips with Adidas handball shoes, and they worked well.
    I have never found a shoe that is genuinly waterproof, so the TEVA shoes do sound interesting.

  15. Tiva 20/04/2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I cycle in jeggings and knee high boots. Keeps you warmer and looks nice and trendy. You should give me a pair of those Teva shoes because that’s my name… albeit spelled slightly differently. 🙂

  16. Liz 20/04/2012 at 3:30 pm #

    I usually wear a pair of specialized trainer style cycling shoe, good for walking in and very comfortable.

  17. pir 20/04/2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Trainers with the laces tucked in out of the way, which are starting to fall apart so I need a new pair. The boots I wear much of the rest of the time aren’t good for cycling.

  18. matt_fantastic 20/04/2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Normally wear Sidi MTB Actions – MTB shoe so they have a treaded sole for whatever walking around is required – replaceable too (“SRS”) – although have just got a pair of the Chrome Kursk Pro’s for a less extreme look when required…

  19. Matthew 20/04/2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Mainly my velcro-up old Specialized BG cycling shoes, sometimes stiffish trainers, Salomon ones which are eventually falling apart are fantastic and also sometimes shiny chelsea boots. I use MKS toe clips with leather protectors and leather toe straps because I can. Use toe clips on 29er, urban singlespeed and cross cause twistyness of spds scare my damaged knees.

  20. John Somers 20/04/2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Since I was in my early teens (many years ago now) I have had my feet “clipped in” to the pedals in one way or another and until about 2005 it has always been with the old fashioned style of toe clips with a strap, with a variety of narrowish trainers – the last being a pair of black leather Adidas Smaba’s.

    When in 2005 I was “persuaded” to try out the SPD pedal/shoe combination again – and to be honest I have never looked back, so now all the bikes are fitted with Shimano PD-M520 pedals (the best value for money SPD pedals around IMHO) and a variety of Shimano SPD shoes – 2 x pairs SH-MT40’s, 1 x pair SH-M075 and a brand spanking new pair of SH-M077.

    I cycle on average >200 miles per week nowadays and really haven’t had a problem with SPD’s since I migrated to them 7 odd years ago and really no concerns cycling in heavy London traffic either – it actually makes “track starts” at lights and junctions so much easier with my feet “clipped in”.

    OK, I would recommend that anyone looking at migrating to SPD’s stick to the old “toe clip” method of securing your feet – in that the foot you always tend to put down is set ever so slightly looser that the foot that always tends to stay on the pedal, in that way you always have the confidence of getting your foot off the pedal to put down quickly.

  21. Sonya 20/04/2012 at 5:22 pm #

    I wear an old nike high tops comfi and warm on the anlkes, not water proof but water resistant. Also a new super comfi Clarks leather Henderson Way flat with underfoot cushioning.
    I love cycling but I don’t like the sporty cycle like style of the products on sale. I cannot imagine going for all that gear that will make me look like I’m just here to take part in the Olympics. I am for urban-like, stylish and comfortable clothing that is fit for cyclists.

  22. Dimitris 20/04/2012 at 6:01 pm #

    First time i wore SPDs I fell at the first red light (and the second one). But that was it. Now I swear by SPD shoes and they feel safer in traffic becasue I can incease the cadence very fast and I know that I will not slip off the pedals.

    MTB (recessed) SPDs on my tourer and fast road bikes (Shimanos, which tend to run a bit wider), with straps (faster and easier). Two pairs: lether/mesh for summer and gore tex for the winter. Shoes have to be recessed or the wooden floors will get moon-like craters.

    Clarks gore tex sports shoes when on my Brompton – if only it had a folding SPD pedal!.

    Almost all my cycling is commuting, and I hate my feet getting wet.

    Safe journeys to all

  23. philcycle 20/04/2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I wear Specialized Sonoma shoes, with time Atac pedals (easy clipping in and out). Will soon need to search for another shoe as the Sonoma is now discontinued. As I need a reasonably wide fitting I may try the Specialized touring shoe or look at the Exustar range.
    Always use overshoes for warmth and waterproofing when needed.

