We’ve talked about getting started with clipless pedals, we’ve talked about different pedal options, now it’s time to look at shoes. I’ve been riding with Sidi mountain bike shoes, and I’m quite happy with them thus far. They have a very stiff sole (ideal for power transfer to the pedal), a ratcheting system to get a snug fit, and what I think is a pretty badass aesthetic. But I’ll admit, they don’t exactly help me “blend in” with the general public. They’re obviously a cycling shoe. If you want something a bit more subtle, that will be comfortable to wear all day, there are a surprising number of casual bike shoes on the market.
Companies like Shimano and Pearl Izumi have been making SPD compatible shoes with a softer sole and hiking shoe design for years. But more recently, the popularity of urban cycling has led to several stylish, SPD compatible sneakers from companies like Chrome, DZR, and even Vans. Here are some of my favorite options:
Chrome Kursk: A light weight, SPD compatible, canvas shoe from the beloved bag maker. Think: an updated Chuck Taylor for cyclists.
DZR H20: DZR is a shoe company that specializes in SPD compatible sneakers. They know what they’re doing. Their newest offering, the H20 is waterproof. Theres nothing worse than having soaked shoes and socks when you get to work in the morning, and the H20 solves that issue while looking great. The treated leather and internal membrane keep your feet dry, while the high top design stops water from coming in over the shoe.
Five Ten Hellcat: Five Ten makes everything from hiking shoes, to rock climbing shoes, to these bad boys. The Hellcat is a SPD compatible option for those of us with a soft spot for skate shoes.
Vans Warner: Speaking of which, heres some SPD compatible kicks from the masters of the skate shoe. Classic Vans design with a weather resistant outer.
DZR Midnight: I couldn’t help but sneak another offering from DZR in the lineup. I just plain like their shoes. This one is a mix of canvas and micro fiber. Not going to keep the water out like their H20, but it’s comfortable and no doubt stylish, on the bike, or off. That was the goal here right? You can check out all their models at http://www.dzrshoes.com/.
Mavic Alpine: Here’s a SPD compatible shoe that would be at home on the mountain bike trail or the trip into town. Coming from the French wheelmaker, Mavic, these sport a light hiking shoe design. My favorite in that category.
Quoc Pham Derby: If you’re looking for something a bit more formal, check out Quoc Pham. Their Derby is a beautiful brown suede shoe that you would never expect can accept a clipless pedal cleat. They are made to order though, so don’t expect them to be cheap.
There a lot more options than what you see here, and I’d suggest taking a look at the other models from all the manufacturers above. These are just my favorites, and we all know style is subjective. What shoes do you use with your clipless pedals?