Cycling shoes are typically sporty and built especially for mountain and road bikers. However, as more people use bikes in more casual settings and as a means of transportation, fashion brands are reacting with less technical and more casual styles that maintain some of the characteristics of a biking shoe while adding off-the-bike comfort and style. Read this article to find out the 10 best non-clip cycling shoes and find the right one just for you.
Truth be told, not many people use shoes made specifically for cycling even though that’s what they are best for. Even back when we were young we wouldn’t buy a shiny new shoe just for cycling. But why not buy one now?
Flat pedals are the easiest pedals to use overall. Now, you'll learn what to look for while purchasing normal cycling shoes.
When cycling, you should definitely wear shoes that are comfortable. It is still preferable to try the shoes on in person to ensure that you purchase the correct size and suit. Don't panic if you won't be able to try on the shoes in-person. Simply weigh the foot to see if they are appropriate for broad or narrow feet.
Cycling shoes, specifically those that are designed for road cycling, are designed to convert the power you put into each pedal stroke as efficiently as possible. Shoes that are used on a regular basis are much smoother. Shock-absorbent insulation is used in the soles of athletic shoes, for example, to improve impact absorption. Whereas if soles are so soft, you'll waste a lot of energy that you won't be able to do on longer journeys. To put it another way, you get exhausted faster.
It's critical to have adequate ventilation, particularly if you plan to ride during the summertime. Running shoes, for example, are made of breathable mesh that makes for more ventilation. As a result, they're ideal for riding a bike in summer.
Cycling shoes that aren't cycling shoes must be sturdy. Especially if you'll be riding with them through a forest or a similar setting. Riding on road puts less weight on the foot than riding on trails. Test the durability of the shoes to see if they are long-lasting.
Shimano SH ME-5
Powerzone wires are adjustable
Midsole is TORBAL torsional made
Boa L6 lace closures shields from accidental release
Durable synthetic and mesh material
Two strap closure
Eva footbed with a die-cut style
Protects from rocks and pedal strikes
Hydrophobic mesh for cushioning
Giro Chamber II
Microfiber rubber toe
Footbed is molded DH EVA
Lugged with mega grip and high-traction
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Summit
2 bolt SPD cleat
EVA heel Cushion
Rubber outsole made with Vibram ECOSTEP
BOA L6 dial
Merrell Moab 2
Rubber toe cap
Arch shank made of molded nylon
Breathable mesh lining
Insoles are die-cut
Microfiber reinforcements on heel and toe
Outsole lugged with rubber and nylon for high traction
Sidi Dominator 7 SR
Nylon made sole with polyurethane interchangeable inserts
Toe spikes are removable
Velcro closure and integrated polymer teeth
BOA L6 micro-adjustable dial
Rubber sole and EVA midsole
TPU and mesh compound upper
Stiff and comfortable
Sturdy build quality
Easy to wear
1. Shimano SH ME-5
An elevated and slightly extended frontal bumper wraps around and around into a strong toe box in the front. The shoe's architecture is reassuringly reliable. This effectively protects the feet from rocks and roots. The Shimano ME5 is a multi-purpose non-clip mountain bike shoe.
Shimano fine-tuned the interface with a new upgrade that makes the on/off process easier. The opening was once very narrow, and getting your foot through it took some poise. However, the price was reduced by $10. The ME5 proved to be a favorite one-quiver non-clip shoe on our feet for everything from rugged trail trips to all-day adventures.
The ME5s are easy to walk in, and Shimano has developed its own rubber material that fits almost as well on slippery surface as anything else. The shoes are slotted enough to enable the sole to do its job while also allowing for quick clipping in. The low-profile sole isn't ideal for thick, slick dirt, but it fits well on firmer surfaces. If you're pedaling or walking, the shoes never feel heavy. At the very least, the sleek rubber uppers shed mud easily, and everything dries out fast after getting wet. The uppers are very soft and malleable, and the tongue has enough insulation to make long days easy. The internal soles maintain good condition for a long time.
