The 8 Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling for Men & Women [2022]

The Best Non-Cycling Shoes For Cycling: Two cyclists standing next to their bikes

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These are the best non cycling shoes for cycling for men and women from various price ranges.

They will be a perfect choice if you are afraid of cycling with clipless pedals, want versatile shoes for multiple sports or purposes, or simply prefer easier walkability off the bike.

Before taking cycling seriously and buying cycling-specific shoes, I wore different shoes when cycling.

I also asked friends and family members what type of shoes they prefer on their bikes and did in-depth research to save your time.

I found out that running shoes like Under Armour Charged Assert 9 for men or Adidas Cloudfoam Pure and Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 for women seem to be the best regular shoes for cycling for non-demanding riders. Their soles are relatively soft, allowing you more walk comfortably.

Buy Five Ten Freerider (also available for women) if you are a demanding rider. These non-clip shoes have stiff soles for efficient power transfer and provide an excellent grip to avoid slipping your feet off platforms.

Read this entire article if you are keen to learn more about what shoes without cleats are suitable for cycling, what types of bike pedals to use with regular shoes, their pros & cons, and much more.


TIP: Visit this article if you are looking for the Best Mountain Bike Shoes for Platforms.


What Are the Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling?

The best non cycling shoes for cycling must be comfortable to ensure a pleasant riding experience.

Their soles should be non-slip, so your feet won’t slip off the pedals. Buy shoes with softer soles (like running shoes) if you plan to use them for walking. Consider shoes with stiffer soles (MTB shoes for platforms) if you care about power transfer efficiency and won’t use them for walking.

ShoesTypeVariants forBuy
Under Armour Charged Assert 9Running shoesMen & Women Check Price
Nike Air Max Bella TR 2Training shoesWomenCheck Price
Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Running shoesWomenCheck Price
Five Ten FreeriderMTB shoes for platformsMenCheck Price
Five Ten FreeriderMTB shoes for platformsWomenCheck Price
Tommaso MilanoCommuting shoesMenCheck Price
ASICS Gel-Venture 7Trail/Hiking shoesMenCheck Price
Vans AtwoodSkate shoesMenCheck Price
Merrell Moab 2Hiking shoesWomenCheck Price
List of the best non-cycling shoes for cycling with the info about their type, and variants. I recommend using them with flat or hybrid pedals.

NOTE: Regular shoes often don’t provide sufficient arch support. I recommend combining them with shoe insoles to get better arch support and improve your riding comfort.


The Best Men & Women Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling

The selection below includes regular shoes without cleats suitable for cycling. If you want to take your cycling to the next level, get a pair of cycling shoes.

Under Armour Charged Assert 8 black and grey right shoes from the side and black shoe from the top
Under Armour Charged Assert 9

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Five Ten Freerider grey women shoe and brown men shoe from the side with a black shoe from the top
Five Ten Freerider

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Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 black and light green left shoes from the side with pink left shoe from the top
Nike Air Max Bella TR 2

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Under Armour Charged Assert 9

Under Armour Charged Assert 8 black and grey right shoes from the side and black shoe from the top

Pros

  • 20+ colors available
  • For both men & women
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Comfortable
  • Very breathable
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Weak arch support
  • Not very suitable for hiking and trekking

Under Armour Charged Assert 9 shoes are designed primarily for men but are also sold in colors suitable for women.

They are well-ventilated, which you will appreciate on cycling trips in summer and during hot days.

Charged Assert 9 shoes are flexible enough for walking, but they are perfect for flat pedals thanks to their roughened sole because they won’t slip off.

Their low weight (0.62 lb [280 g]) is great for easy pedaling, so you won’t get tired as quickly.

Their attractive design is also suitable, for example, for commuting or walking to and from work.

I don’t recommend using them on rough terrains like trails, demanding hikes, etc. These shoes are not designed for these conditions. If you are looking for highly-durable shoes for cycling, check out Five Ten Freerider.

The main disadvantage of Charged Assert 9 is their weak arch support. Therefore, use them with insoles.


