The Best Non-Cycling Shoes for Cycling and Walking Around Town

Can you wear your sneakers to cycle into town? Are there shoes that are better than others for riding your bike to work?

best non cycling shoes for cycling

We look at the different types of shoes you can wear on and off your bike, and what features to look for. The best shoes for both jobs are right around the corner.

 

Here are our top 7 choices of the best non-cycling shoes for cycling.

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoes

These sneakers from Nike are some of the best regular shoes for cycling. They have a knit mesh upper to hug your foot, and Flywire cables enhance the fit. The firm but flexible rubber soles have Air Zoom throughout for comfort, and waffle piston soles provide traction on pedals.

Nike Women's Running Shoes
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Nike Women's Running Shoes
  • Mesh
  • Low Top
  • Active
  • China

Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoe
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Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoe
  • Synthetic
  • 100% AUTHENTIC
  • BRAND NEW IN BOX
  • 942851-001

 

2. Five Ten Freerider Pro Bike Shoes

Urban cycling shoes like these from Adidas are great for on and off your wheels. They have a weather-resistant lightweight upper, a toe box that resists impact, an EVA midsole for cushioning and a removable OrthoLite sock liner. The rubber outsoles provide grip with a bubble-like pattern.

Five Ten Freerider Pro Night Navy/Cloud White/Collegiate Gold 10.5
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Five Ten Freerider Pro Night Navy/Cloud White/Collegiate Gold 10.5
  • Durable biking shoes with proven grip for the mountain and town
  • Regular fit
  • Lace closure
  • Fast-drying synthetic upper
  • Textile lining; Stealth S1 rubber outsole for unbeatable grip

Five Ten Freerider Pro Black/Clear Onix/Shock Pink 6.5
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Five Ten Freerider Pro Black/Clear Onix/Shock Pink 6.5
  • Transitional biking shoes that grip the pedals and the pavement
  • Regular fit
  • Lace closure
  • Fast-drying synthetic upper
  • Textile lining; Stealth Non-marking, high-friction Stealth Phantom rubber outsole

 

3. Vans Old Skool Trainers

A favorite with skateboarders, Vans are a prime candidate for casual bike shoes. Their waffle design soles offer traction and grip, and an EVA insole gives added support to your feet. The canvas uppers in over 50 different colorways and patterns are unisex to fit men or women.

 

4. Tommaso Milano Men’s Comfort Shoes

These commuter cycling shoes from tommaso fit like sneakers and have a well-cushioned, flexible sole. There’s an added shank in the recessed area where you can attach cleats for clipless cycling. The synthetic uppers have a lace closure and a breathable mesh tongue.

Tommaso Milano  Men's Commuter/Spin Bike Cycling Shoe
161 Reviews
Tommaso Milano  Men's Commuter/Spin Bike Cycling Shoe
  • FACTORY DIRECT VALUE: By offering our Tommaso products factory direct, we are able to offer a level of quality and value that the competition can’t touch. We believe cutting costs by removing unnecessary expenses and marketing allows us to focus on making the best products at the best prices for our riders.
  • COMFORTABLE & RELAXED: Casual sneaker styling is perfect for everyday cycling and commuting. Hop off your bike and walk with easy on the comfortable and highly cushioned sole
  • GROUNDBREAKING VERSATILITY: The Milano offers a level of comfort and performance that is hard to find in cycling shoes. Easily add power to every pedal stroke with a hidden inner shank plate, which allows for optimum power transfer without sacrificing comfort.
  • QUALITY & PRECISION FIT: 100% Fit Guarantee, 100% Free Fit Returns, 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty. Please use Size Chart to ensure correct fit. Lace up system feels like a tennis shoe, but rides like a cycling shoe, with the fit you can only get from a lace up closure. Please Note: cycling shoes tend to fit tight, if you are in between two sizes or have a wide foot, please size up for best fit.
  • INCREASE POWER: Make your commute easier with the powerful upgrade to clipless shoes and pedals. Clipless pedals allow for a more full range of motion and allow you to activate more muscles groups on your pedal stroke. These versatile shoes are easy to use and perfect for commuters, road riders, and casual riders who are looking to increase their power and performance.