The ME5 sits just above mid-range, and they're decent enough to justify the cost. They're an almost-perfect trail foot, with solid toe safety, reliable lacing, and a sole that combines easy pedaling with easy walking and reasonable grip. The inner ankle, on the other hand, is a concern; if you're prone to crank rub, these aren't for you.
2. Giro Berm
It's difficult to find a good pair of non-clip shoes below $100, but fashion brand Giro has done it with the Berm. For $75, the Berm is a remarkably decent set-up for daily trail cycling: a durable upper layer that blends breathability and safety, a flexible fit, and synthetic leather with significant lugs for extra traction in mud and dirt.
Furthermore, the shoe's big cleat compartment makes clipping simpler for those already learning the ropes. While it isn't as high-performance as the Shimano ME5, and serious riders can avoid it, we believe the Berm provides a lot of value for your buck.
There will undoubtedly be certain limitations in the Berm's configuration since it is less than half the amount of the Shimano or Giro's own Cylinder and Ventana below. First, there's power, the midsole prioritizes comfort over hardness, so it's not particularly effective. Second, unlike a Boa or ratchet-style system, the dual Velcro lacks the clarity and adjustability.
Finally, despite the aggressive form of the outsole, it won't hold as easily on rock or in especially steep and rugged trail areas. To be honest, these are all anticipated trade-offs, and we believe the Berm is a fantastic value for rookies or those who only go out onto the trail once in a while.
3. Shimano SH-GR901
The new Shimano shoes are effective on mellower landscape and prolonged trail rides, with a reinforced nylon plate underfoot, a respectable weight of 1 pound 12 oz., and a trimmed-down fit that dries reasonably easily.
Shimano has done a brilliant job integrating additional support around the toes through heel caps for the endurance and downhill lovers among us, and the gently elevated padding around the inside of the ankle is another good touch.
The SH-GR901 also is an improvement over the MT-701 in several aspects. The new SH-GR901’s laces are good and can be buried under a band to prevent them from wobbling around. However, they can't compare to the Boa system's micro-adjustability and all-around comfort.
We expect the latest SH-GR901 to be a top seller thanks to its excellent off-the-bike grip and compact nature. If you like flats, these shoes are one of the few ones on the market that can genuinely compete with Five Ten in terms of pedal grip.
4. Giro Chamber II
Giro's successful Chamber non-clip mountain bike shoe has been revamped as the Chamber II. The most significant improvements in World Cup DH winning Chamber shoes are a 10mm cleat reversal, a modern Tri-Molded internal shank to improve rigidity and stretch through the foot, and a slight styling refresh.
The Chamber II is designed to be an extreme endurance and downhill riding and running shoe, and it performed best in those areas, according to testers. The ease, walkability, power transfer, and longevity of this sturdy shoe were all praised by testers.
If you have ever watched Richie Rude run in a EWS run, you've already seen Chamber II in motion and have a good idea of how much strength these shoes can send to the pedals. Though they aren't carbon-soled, XC race rigid, they are so much stiffer than their appearance would suggest.
One of the strong suits of Chamber II is its comfort. They not only have casual or skate shoe styling, but they also have a similar fit. Giro produces a wide range of mountain bike shoes, and they appear to have worked out how to render them all really comfortable. In the traction walkability quality metric, the Chamber II earned very good scores.
The Vibram Megagrip outsole features an elevated hexagonal dot design that is grippy on almost every surface.
We considered the Chamber II shoes to be extremely sturdy after several weeks of research. In reality, we haven't found a single flaw in their design. Despite several high-speed collisions with trailside obstacles, the uppers tend to be in almost identical shape to when we first pulled them out of the pack, with the exception of a little mud and gravel. There are no missing threads or loose ends to speak of in the sewing.