Nike Air Max Bella TR 2

Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 black and light green left shoes from the side with pink left shoe from the top

Pros

  • Available in a large number of colors
  • Very breathable
  • Flat sole with holes perfect for platform pedals
  • Comfortable
  • Moderate arch support
  • Available in standard and wide fit
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Not very suitable for hiking and trekking

Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 are popular running shoes. They are lightweight (0.51 lb [230 g], comfortable, and well-ventilated.

Thanks to their flat sole with holes, they won’t slip off the pedals, ensuring your safety and confidence.

The loop on the back makes it easier for you to put them on. They are perfect for warm days because they provide enough ventilation to avoid overheated feet.

Their attractive design is suitable not only for running and cycling but also for a gym, spin classes, or walking in a city.

I don’t recommend them for rides and walks on/in rough terrains because they are not as durable as trekking shoes or MTB shoes for platform pedals. Check out Five Ten Freerider for Women instead.

You can choose from a range of attractive colors. They are available for women with standard and wide feet.


Adidas Cloudfoam Pure

Adidas Cloudfoam Pure pink and blue left shoe from the side with a grey shoe from the top

Pros

  • Available in a large number of colors
  • Very lightweight & breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Good arch support
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Not very suitable for hiking and trekking

The iconic design of the Adidas Cloudfoam Pure shoes made them the desired item for many sport-oriented women.

They are very comfortable, provide excellent breathability, and are lightweight (depending on their size, they weigh 0.44 to 0.55 lb [200 to 250 g]).

Thanks to their flexibility, low weight, and rubber sole, they are also one of the best regular shoes for cycling.

Their insole made of Cloudfoam Memory is worth mentioning too. It adapts to your foot, so it offers maximum comfort.

Adidas Cloudfoam Pure shoes are available in a large number of colors. However, unlike Nike Air Max Bella TR 2, they are not available in a wide fit.

These shoes are designed for running and walking on paved roads, so I don’t recommend them for highly demanding terrains (Five Ten Freerider for women are better for these conditions).


Five Ten Freerider

Five Ten Freerider grey women shoe and brown men shoe from the side with a black shoe from the top

Pros

  • Suitable for demanding terrains
  • Available in a large number of colors
  • A stiff and grippy sole
  • Impact-resistant toe box
  • Suitable for wide feet

Cons

  • Heavier than running shoes
  • More expensive than casual shoes

Five Ten belong among the most popular brands that produce one of the best cycling shoes without cleats suitable for flat pedals.

Their legendary Freerider is a predecessor of the improved Freerider Pro (more about them in the article dedicated to MTB cycling shoes).

They have a grippier sole than the other shoes in this selection, so they won’t slip off the pedals (not even in wet conditions).

Yes, they are heavier than lightweight running shoes, but you get outstanding durability. Moreover, their higher price pays off in the long run.

Freeriders also have stiff soles. They transfer the energy you put into your pedal strokes more efficiently. However, they are not as comfortable for walking as running shoes, for example.

One of the things the owners of these shoes praise the most is comfort and durability. You can ride in these shoes for hours, and you won’t experience any discomfort.

You can use them for walking and hiking too. Although you won’t get a good grip on rocks and trails as with hiking/trail shoes, Five Ten Freerider are a good compromise if you want to ride on platforms and combine them with a hike or a walk.


Tommaso Milano

Grey Tommaso Milano shoe from the side, top, and bottom

Pros

  • Usable with flat pedals as well as with MTB pedals (Shimano SPD)
  • Very breathable
  • Stiff sole for cycling, yet flexible enough for walking
  • Upper made of vegan leather

Cons

  • Only one color available
  • They tend to run small, so choose a size up!

Yes, I can hear you. You are looking for non cycling shoes for cycling, and now I recommend these shoes compatible with cleats. Hold on. The Tommaso Milano are a perfect compromise between cycling and regular shoes.

They look like regular shoes with laces, but their insoles include slots for recessed SPD cleats. This means you can use them with or without cleats!