 

5. Etnies Marana Skate Shoes

If you’re looking for an alternative to non-clip cycling shoes, these sneakers could fit the bill. The leather and textile uppers have a fused rubber toe cap and hidden lace holes. Its Michelin rubber sole has a herringbone and tire tread pattern for superior traction and durability.

Etnies Women's Marana Shoes,9,Grey
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Etnies Women's Marana Shoes,9,Grey
  • Leather Upper
  • Rubber Sole
  • Lace-up closure
  • Etnies logo detailing
  • Mesh lining offers breathable wear

6. New Balance Women’s 09v1 Cycling Shoes

This is one for the ladies as city bike shoes or for spinning classes at the gym and then walking afterward. These sneaker-style shoes have a recess for SPD cleats, but are flat and flexible enough to hop off your bike and go. The breathable mesh uppers secure with hook-and-loop straps.

New Balance Women's 09v1 Cycling Shoe
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New Balance Women's 09v1 Cycling Shoe
  • Lightweight EVA midsole
  • Spin shoe
  • SPD Cleat Compatible
  • NB Cycle
  • NB Fresh

 

7. Giro Rumble Vr MTB Shoes

Giro brings us the Rumble Vr which are SPD commuter shoes that have a very grippy Vibram outsole with a recess for cleats. The supple synthetic fiber and mesh uppers are breathable and keep feet fresh. There’s an injected shank to give you power on the pedals.

Giro Rumble Vr MTB Shoes
241 Reviews
Giro Rumble Vr MTB Shoes
  • 425 grams (size 42)
  • vibram ecostep rubber outsole
  • Molded spd-compatible shank with optimized cleat zone
  • High-quality, breathable synthetic and mesh laced closure
  • evA midsole

 

 

Reviews of the best regular shoes for cycling

Cycling, whether for commuting or pleasure, is on the increase in the U.S. The number of cyclists grew by 43 percent nationwide between 2001 and 2017. Here are some of the best non-cycling shoes for cycling which could interest you for your excursions on two wheels.

 

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoes

Sneakers make excellent footwear for cycling. They have features that you’d want for riding your bike, like good traction, but are stylish and versatile enough for work or leisure.

 

These shoes are available for men in sizes 6 to 15 in regular and extra-wide. For women, there are sizes 5 to 12 in regular and wide options.

 

There’s an array of colors to choose from, with 45 different options for men and women. Stick with classic black or white, or choose from a range of blues, reds, and oranges. The ladies shoes also feature several shades of pink.

Nike’s proprietary Flymesh uppers are breathable to keep your feet cool and fresh. They’re enhanced with Flywires on the lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The heel collar is tapered at the Achilles tendon and padded for comfort.

The midsoles have Cushlon ST foam, and there’s a sock liner that adapts to the shape of your feet. Nike’s patented Air Zoom is placed through the soles providing cushioning and support.

Waffle pistons on the base of the rubber soles absorb impact and give traction. They’re firm enough for bike riding and flexible for walking.

On the downside, the outer soles of these shoes might not be durable and could wear out after a few months with heavy use.

Pros

  • Waffle piston design sole for traction.
  • Flymesh breathable uppers.
  • Flywire in the uppers for added support.
  • Air Zoom cushioning throughout the sole.

Cons

  • Soles could wear out quickly with heavy use.
Nike brings us a sneaker style, which is one of the best regular shoes for cycling. The waffle pistons in the soles will grip your pedals, and the Flymesh uppers keep feet fresh and cool. There’s cushioning and support throughout for your feet.

 

2. Five Ten Freerider Pro Bike Shoes

Adidas brings us an urban cycling shoe in the form of the Five Ten Freerider. They’re designed for use on flat pedals, like those on mountain bikes, but make a good choice for everyday wear on and off your bike.

 

Men can choose from sizes 6 to 12 in seven different colors, including grey, red, and navy. Women’s sizes are from 6 to 11 in four colors, including black with pink or blue accents and grey with pale green accents.

 

The synthetic uppers are lightweight and weather-resistant. They have a Poron toe box that’s impact-resistant. Their casual look is great for times when you aren’t riding.

A compression-molded EVA midsole provides cushioning for your feet. There’s also a removable OrthoLite sock liner that’s molded for support.

