Some riders swear by cycle-specific footwear. However, no matter what type of bike you’re on, the best non cycling shoes for cycling should still do an admiral job.
Here are my choices for the best non cycling shoes for cycling:
Why Choose Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling?Whether you're a BMXer who loves big air, a mountain biker who enjoys technical trails, or you just love a cruise on the weekend — sometimes it’s not necessary to shell out for pro-grade cycling shoes.
Advantages of Non Cycling Shoes for CyclingAlthough cycling shoes are renowned for boosting pedal power and performance, there are advantages to choosing non-cycling shoes.
Multi-PurposeCycle-specific shoes are ideal for cycling. However, you won’t win any 100m sprints wearing them. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you can walk very far in them at all. If the cleat isn’t recessed, you’ll do a perfect impression of walking like an Emperor penguin across Antarctica. Non cycling shoes for cycling don’t limit your walking ability — you won’t need to keep changing your shoes when you get on and off the bike. These shoes are equally as practical at home, while pedaling, or walking through town. I feel that non cycling shoes would be a great idea for cyclists who participate in triathlons or similar sporting events. Their versatility, provided you select one that has a flexible sole, would eliminate the need to change shoes between events.
More AffordableProper cycling shoes can be a pricey investment! A quality non-cycling shoe is generally much more affordable than footwear that’s bike-specific. As long as you choose a pair that offers the features to look for below, you should save a bit of cash — which you could spend on other cycling accessories!
Beginner or Urban Cyclist-FriendlyGetting to grips with clipless pedals and shoes can be a daunting prospect for new cyclists. Likewise, for those who simply want to commute to work every day — this type of bike upgrade may not be high on the priority list. The best non cycling shoes for cycling are as straightforward as putting them on, lacing them up, and stepping out with your bicycle. It also may help alleviate the fear of falling and being stuck in your pedals! Carrying an extra pair of shoes in your bag can also become a thing of the past. Your cycling shoes can double up as your regular shoes — and nobody will ever know the difference!
Who Are Non-Cycling Shoes Best For?Dedicated cycling shoes may not be for everyone. The best non-cycling shoes for cycling would suit you if you:
- Travel shorter distances.
- Ride with platform (or flat) pedals instead of clipless.
- Have no intention of pedaling super-fast.
- Don’t want to change shoes between the bike and the office/coffee shop/home.
Features to Look for in Non Cycling ShoesTo get the most out of your ride — the best non cycling shoes for cycling should meet certain requirements.
TractionIf you’re choosing a non-cycling shoe, it should possess a non-slip material on the sole for better grip — so that your feet have less chance of losing your footing on the pedals. Materials like rubber, EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam rubber, PU (polyurethane), and TPR (thermoplastic rubber) have solid traction properties. The tread pattern is also essential — a smooth design will offer less grip than something with a bit more of an aggressive texture.
VentilationAirflow is important in all sports shoes. It’s advisable to choose footwear with breathable material — none of us wants sweaty feet! Mesh is a reliable option. Some shoes will feature “breathing holes” — vents for airflow.
StiffnessAlthough the best non cycling shoes for cycling should be flexible enough to be comfortable when walking, they shouldn’t bend while you’re pedaling. The sole should be thick enough to be stable and shock-absorbing — but still comfortable. It’s also better if the sole is relatively flat. This provides more stability as there's no sole curve to consider — your feet will be flush with the pedals.
ComfortChoosing a shoe that feels good both on and off the bike is worthy of consideration. Breathability is one factor. Footwear with cushioning is another.
DurabilityA well-made shoe is also essential — you don’t want it falling apart after only a few months of heavy pedal action. Although selecting hardy material is significant, the sole is what makes the most difference — it will take the most wear and tear. Non-clip soles made of rubber, with a textured finish, is one solid contender.
FasteningsThe best non cycling shoes for cycling should secure firmly on your feet. Check out how the footwear fastens. Laces have the advantage of tightening well, but you’ll need to watch that the ends don’t snag.
Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling FAQs
“Why Do Cyclists Wear Cleated Shoes?”Cleated shoes (or clipless shoes) can offer a cyclist several benefits. As you’re clipped or locked into your pedals, you’ll improve pedaling efficiency. Your pedal revolution becomes smoother — by also being able to pull on the upstroke, you generate more power. They also allow for better control — with your feet fixed to your bike, you know they won’t slip off the pedals. This, in turn, will boost your confidence.
“Can You Ride Clip Pedals With Normal Shoes?”You can, although it’s best to stick to shorter distances. Clipless pedals do not have a large surface area like flat pedals. This makes it uncomfortable on your feet, and you have more chance of your feet slipping off — particularly in wet conditions. There are adaptors that temporarily convert clip pedals into something flatter if you want to switch between cycling shoes and the best non cycling shoes for cycling. Make sure they’re compatible with your pedals beforehand.
What are The Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling?
These get my nod for being the best non cycling shoes for cycling with high-friction — they’re considered mountain bike shoes, but their reliable grip makes them suitable for any type of cycling.
They’re also available in 10 different colors and sport a contemporary, modern design that gives them an extra bit of style. The suede leather is durable, although if you get caught in the rain, they’ll soak it right up!
In my opinion, one of the best features of this shoe is the sole. Made of Stealth rubber and sporting a circular tread pattern — offering notable grip-strength. This means there should be much less chance of your feet slipping off the pedals in any conditions.
The sole is also very flat and rigid enough to provide support on the pedals or for walking. However, they may be too firm for running.
A women’s version is available — with fewer color options, but the same features.
- 10 stylish, contemporary designs.
- Stiff sole is perfect for cycling.
- High traction patented rubber sole with textured tread.
- Suitable for commuting, road cycling, and mountain biking.
- Flat sole makes walking just as comfortable as biking.
- Not waterproof.
If you’re someone who commutes but likes to travel without excess baggage, I feel these could possibly hit the spot. They’re smart, slip-on, and also waterproof, so you could wear the same pair from bicycle to office.
The sole is unusually textured for a professional style shoe. It features an EVA footbed and memory foam insoles, so your foot shouldn’t become fatigued too quickly on the pedals.
The inner is moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, so you shouldn’t have to worry about damp socks or strange smells in the office. Due to the square shape of the toe box, I believe your feet will have sufficient room, hence, minimal pressure on the toes while pedaling.
This footwear has a broad size range, from 5 to 17, and in regular or wide options.
- Professional-style makes them ideal for bike to office footwear.
- Slip-on for easy wear.
- Unusually textured sole for a dress shoe.
- Available in both black and brown.
- Better breathability would be an improvement.
In my opinion, these could be the best non-cycling shoes for cycling for those who want to hop off the bike and jump straight into the gym.
The woven design is not only eye-catching, but Reebok’s Flexweave technology also makes them flexible and stretchable. This allows your feet to flex while remaining sturdy on the pedals.
When it comes to hopping off the bike, the heel support and extra cushion for shock-absorbing provide added stability on all terrains. If you enjoy casual triathlons, I feel these shoes are amazing for running too!
The toe box is also slightly wider than average, which I suggest could be useful if you’re riding with toe straps — it allows space to push down harder for more power on those upward climbs.
There’s also a women’s model — offering a range of 22 tasteful colors.
- 21 different color combinations.
- Wide toe box for extra comfort.
- Non-slip synthetic sole makes gripping pedals easy.
- Flex weave material allows for stretch and efficient airflow.
- Men’s and women’s options.
- Disappointing durability.
For me, there are two things about these shoes that get a big thumbs up — their price, and how lightweight they are. Sometimes, cycling shoes can feel heavy on the feet, but I think there’s little chance of that happening with these non-cycling shoes for cycling.
The uppers are made from knitted, breathable mesh — which not only gives the shoes a funky textured design, but may I propose, also keeps your feet cool as you commute.
A flat sole makes it easier to transition from cycling to walking, and vice versa. I believe the textured rubber design adds an extra element of safety and stability — they’re non-slip, providing traction on any type of pedal.
A feature that I feel is extremely useful is the ability to remove and wash the insoles. Even though the materials encourage airflow, sometimes you just need a fresh, clean pair of shoes before your next ride!