So, if you have flat pedals or MTB clipless pedals, you can use these shoes with both types depending on your preference.

They provide enough grip, thanks to a flat sole, so your foot won’t slip off. Their flexible but rigid sole will also allow you to walk comfortably or exercise.

In the summer months, you will also appreciate their breathable construction. However, they are not as well-ventilated as running shoes, for example.

The main disadvantages of these shoes are limited color selection and inaccurate sizing. They tend to run small, so I recommend choosing a size up.


ASICS Gel-Venture 7

ASICS Gel-Venture 7 blue right shoes from the side with a grey shoe from the top

Pros

  • 15+ colors available
  • Breathable & durable
  • Shock-absorbing gel sole
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Weak arch support

If you are looking for cheap non-clip shoes for cycling that are also suitable for more demanding terrains, ASICS Gel-Venture 7 might be a good choice for you.

They are designed for running on trails because their gel sole absorbs shocks and reduces the pressure on your joints.

However, thanks to their flexibility, breathability, and durability, Gel-Venture 7 shoes are also suitable for cycling.

You can choose from more than 15 colors, so I am sure you will choose the color combination you like.

Their main disadvantage is the relatively poor arch support, so it is better to use them with insoles.


Vans Atwood

Vans Atwood red left shoe from the side with black shoe from the side and the top

Pros

  • 20+ styles available
  • A flat sole with holes is perfect for platform pedals
  • Iconic design

Cons

  • Weak arch support
  • Not as ventilated as running shoes
  • Not very suitable for hiking and trekking

I’m finally getting to the skate shoes. I could not miss the iconic VANS Atwood. This brand is popular among BMX riders, downhill, and mountain bikers, skateboarders, etc.

The sole of these sneakers is flat, but it contains holes into which the metal studs on platforms can “stick.” Thanks to this, they won’t slip off and will give you an excellent grip on platforms.

These shoes have also earned popularity due to their comfort and a sense of connection with your bike.

However, people with flat feet should consider wearing them with shoe insoles because they don’t offer sufficient arch support.

I don’t recommend using them for hiking or trekking. Their sole is not built for rough terrain; your foot can slip off rocks, especially in wet conditions.


You may also be interested in this selection of the best flat pedals.


Merrell Moab 2

Merrell Moab 2 right shoes from the side with black shoe from the top

Pros

  • Very durable (suitable for rough terrains – hiking and trekking)
  • Waterproof yet breathable
  • Moderate arch support
  • Good ankle support
  • Comfortable
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Relatively heavy (1.75 lb / 794 g)
  • Too warm for hot weather

These shoes are made for you if you are the type of person who combines a bike with demanding hikes. They are primarily designed for hiking and trekking, but you can ride a bike with them.

Their main advantages include breathability and water resistance at the same time. So your feet won’t sweat as much and won’t get wet during rain.

However, despite their breathability, I do not recommend them for hot days because their lining is pretty warm. They are ideal for spring and autumn weather.

They provide moderate arch support and are also comfortable for people with flat feet.

However, they are relatively heavy due to their durable construction and solid sole (1.75 lb / 794 g). This means that some extra effort from you will be required.


My Verdict

I recommend choosing comfortable, breathable, and lightweight shoes (e.g., running shoes, sneakers, etc.) if you plan to walk during your bike trips or if you do spin classes.

Go for more durable shoes (e.g., trekking shoes, hiking shoes, etc.) if you plan to combine your bike trips with trekking and hiking.

Consider shoes with flat and stiff soles (non-clip MTB shoes) if you care about grip and power efficiency.

  • The best men’s regular shoes for cycling are Under Armour Charged Assert 9. They are available in multiple colors, are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable.
  • The best women’s regular shoes for cycling are Adidas Cloudfoam Pure or Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 (choose the brand you prefer). These running shoes are also suitable for cycling, gym, exercise, walking, etc., thanks to their comfort, breathability, and low weight.
  • The best cycling shoes without cleats are Five Ten Freerider. They have stiff, flat soles for excellent power transfer and grip and are durable enough to last you for years.