  24. David 20/04/2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Tec running shoes when it’s dry, Karrimore walking shoes when wet – usually dry enough. Have been wondering about using Power Grip pedal straps, which seem a reasonable half-way between flat pedals and clips – has anyone got experience with these?

  25. Steve 20/04/2012 at 9:04 pm #

    I wear addidas trainers have thought about changing to spd’s for a few years now but never got round to it. I have seen a couple of fall trying to get foot out which has put me off but very funny

  26. polycosm 20/04/2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I wear hi-Tec waterproof boots for my daily commute, they have a waterproof membrane and some sort of hydrophobic coating on the surface, and are very comfy.I have cycled in heavy downpours for 40 odd minutes and my feet and socks stay totally dry. I was thinking of getting some north face hedghogs for the warmer weather. To be honest I find it strange that people think that they have to wear only “cycle” clothes when on a bike. If it ain’t specialized, or similar then some people think its not worthy. What’s wrong with tried and tested walking/hiking/running gear..

  27. Toledo Eagle 20/04/2012 at 9:55 pm #

    On my road and touring bikes I have always used SPD pedals and shoes.

    However, this year two of us will be cycle touring in France and want to combine the cycling with lots of ‘cultural’ walking around buildings and towns.

    The Teva ‘grippy’ biking shoes (particularly in combination with some of the non-slip pedals now available) would seem to be a great idea when not using toe-clips or cleats.

    The Teva biking shoes would seem to be strong contenders in answer to the old “What shoes for cycling AND walking?” conundrum.

    These shoes are definitely worth another look!

  28. AnythingButVanilla 20/04/2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I wear Vans, Converse or DC trainers on my road bike and anything bar flip flops on my shopping bike. Sometimes I think that I should try SPDs and other times I just think “meh, why bother”.

  29. Chris Bolton 20/04/2012 at 11:11 pm #

    I wear Exhustar spd sandals whenever the weather is warm enough. It’s only my last remnant of fashion conciousness that stops me wearing them with socks in the winter!

  30. john mulligan 21/04/2012 at 12:00 am #

    I wear spd shoes. I have tried ‘Look’ style shoes and cleats but i never got on with them.

  31. Ben Weller 21/04/2012 at 12:45 am #

    I wear just a pair of old plimsols. should probably get something better they arn’t the most comfortable things to wear on pedals. would go for the clip in shoes though, spent far too much time stuck behind cyclists who cant get clipped back in at traffic lights.

  32. RSK 21/04/2012 at 1:13 am #

    I wear a pair of old trainers which are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes I own right now. They’re getting a bit old and tatty by now though – all those drenchings aren’t helping.

  33. Mark Newell 21/04/2012 at 3:03 am #

    I wear Merrell Enuma cross trainers, Asics GT2000 range running shoes for leisure and my Magnum boots at work, which amazingly are the best!

  34. Christian 21/04/2012 at 7:35 am #

    I’m just returned to cycling after a 12 year absence. I have to admit I don’t wear any recomended clothing as yet.

  35. Mouseboks 21/04/2012 at 10:17 am #

    Convert to SPDs, I find riding without being clipped in quite hard now as I can’t reset the pedal angle just by lifting. Walking around the office in tap shoes does annoy people though..

  36. Jessie 21/04/2012 at 10:38 am #

    I bicycled across Holland during Easter and started out wearing my Asics running shoes. The weather was much cooler than we’d planned for and my toes were virtually blocks of ice, so I upped to 3 pairs of socks and my Converse Chuck Taylors, while being envious of my friend’s cosy lined leather boots.

  37. John Butler 21/04/2012 at 11:57 am #

    I don’t wear anything – not that I’m the cycling equivalent of Zola Budd – but as kid I learnt to cycle bare foot and I’ve never felt comfortable wearing shoes.

  38. Chris C 21/04/2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Im still a trainers man as I can then get off an move straight into a run (in training for a triathlon). But ive just bought some SPD pedals so definitely looking to upgrade my shoes now!