The outsoles have a tread pattern made from the Five Ten’s signature sticky Stealth S1 rubber to keep your feet on the pedals. They’re a medium stiffness in feel for performance.

It seems these shoes aren’t breathable, and they also take a while to dry if you get them very wet.

Pros

  • Toe protection.
  • Weather-resistant.
  • Traction soles.
  • Cushioned.

Cons

  • Might take a while to dry if they get wet.
These casual style Adidas Freeriders have a rubber sole which grips well on flat pedals. The transition from bike to everyday activities is smooth in these lightweight, cushioned shoes. They have a removable sock liner, so you can insert your own orthotics.

 

3. Vans Old Skool Trainers

Vans are a favorite casual bike shoe for many people. Manufactured initially as deck shoes back in the mid-1960s, they quickly became popular with skateboarders.

 

Their rubber soles and rugged construction appealed to this growing community throughout the 1970s — and remain a choice of casual sports shoes for many to the current day.

This unisex design is available in sizes 4 to 13 for men and 5.5 to 14.5 for women. A vast array of colors and designs are on offer, 52 in total. This includes block color, checks, glitter, and even a Marvel Avengers design, complete with silver wings on the side.

The low-top lace-ups have a canvas and suede upper with a padded tongue and lining. There’s a die-cut EVA insole that cushions and supports your feet.

One of the reasons these shoes are popular with cyclists is Vans signature waffle rubber sole. It gives excellent traction and grip on pedals.

It seems these shoes can rub your heels at first, so be prepared for a break-in period.

Pros

  • Canvas and suede uppers.
  • Signature Vans sole for traction.
  • EVA insole.
  • Wide range of color choices.

Cons

  • Might need a break-in period.
Vans Old Skool is a popular choice of footwear for cyclists. Their signature waffle outsole is great for traction, and the canvas uppers are flexible and comfortable. There’s an extensive choice of colors to appeal to men and women.

 

4. Tommaso Milano Men’s Comfort Shoes

Tommasso is a company that’s all about bikes. It produces and sells bicycles, and cycling gear, including shoes, direct from the factory to its customers. This enables it to offer products at a lower price point.

 

The Milano commuter cycling shoes have a flat sole with a recess in the forefoot for SPD or other two-hole cleats. This allows them to be used on a bike with clipless pedals, or off the bike for walking. They’re a sneaker style in black and grey that wouldn’t look out of place in a casual workplace.

These shoes come in European sizes so check the size chart for the US equivalent. They range from 41 to 48 EU (8 to 14 US) in a medium width.

Lace-up closures and a deep heel cup keep these shoes secure on your feet. Mesh inserts and a mesh tongue allow your feet to breathe and stay fresh and cool.

The rubber soles have a hidden shank on the inside at the cleat area stiffening them for use on a bike. Nevertheless, these shoes remain flexible enough for off-bike use.

A similar shoe is available for women. The Venezia comes in pink and black, or black, and sizes 36 to 42 EU (6 to 10.5 US). It has all the same great features as the men’s Milano.

 

The company offers a two-year warranty on either of these shoes. They also advise that if you fall between sizes or have wide feet, you should size up.

It might pay to watch where you walk in these shoes — if you step in a puddle, water might seep into the cleat area. On the subject of cleats, they aren’t included with these shoes and need to be purchased separately.

 

Pros

  • Recessed sole for SPD or two-holed cleats.
  • Flexible enough for off-bike use.
  • Black casual style shoe.
  • Two-year warranty.

Cons

  • Cleat area isn’t waterproof.
  • Cleats not included.
The Milano commuter cycling shoes have a recess in the sole for cleats (not included) to be attached. They’re firm enough for power when on the bike but remain flexible enough for walking as well. The plain black design is suitable for casual workplaces.

 

5. Etnies Marana Skate Shoes

Etnies is owned by Sole Technology Inc and manufactures shoes for BMX and skateboarding. Based in California, its sponsored several people within these sports, including Ryan Sheckler of reality TV fame.

 

The men’s run from a 5 to a 14, and the ladies, a 5 to 9.5. Its casual sneaker style is a great alternative to non-clip cycling shoes.