How to Choose the Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling?

In this section, I will guide you through selecting regular shoes for cycling. You learn what to be aware of and much more.

Fit & Comfort

The shoes you want to wear when riding a bike should be comfortable. It is always better to try them in person to make sure you buy the right size and fit.

If you can’t try them in person, don’t worry. Just measure your foot and determine (based on customer reviews) if the shoes are suitable for wide or narrow feet.

Shoe width ranges from narrow to widest: AAA, AAA, A, B, C, D to E, EE, EEE.

It may vary from brand to brand, so always double-check the sizing recommendation or the size guide from the manufacturer.

Customer reviews are also helpful because people often confirm if the shoes are true to size or run too small/large.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is important, especially if you want to cycle in the hot summer months.

For example, running shoes often have a breathable mesh that allows for better airflow. This makes them perfect for riding your bike in the summer or exercising indoors.

The ventilation helps to cool your feet so you won’t sweat as much. As a result, you will feel much more comfortable. You will also perform better because you won’t feel like your feet are burning.

Durability

The non-cleat shoes you will use for cycling should be durable, especially if you ride with them in a forest or similar environment.

Riding on roads does not put as much pressure on the shoes as riding on trails.

Check their construction to find out whether the shoes are durable. Do they have a reinforced toe cap? Great, they will probably be suitable for rough terrain.

They probably won’t be as durable if they have mesh upper (typical for running shoes). This means they will be better for casual trips or for indoor cycling.

Don’t hesitate to pay more for better quality shoes if you ride a lot. This investment will pay off twice – you experience better riding comfort, and the shoes will last longer.

Stiffness

Cycling shoes, especially those for road cycling, are usually as stiff as possible to transform the energy you put into every pedal stroke.

Regular shoes are much softer. For example, running shoes have soles made of shock-absorption foam to increase impact absorption.

If the soles are too soft, you will lose a lot of energy you may miss during longer trips. In other words, you get tired more quickly.

Your new shoes for cycling should also provide you with enough arch support. Feel free to use shoe insoles.

They will increase your comfort and support your arches. Check this selection of the best insoles for cyclists to find out more.

Shoe Type

Below, I list the best non clip shoe types suitable for cycling. I also explain why they are suitable for cycling and why you should consider them.

Running Shoes

Running shoes are comfortable. They are designed to be light, absorb impacts, and be well-ventilated.

Due to the softer sole, you will lose some energy that you put into pedal strokes. But they are a good choice for flat pedals if you do not plan to go on long trips.

Nike Shoes Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Just remember that even running shoes are designed for various terrains.

I recommend choosing those designed for demanding terrains like dirt, paved, and forest roads. Their sole is more knobby, giving you a better grip on pedals and eventual hikes.

However, if you plan to use running shoes for indoor cycling, for example, buy running shoes for tarmac. They have flatter soles, are lighter, and are better ventilated.

Touring Shoes

Touring shoes are a great compromise between cycling and regular shoes. The difference is that you can mount them with a cleat to use them with hybrid clipless pedals.

Of course, you can use them even if you ride on platforms and if you don’t have clipless pedals. Thanks to their versatility, they are one of the best regular shoes for cycling.

They tend to be flexible, so they allow comfortable walking. I am sure you appreciate it on cycling trips with your family and friends.

Since touring shoes are intended for use in more demanding terrains, they are more durable than casual or running shoes.

However, they are not very suitable for indoor cycling or spinning classes.

Skate Shoes

The main advantage of skateboard shoes is their flat sole. It contains a lot of holes into which the pins of the platforms fit and hold.

Thanks to this, you will have an excellent grip, and your feet will not slip off the pedals as easily.

A rider with a non-cycling shoes in a skate park on a BMX
BMX riders like to ride in skateboard shoes – they provide good grip

For these reasons, skateboard shoes are popular among BMX riders who can’t perform well without a good pair of shoes.

