Riding clipped in might make you more efficient on the bike, but some shoes really don't make you efficient when it comes to walking, and they often do nothing for your outfit.
[related_articles]SPD shoes and pedals, usually worn by mountain bikers and commuters, have recessed cleats, making them easier to walk in. Some more causal styles are optimized to be even easier to walk in thanks to more flexible soles, and these options are usually designed to be a little more stylish, too.
A little jargon busting before we go on: Most of these shoes have soles made from either nylon, rubber, or EVA. EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) is a lightweight, water resistant material which offers a good amount of anti-vibration protection, and insulation without being as stiff as traditional nylon, which offers better pedalling efficiency but is not as flexible.
Rubber features on more casual shoes, it's robust and flexible, but not as stiff as either EVA or nylon.
Here are some of our favourites...
Giro Civila Road Cycling Shoes
The Giro Civila Road Cycling Shoes are perfectly designed for ‘just popping out to my favourite urban cycling café for a latte’, as our reviewer Adele noted.
Recessed cleats and high traction walking pads make these great for urban wonderings, whilst the sole is made from nylon. This means these are stiffer than some options designed for urban riding/walking, so they'll be more comfortable on the bike, but not as great for longer excursions on foot.
You can snap up a pair here for £123.39.
Specialized Cadet Women's Cycling Shoe
Available in this electric blue, or a bright pink, these two-bolt-cleat equipped shoes provide off-bike cushioning and stability as well as an inner plate and hard EVA midsole so pedalling efficiency isn't lost.
The laced upper section is breathable and the outersole is vented - and of course, being Specialized shoes, these have a Body Geometry sole and footbed that will help ensure correct knee alignment as you ride.
See them here for £65.
Shimano Women's CW41 Cycling Shoes
These casual trainers are optimised to work with Shimano Click'R pedals and have a shock-absorbing insole, as well as a flexible cleat plate which promises comfort when walking.
We found them here for £51.49.
Vittoria Lorica 1976 Cycling Shoe - SPD Sole
These vintage styled shoes from Vittoria are a reincarnation of the original 1976 version desgined by pro rider Celestino Vercelli.
The hand made shoes are stitched in Italy, and come with ventilation for breability, recessed cleats, and grips for off-bike traction.
You can grab these for £139 here. Personally, we do favour the Pista variety for their elegant slimline style, but these seem to be like gold dust to find available in the UK (go for it if you're over the pond!)
DZR Link Shoes
You wouldn't expect these cool looking kicks to come with recessed cleats for cycling, but unexpected bike compatibility is what DZR specialize in.
These women's specific high tops have a recessed SPD cleat mount, and a rubber cover so you can hide the cleats away if you wish.
Naturally sticky rubber will give you great grip even on flat pedals, whilst a 'power strap' clinches over the laces so you can slip your feet in and out without needing to lace up tight for every ride.
Check them here for £89.99.
These shoes are made for indoor and recreational cycling - and, of course - getting around between the two.
A grippy, EVA outsole is sturdy for cycling whilst the recessed cleat pocket means walking is easy.
The molded EVA footbed provides medium arch support, and a anti-microbial treatment should keep wiffs at bay.
See them for £57.46 here.
Bontrager SSR Women's Multisport Shoes
These tough looking multi sport shoes will be great for action packed days on and off the bike - for example a riding trip down to the coast or around your local park and trails.
With a two-bolt SPD cleat system, and glass-reinforced nylon plate (as found on 'normal' cycling shoes) plus a rubber outersole, these provide plenty of support but have grips to help out when you're off the bike.
We found them here for £64.99.
Quoc Pham Hardcourt Low Top Shoe
If you're after an understated, causal design that will go with pretty much everything, these could be right up your street.
A hard wearing reinforced nylon upper means these will last for miles and miles, whilst a hardened mid-sole will meet the demands of the cleat system whilst still being flexible on the pavement.
These also have reflective strips on the back, though you'll always need lights in the dark, too.
At £141.55, these aren't cheap - but they do promise to be versatile and long lasting.
We hope you liked the selection, let us know if you've got a pair of urban cycling shoes you love. If you're still thinking about making the switch to SPD's, check out our beginner's guide to clipping in.