They have similar shoes for men, although they’re not the same model. Whether you’re male, female, a cyclist, a runner, or a commuter wanting a stylish shoe, I would have to say, these should do the trick!
- Affordable for a shoe with decent features.
- Mesh design is lightweight and breathable.
- 17 color options.
- Slip-resistant rubber outsoles.
- Textured outsole reinforces grasp on pedals.
- Inner soles are removable and washable.
- Lacks arch support.
In my opinion, indoor soccer shoes could be one of the most creative contenders in this best non cycling shoes for cycling line-up. They’re made of leather, which is durable and should last nicely with mild to moderate use.
I feel the flat, textured, rubber soles would be great for ensuring your feet don’t slide on the pedals. The non-chafe heel design could be helpful for longer or faster rides.
The lengthy, padded tongue also increases comfort, and I think it could be handy on colder days to keep the top of the foot warm while riding against the wind.
Soccer shoes are usually flexible enough to allow for some foot movement, but not to the extent that your foot would bend while pedaling.
- Constructed of leather.
- Textured rubber sole for extra grip.
- EVA insoles for comfort.
- Extended tongue for extra warmth while riding.
- No-chafe heel counter.
- No specific women’s version.
Summer is coming, and if you’re like me, you prefer wearing sandals to stay cool on hot days — these could appeal. They’re classed as a performance sport sandal, including a rubber sole for traction, and a reasonably stiff footbed.
The bungee-cord lacing system and the easy pull-on loop should make taking them on and off a breeze. After you’ve been out and about on the bike, you can clean them by throwing them in the washer, which is a feature that gets a big thumbs-up from me!
The footbed arch is contoured to provide great support, and they also offer toe protection, which is fantastic for safety when riding. They also have one of the most extensive color variety choices I’ve seen, so you can ride in whatever style you like best.
- Extremely well-ventilated.
- Convenience of machine washable.
- Large variety of colors on offer.
- Rubber sole is stiff and textured.
- Bungee lacing system for easy on/off.
- Stitching may not meet expectations for some.
You’re probably thinking, Vans are more at home in the skatepark than for cycling. However, in my view, their flat, sturdy, rubber-textured sole makes them suitable for pedals too.
The grip is what makes them contenders for this. As the design is for use on a skateboard, they require a high level of traction. They’re also quite stiff, so you shouldn’t lose too much energy when pushing down on the pedal’s platform.
I particularly like the fact that you can express yourself with these retro-style shoes — they come in 27 designs to choose from.
- Respected shoe manufacturer.
- Flat sole allows for easy cycling.
- Grippy underside rubber.
- Available in men’s and women’s sizes.
- Sizing runs small — you may need to order half to one size up.
I would suggest these are possibly the best non cycling shoes for cycling for those folks who love exploring the trails by bike or on foot.
This high-ankle shoe should offer more support and stability, plus its lightweight, which I feel is essential for any cycling footwear.
The mesh upper makes it quite breathable, which should keep your feet cool on rides. The outsole is made of non-slip rubber, and the aggressive tread pattern — is a combination which I’d say brings adequate traction to the table.
If you aren’t keen on the ankle support, they do offer low-top options too, with the same firm sole and gripping rubber underside.
- High tops for extra ankle support.
- Mesh upper for breathability.
- Non-slip, textured rubber sole.
- Low-top model available.
- Multi-purpose—great for hiking, climbing, as well as cycling.
- Only available in men’s sizes — ladies may have to adjust sizing to accommodate.
Just because you love to ride, you don’t have to take the clipless route unless you want to — there are alternatives out there.
My top pick for the best non cycling shoes for cycling are the Five Ten Men's Freeriders. They’re superbly grippy, so you can pedal to your heart’s content without worrying about your feet slipping off the pedals.
The sole is flat and stiff, perfect for cycling and walking. They also offer a women’s version, so nobody is left out! With a multitude of designs to choose from, you should be able to find something that suits your personality.
Also worth a mention are the KEEN Men's Newport H2 Sandals for summer cycling, the Rockport Men's Leader 2 for smart shoes, and the multi-purpose, sporty Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Sneakers.
But my top choice for non-cycling shoes for cycling remains the Five Ten Freeriders for their amazing traction.