  39. Angus 21/04/2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I wear a pair of Wenger trainers, nothing special at all really. No real water repelancy. I’m only commuting a short distance, so it’s not like I need to be prepared for anything terrible.
    Also, as I’m using a Brompton, I can always wimp out and catch a bus.

    As I always say, my puncture kit is an Oyster card.

  40. danny gibson 21/04/2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I wear a pair of Clarks gore-tex trainers. Not sure what style etc but they have great grip and keep my feet bone dry.

  41. Wheels 21/04/2012 at 6:51 pm #

    When commuting I wear my normal work shoes (it’s only about a 5 mile round trip) and for longer rides Lidl cycle shoes are quite good (and reasobaly priced). They aren’t water proof but are warm and don’t get too sweaty in the summer. SPD compatible too!

  42. Alister Barclay 21/04/2012 at 9:09 pm #

    I am currently wearing a knackered pair of Karrimore shoes that I bought from TKMaxx for ten quid. They have three holes in them, two of them worn through the soles, at least they drain easily in the current weather. So that’s why I need to win this competition.

  43. Mike Waters 21/04/2012 at 9:30 pm #

    bontrager road shoes at the weekends and regular trainers for my commute,

  44. olbap 21/04/2012 at 10:11 pm #

    dhb shoes

  45. Julie Lovegrove 22/04/2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Ive just purchased some Shimano SPD Sandals to wear on my Ice Trike for the spring and summer, they have been recommended to me by other cyclists.

  46. Rob Barker 22/04/2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I have a pair of Specialized Elite road shoes and love the ratchet system for fastening them. For MTB I have an old pair of Shimano no idea what model/name and very much on need of something new

  47. Becky 22/04/2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I have just been cycling in old trainers but sadly lost one of them (fell out of my bag!) I have considered spds but I haven’t yet been convinced I’d get that much out of the extra outlay. On my brompton, pretty much anything goes (not flip flops though)

  48. AT 23/04/2012 at 10:28 am #

    I wear a pair of old trainers for commuting, and am thinking I should have made more effort to dig out my waterproof overshoes for the recent weather…
    If I’m doing longer touring, I’ll cycle in lightweight hiking boots or sandals, so I don’t have to change shoes if I stop for sightseeing/or a wander off the bike.

  49. Sue 23/04/2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I have toe clips on my bike and have difficulty finding suitable shoes to ride in. All the normal cycle shoes are to bulky to fit into the toeclip, and on ordinary shoes the soles are not stiff enough to give maximum pressure on the pedal. All the traditional leather cycling shoe suppliers seem to cater only for men. Does anyone have any ideas/info for women cycling with toe clips please?

    • Phil Russell 24/04/2012 at 1:36 am #

      [[[[[[[[[[[[[ SUE, nothing wrong with old-school toeclips & straps,and if your “cycling shoes” are too big to slide in & out, then it sounds like your clips are too small…any decent bike-shop should be able to sort the prob…..for me, the seat and the feet have to be happy, or riding’s just a pain.
      P.R. ]]]]]]]]]]]]]

      • Sue Abel 25/04/2012 at 7:52 pm #

        Phil, Thanks for the advice. It’s that the cycling shoes are bulky – the soles are very chunky and there are velcro bits on the top which make it not so easy to slide in and out, which is the problem. You’re right that everything has to be right – I just invested in a Brooks saddle hoping that it might alleviate my 40 mile sore bum, which is a real pain!

  50. MikeF 23/04/2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Depends what I decide to ride- my crappy yet comfy commuter has flat pedals so I can wear anything I feel like. I have spd-sl pedals on my road bike so I wear specialized entry level road shoes for that, and my fixies all have spd pedals, so I wear diadora mtb shoes (a size too small though) for those. I keep meaning to get better spd compatible shoes and run spd pedals on everything (except the road bike, spd-sl with good road shoes transfers more usable power). I love being clipped in, I’m much quicker that way

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