While women have two colors to choose from, including black or grey, men have over 50 choices. These include blacks, greys, reds, whites, blues, and browns. Ladies might be able to choose a men’s size to fit them using a size conversion chart.

 

The textile and leather uppers have a padded collar and tongue. There’s also a fused toe cap which is rubber injected for protection in this area. The laces have hidden loops adding to the safety of the shoes for cycling.

An STI Evolution foam midsole and Pro Foam polyurethane insole provides support and cushioning for your feet.

The Michelin outer soles have been designed around the tread of car tires for durability and grip. Made from 400 NBS rubber, they’re flexible and durable.

It seems these shoes run small and narrow, so you might have to size up.

Pros

  • Michelin outer soles for durability and traction.
  • Rubber-injected protection at the toes.
  • Hidden lace loops.
  • Cushioned midsole and insole.

Cons

  • Tend to run small.
Etnies brings us shoes with a Michelin rubber sole with the tread based on that of car tires. They offer traction for biking and flexibility for everyday wear. The shoes are cushioned and supportive and come in a vast array of colors for men.

 

6. New Balance Women’s 09v1 Cycling Shoes

New Balance has been manufacturing sports shoes for more than 100 years; however, cycling shoes are a reasonably new addition to its range. The company also sponsors Boston’s Hubway Bike Share system.

 

These ladies’ shoes are a good choice for city bike shoes or spinning classes at the gym. They’re available in sizes 5 to 12, and six colors including sea salt and metallic gold or white and grey.

Breathable mesh uppers lined with NB Fresh allow air to circulate, keeping feet dry and odor-free. They secure with hook-and-loop fasteners that offer support to your midfoot and can be easily adjusted.

The synthetic sole is firm but flexible and has a recessed cleat pocket for SPD attachments (not included). A lightweight EVA midsole provides cushioning when you walk.

There seem to be a few issues with the hook-and-loop closures on these shoes. Some find they’re either too short, come undone or need regular adjustment.

Pros

  • Suitable for cycling or spinning.
  • Recessed SPD cleat pocket (cleats not included).
  • Odor control lining.
  • Firm, flexible sole.

Cons

  • Hook-and-loop closures might be lacking length, or need regular adjustment.
These are a good choice for ladies looking for city bike shoes or ones for spinning classes. The mesh uppers have an odor-control lining and allow feet to breathe. Soles with a recessed SPD cleat pocket make them suitable for use on and off the bike.

 

7. Giro Rumble Vr MTB Shoes

Giro is one of the new kids on the block. It initially offered cycling helmets only, when it was founded around 30 years back. The company added shoes to their range in 2010.

 

These shoes for men come in sizes from 39 to 50 EU (7 to 15 US). There are three colors, black and glowing red, dress blue and gum, and olive and black.

The synthetic mesh uppers secure with tubular laces, and there’s a lace keeper to ensure they don’t get caught in your chain.

There’s a die-cut EVA footbed which cushions your feet. An injected inner shank provides support.

The outer sole is composed of a Vibram Ecostep rubber. These are designed to grip pedals and are durable. An SPD cleat compatible zone is recessed into the sole at the forefoot.

With flexibility throughout these make great SPD commuter shoes, taking you easily from bike, to trail, to sidewalk and beyond.

These shoes appear to run narrower and smaller than size conversion charts might indicate. You might need to size up by one or two sizes, especially if you have wide feet.

Pros

  • Cushioned midsole.
  • Vibram rubber outsole.
  • SPD cleat zone.
  • Lace keeper to secure laces out of the way.

Cons

  • Tend to run small and narrow.
Giro is a relative newcomer to the cycling shoe market; nevertheless, these shoes are a good SPD commuter option. They have Vibram outsoles with a recessed cleat zone that will take you from your bike to the streets of the city.

 

What Types of Shoes Can You Wear for Cycling?

This comes down to your personal preference. When we were younger, we probably thought nothing of jumping on and off a bike in sneakers, flip flops, or even barefoot.

However, with age comes experience and caution, and we realize that some of these choices might no longer cut it.

Here are some shoes that are more suited to cycling, which can also be worn “off-bike.”

 

Mountain Bike Shoes

Mountain bike shoes look a lot like regular sneakers. They secure with laces or hook-and-loop closures.

