Cycling Shoes and Pedals

Riding shoes with cleats, like the Sidi shoes shown here, are comfortable and keep your feet properly placed on the pedals. The cleats come are bought separately from the shoes, and come in two types: two hole and three hole. The shoes and pedals you decide on determine which type of cleat you require.

That said, they do take a little getting used to. When you come to a stop, you have to remember to turn your heel out away from the bike to release the shoe from the pedal. You don’t have to fall too many times before you remember to do that, though. 😉 I’m kidding, it really doesn’t take long for it to become second nature. Just practice in an easy riding flat area.

If you should decide to buy a pair I suggest you have a bike pro fit them for you, it’s important to get it right.

Sidi Genius 7 Road Bike Shoes
  • Microtech microfiber uppers with non-solvent-based treatment provides water-repellency
  • Caliper Buckle 2-way ratchet with incremental tightening
  • High-security hook-and-loop straps
  • Reinforced heel cups provide protection in the event of a crash
  • Millennium 5 carbon-composite soles
  • Replaceable, lightweight polyurethane heel pads improve walkability
  • Sidi Genius 7 Bike Shoes - Road Bike
    Shimano PD-R550 SPD-SL Road Pedals
  • Extra-wide platform design delivers foot-to-pedal stability and increases power transfer
  • Durable stainless-steel body reduces flex and pedal-body wear
  • Wide bearing placement offers stable, uniform load distribution
  • Cleats are included with the Shimano PD-R550 SPD-SL Road Pedals
  • Shimano PD-R550 SPD-SL Road Pedals
    Shimano SH-11 SPD-SL Cleats
    Stock replacement cleat for all Shimano SPD-SL pedals including PD-7810, PD-6620, PD-5610, PD-R540
    Shimano SH-11 SPD-SL Cleats
    Shimano ME3 Mountain Bike Shoes - Women's
  • Midsoles are rigid enough for stability and response, but still permit some flex for natural rider "flow" on descents
  • Low-profile reverse buckles and cross straps
  • Midsoles are reinforced with glass fiber
  • Lightweight rubber outsoles offer traction in all conditions
  • Women-specific fit
  • Shimano ME3 Mountain Bike Shoes - Womens
    Five Ten Canvas Mountain Bike Shoes - Men's
  • Mountain Bike Platform Shoe
  • Durable canvas uppers are light and breathable
  • Midsole - EVA
  • Cleat style - none
  • Outsole - Stealth S1 rubber
  • Five Ten Canvas Mountain Bike Shoes - Men's
    Race Face Chester Platform MTB Pedals
  • Mountain Bike Pedals
  • Tough and burly nylon composite body provides a large platform with the same grip as traditional alloy pedals via the bottom-loading 8 hex traction pins per side
  • Nylon composite body with thin and lightweight concave platform
  • Replaceable steel pins
  • Race Face Chester Platform Pedals
    Shimano M520 SPD MTB Pedals
  • Mountain Bike Pedals


  • Fluorine-coated binding claws allow for easy entry and release
  • Pedals are dual-sided for easy entry and feature strong, durable CrMo spindles with 8mm Allen wrench mounts
  • Low-maintenance sealed bearing cartridge axles
  • Dual-sided tension adjustment
  • Shimano M520 SPD Pedals - Mountain Bike
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    For leisurely riding and short commuting distances, cycling shoes aren’t quite so important. If yo do want to use cycling shoes, there are some shoes, such as the Shimano Commuter/Touring Shoes shown below, that are easier to walk in.

    My commuting bike is set up with toe clips so I can use any shoes suitable for riding and working. Some people prefer this setup even on the long-distance rides. On a side note, I don’t pull the strap tight on the toe clips, as it’s hard to get your foot out quickly if necessary.

    These Sunlite ATB toe clips are of the type I have on my commuter bike; they’re lightweight nylon and bolt onto platform pedals. Nice setup.

    Bottom Line:
    The shoe type you use is detemined by two things: the type of riding you are doing, and whether you prefer cleats or toe clips.

    For shorter rides, say 25 miles or less, I think platform pedals are fine, and you can use any shoe you want (but not sandals). Add the toeclips for longer rides if you don’t want to use cleated shoes.

    If you do longer rides and want a cleated shoe, but still need comfortable walking shoes, I would choose a shoe like the Shimano shoe shown above (that’s a men’s shoe, but there are similar women’s shoes).