Indoor Shoes

Indoor shoes are very similar to running shoes. Their fundamental difference is in the sole and construction.

The sole is made of rubber, so it won’t slip on a smooth surface in the gym.

NOTE: Be careful if you ride in these shoes in the rain. They may slip off the pedals easily (trust me, I tried that, and it did not end well).

They are not as well-ventilated as running shoes. However, it is just as comfortable.

Indoor shoes will secure your feet well, so you avoid sprained ankles and similar injuries. The advantage is also higher durability compared to running shoes.

Trekking, Hiking, and Trail Shoes

These types of shoes are usually very durable yet breathable and comfortable.

They are heavier compared to running shoes. You can use them in more demanding terrains like in forests, trails, hikes, etc.

TIP: Make sure you don’t buy ‘boots’ or similar types of bulky shoes. They make riding a bike very uncomfortable.

They are not as flexible as running shoes, for example, compared to other shoe types.

This means that you won’t lose as much energy when pedaling, but they may not be as comfortable for long distances.

Golf Shoes (Subject of Discussion)

You may read on some websites that golf shoes are also a good cycling shoe alternative. Unfortunately, I don’t play golf, so I don’t have personal experience riding a bicycle with them.

I researched various cycling forums, and I found only one thread where golf shoes are discussed.

According to the users, they are good for platforms thanks to a specific rubber sole and its grip.

If you have ever used golf shoes for cycling, let me know your experience in the comments below if they are worth it or not.


Types of Bike Pedals

Let’s quickly go through commonly known bike pedal types. There are:

The best pedal type for non cycling shoes for cycling are flat pedals (also called platforms).

Types of bike pedals (platform/flat, clipless - road and MTB, hybrid - platform + clipless)
Types of bike pedals

If you want to ride a bike in non cycling shoes, your bike should be equipped with flat pedals (platforms).

Riding with clipless pedals while wearing other than cycling-specific shoes is dangerous for less experienced riders and not very comfortable.

You can learn more about choosing cycling shoes and pedals in one of my following two guides.

Pros & Cons of Different Types of Pedals

In the following table, I’ve summarized the pros and cons of using different bike pedals based on multiple resources and my experiences.

Type of PedalsProsConsRecommended for
Platforms (flat pedals)• You can use them with almost any type of shoes.
• You don't have to clip into them so you can take your feet of them easily. This increases your safety and confidence.
• You learn the right echnique and tricks more easily.
• You can't pedal in circles (you cannot pull up).
• Your foot can slip off more easily.
• Shin injuries from pins.
Beginners, commuters, BMX riders, MTB riders, downhill riders
Road pedals (clipless)• You will feel like you have better control over your bicycle.
• They are lightweight to lower your fatigue over long distances.
• You can pedal in circles.
• They are longer than MTB pedals, so they provide more support for your foot.
• You can't clip in from both sides.
• Expensive - You will have to buy pedals, road bike shoes, and cleats.
• It will take you some time to get used to them.
Road cyclists
MTB pedals (clipless)• You will feel like you have better control over your bicycle.
• You can pedal in circles.
• You can clip in from both sides.
• Expensive - You will have to buy pedals, mountain bike shoes, and cleats.
• It will take you some time to get used to them.
MTB and gravel riders, cyclocross riders
Hybrid pedals (flat + clipless)• You can decide what type of shoes you use (normal footwear or specialized cycling shoes).• They are heavier compared to clipless road and MTB pedals.
• They are bulky.
Commuters, bike packers, people who like bike trips and hiking, mountain and gravel bikers
Pros and cons of different types of bike pedals | Sources: mtbdirect.com.au, bikeradar.com, singletracks.com, pedalchile.com

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This post is regularly updated to provide you with the most up-to-date product tips. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

2 thoughts on “The 8 Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling for Men & Women [2022]”

  1. Hi, Petr Minarik, great blog! I bought Vans Atwood from your blog. Such nice shoes. You explained everything. Keep it up good work.

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