Some have quite rugged, lugged outsoles, and others have a recessed area for cleats. Many of these types of shoes will have flat soles for use with platform pedals.

They’re generally a good choice for taking you from bike, to city or mountain trail. They will have some flexibility and traction, but the soles may still be a little stiff to give power to your pedals.

This video shows you two types of mountain bike shoes.

 

City Bike Shoes

These are designed for urban use, or recreational or indoor cycling. They’re hybrids between casual shoes and cycling shoes. They usually have rubber outsoles with some flexibility, and a recessed zone for cleats to be attached.

They’re a good option for hopping on and off your bike, and getting on with life around town.

 

Skateboarding Shoes

These come with rubber soles and strong breathable uppers. They’re generally durable and have excellent traction to keep boarders steady and secure through their moves.

With many styles, colors, and sizes on offer from many different brands, you can match them to many outfits, or occasions. Some are casual, while others might be dressy enough for the office.

 

Sneakers and Running Shoes

While not designed for riding bicycles, some sneakers and running shoes could fit the bill for short distances. Make sure they have good traction so they’ll grip the pedals, and if there are laces, ensure they’re tucked away. You don’t want them getting caught up the bike chain.

This video from REI explains the difference between road, mountain, and city cycling shoes.

 

What to Look for in the Casual Bike Shoes

Here are some features to consider when choosing shoes for cycling and everyday use:

  • Traction: Maintaining grip on your pedals will allow you to cycle efficiently, and prevent your feet from constantly slipping. Look for rubber soles that have lugs, or are designed for traction. Some are described as having grippy or sticky soles making them a good choice.
  • Fastenings: Shoes for cycling should secure well on your feet. Hook-and-loop closures won’t get in the way of chains. Laces offer a more secure fit, but make sure the ends can be tucked away.
  • Comfort: Since you’ll also use these shoes for walking, make sure the soles are flexible and have some cushioning for your feet. Breathable mesh uppers will keep your feet fresh, and odor control will help prevent nasty smells.
  • Cleats: Cleats help lock shoes into the pedals in a clipless system. Yes, we know a way of securing something that has clips is called clipless. A recessed zone in the soles of the shoes for cleats to be attached will still allow you to walk around.
  • Stiffness: For efficient cycling, you want some stiffness in the soles, but not so much that you can’t walk in them afterward. Look for soles that aren’t thin and flimsy, and offer some support for your feet.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Well Should a Shoe for Cycling Fit?

When cycling, you want a shoe that’s snug at the heel and doesn’t exert uneven pressure across your instep. You should have some wiggle room for your toes, and not feel pinching across the ball of your foot.

Make sure the widest part of your foot is over the area where there are recessed cleats.

 

How Can I Tell If My Shoes Are the Right Size for Cycling?

Shoes for any activity, not just cycling, should feel comfortable from the get-go. Your arch should feel snug and supported, and your heel shouldn’t slip. Your toes shouldn’t be cramped in the front and have room to move around.

 

Do Bicycle Shoe Covers Work?

When the weather is wet, and you’re wearing non-cycling shoes on your bike, they could easily get ruined. You also won’t want to be walking around in soggy shoes all day.

Shoe covers like these from ARunners could be your answer. Many people find they’re a good solution for keeping your shoes and feet dry. They also come with a handy waterproof bag to pack them away in.

You can also get toe covers to keep your feet warm when a cold snap hits. They have the elasticity to fit over the front of your shoes with thermal and windproof features.

 

Can You Wear Road Cycling Shoes for Walking?

Road cycling shoes are designed with stiff, flat soles, and they have little or no traction. The cleats tend not to be recessed either. This means they aren’t a good choice for walking more than short distances.

 

Time to Get on Your Wheels (and Get Off and Walk)!

The shoes you wear for cycling, and getting on with life off your bike are very much a personal choice. Wearing the best non-cycling shoes for cycling ensures you get the most out of both worlds.

Just remember to make sure the shoes you choose fit your lifestyle and your feet!

We hope you enjoyed our guide and found it useful and informative. Let us know which shoes you choose and how you get on. Leave us a comment and please share with other occasional or commuting cyclists.

 

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