The 8 Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling [2022]

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

CyclistsHub is supported by its readers. If you buy products using our links, we may receive a commission (learn more).

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

They will be a perfect choice for you 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 I started taking cycling seriously and bought dedicated cycling 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 that running shoes like Under Armour Charged Assert 8 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 easier and more comfortable walking.

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 you with an excellent grip to avoid slipping your feet off platforms.

Read this entire article if you are keen to learn more about what types of 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 look for the Best Mountain Bike Shoes for Platforms.


What Are the Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling?

The best non cycling shoes for cycling have to be comfortable to ensure your 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.

ProductTypeFor 
Under Armour Charged Assert 8Running 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
Shimano SH-MT701Touring shoesMenCheck Price
ASICS Gel-Venture 7Trail/Hiking shoesMenCheck Price
Vans AtwoodSkate shoesMenCheck Price
Merrell Moab 2Hiking shoesWomenCheck Price

NOTE: Casual 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 popular shoes that you can use for casual riding. If you want to take your cycling to the next level, get a pair of cycling shoes.

Black/green Under Armour Charged Assert 8 running shoes suitable for cycling

Read More

Black/grey Five Ten Freerider clipless shoes for cycling
Five Ten Freerider

Read More

Pink Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 women running shoes suitable for cycling
Nike Air Max Bella TR 2

Read More

Under Armour Charged Assert 8

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Z8S2H4D&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=cyclistshub 20&language=en US

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 8 shoes are designed primarily for men, but they 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 8 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.

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

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

The main disadvantage of Charged Assert 8 is their weak arch support. Therefore, use them with insoles.


Nike Air Max Bella TR 2

Pink Nike Air Max Bella TR 2 women running shoes suitable for cycling

Pros

  • Available in 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 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

White/grey Adidas Cloudfoam Pure running shoes suitable for cycling

Pros

  • Available in 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 very 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

Black/grey Five Ten Freerider men clipless shoes for cycling
Five Ten Freerider for men
Black Five Ten Freerider women clipless shoes for cycling
Five Ten Freerider for women

Pros

  • Suitable for demanding terrains
  • Available in 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 MTB shoes 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 that 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. 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.


Shimano SH-MT701

Black Shimano SH-MT701 shoes with a BOA dial and a standard sole compatible with clipless pedals

Pros

  • Usable with flat pedals as well as with MTB pedals (Shimano SPD)
  • BOA dial for quick adjustment
  • Very breathable
  • Stiff sole for cycling, yet flexible enough for walking
  • Loops for easier putting on

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Only one color available

Yes, I can hear you. You are looking for non cycling shoes for cycling, and now I recommend these ‘cycling’ shoes. Hold on. The Shimano SH-MT701 are a perfect compromise between cycling and regular shoes.

They look like regular shoes. Yet, they don’t have standard shoelaces. They use BOA dials instead. You just turn with it, and your shoe will tighten. It works like magic. Trust me. No tangled shoelaces anymore!

Shimano SH-MT701 are also compatible with cleats for Shimano SPD pedals. If you don’t have SPD pedals on your bike, don’t worry. All you need is flat pedals for hybrid bikes.

These shoes provide enough grip thanks to a flat sole, so your foot won’t slip off. The flexible but rigid sole will also allow you to walk comfortably.

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

The main disadvantages of these shoes are their slightly higher weight (0.8 lb / 365 g) and limited color selection.

Also available at rei.com, competitivecyclist.com, and wiggle.co.uk


ASICS Gel-Venture 7

Black ASICS Gel-Venture 7 men running shoes suitable for cycling

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 reduce 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

Black/grey/white Vans Atwood shoes suitable for platforms

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 shoes is flat, but it contains holes into which the metal studs on platforms can “stick.” Thanks to this, they won’t slip off and provide you with an excellent grip.

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 don’t offer sufficient arch support.

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


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


Merrell Moab 2

Merrell Moab 2 durable shoes suitable for walking and cycling

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

If you are the type of person who combines a bike with demanding hikes, these shoes are made for you. They are primarily designed for hiking and trekking, but you can also 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 these shoes for hot days because their lining is pretty warm. They are ideal for spring and autumn weather.

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

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

Also available at wiggle.co.uk


My Verdict

I recommend choosing comfortable, breathable, and lightweight shoes (e.g., running shoes, sneakers, etc.) if you plan to walk a lot off the bike.

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 the grip and power efficiency.

  • The best men’s regular shoes for cycling are Under Armour Charged Assert 8. They are available in multiple colors, breathabilite, 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, 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 part, I will guide you through the selection of non cycling 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 make sure to always double-check the sizing recommendation or the size guide from the manufacturer.

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 a perfect choice for riding your bike in the summer.

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

Durability

The non cycling shoes you will use for cycling should be durable. Especially, if you will 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.

To find out whether or not the shoes are durable, check their construction. Do they have a reinforced toe cap? Great, they will probably be suitable for rough terrain.

If they have mesh upper (typical for running shoes), they probably won’t be as durable. This means they will be better for casual trips.

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, sports 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. I explain why they are suitable for cycling and why you should consider them.

Running Shoes

Running shoes are very comfortable. They are designed to be light, absorb impacts, and well-ventilated. Due to the softer sole, you will lose some energy that you put into pedal strokes. But if you do not plan to go on long trips, running shoes are a good choice for flat pedals.

Nike Shoes Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Just remember that even running shoes are designed for various terrains. Personally, I recommend choosing those designed for demanding terrains like dirt, paved, and forest roads. Their sole is more knobby providing you with 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 these shoes even if you ride on platforms and if you don’t have clipless pedals. Thanks to their versatility, they are one of the best choices for cycling.

These shoes 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. 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. The most popular brands include VANS, Etnies, Nike, Converse, etc.

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 that the shoes don’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 pedals very easily (trust me, I tried that, and it did not end well).

This type of shoe is not as well ventilated as running shoes. However, it is just as comfortable. It also secures 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 the 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.

Compared to other shoe types, they are not as flexible as running shoes, for example. 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. 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 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

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

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, skedaddle.com



Cycling Shoes FAQ


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

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top