The Chamber II's ease, fit, power transfer, and longevity were all highly praised by our testers. Sure, it may be a little heavier than the rest of our shoes, and we wouldn't suggest it for XC racers or riders who are particularly mindful of their weight. The rigid soles pass strength well, whilst the flexibility in the toes and packed Vibram soles have outstanding grip and durability.
5. Pearl Izumi X-Alp Summit
Pearl Izumi, based in Colorado, is another major player in the bicycle shoe industry. The brand excels in the adventures and bikepacking categories, and the non-clip X-Alp Summit is one of our favorites. It has all of the right ingredients for intermediate cyclists and trail use: a carbon shank inside the midsole for effective power transfer, sturdy upper material, including a decent toe cover that wraps midway around the edges of the feet.
Vibram's corny Megagrip compound, a popular alternative for a trail run and hiking boots, is also included on the outsole of the pair. The X-Alp Summit is a great deal for shoes that can do anything from mountain tearing to overnight bike ride.
Since the toe box seems to be on the big side, the Velcro and also the ratchet mechanism have to be tightened properly. On the plus side, even though locked down, this shoe was incredibly comfortable, however, the long extra strap dangling off the edge of the shoe might possibly catch on mountain debris.
The ratchet mechanism is also a little finicky, requiring two hands to hold the shoe on occasion, but everything else has kept up well and worked without a hitch. For those who want a comfier fit, the X-Alp Summit is pretty good, especially considering the cost and well-rounded nature.
6. Merrell Moab 2
These shoes are designed for you if you ride your bike and go on strenuous hikes. They're mainly intended for climbing and trekking, but they can also be used to ride a bike. Their key benefits are that they are both breathable and flood-resistant.
As a result, your feet would not sweat that much, and your shoes will not get soaked if it begins to rain. Despite their breathability, I would not suggest these shoes during hot days due to their tight lining.
The footwear is suitable for the autumn and spring seasons. The shoes offer mild shock absorption and are also suitable for flat-footed individuals. They are, however, relatively heavy due to the sturdy structure and firm sole (794 g).
With a padded collar and tongue, sturdy footbed, and just enough mobility to take right to the track, it's completely comfortable straight out of the pack. The improved insole is one notable change in the new Moab suit. Since day hikers are the primary target audience for the Moab 2, the shoe provides only moderate comfort and protection.
The Moab 2 is less resistant to ankle rolling on uneven ground as compared to a sports shoe, but there is a decent degree of flex underfoot and along the neck of both mid-height boot and low-top shoe versions.
The tread pattern and Vibram rubber material from the first Moab with the “2” were retained by Merrell. We think this is a good option because the dependable outsole has proved to last a long time and provides a good all-around grip on rock and gravel.
7. Giro Cylinder
The Cylinder from Giro is more versatile for cross-country riding. It's compact enough for racing or dirt riding, weighing only 1 pound 6.2 ounces, and the relatively rigid midsole easily moves power towards the pedals.
However, the shoe is flexible enough to allow short cycling parts easy, and the lugged rubber soles grip a number of surfaces well. The Cylinder is a perfect choice for long summer drives thanks to its heavily ventilated upper.
The Giro Cylinder has a nylon shank like its all-mountain sibling, the Giro Privateer R, which is equally priced. The Cylinder didn't please critics with its ease, with no flexible arch support, a simple footbed, and a narrow fit. The Cylinder was built with gravel and cross country in mind, none of which necessarily require a lot of rugged terrains or high altitude.
8. Sidi Dominator 7 SR
In the cycling community, Sidi is based upon two things: higher costs and high build efficiency. The Dominator, their most famous mountain biking design, is an excellent example. It's among the most costly options on the market but it offers serious comfort and efficiency.
The shoe almost matches the strength of an XC bike with its rigid outsole, low-volume structure, and solid upper. The Dominator's high-end design and replaceable parts also make it a decent long-term investment.
About the fact that the rubber compound was softened a few years earlier, it was not a particularly attractive walking or hiking alternative. It's fine for cyclocross competitions where you're just moving for brief periods of time and the hard strength is a worthwhile tradeoff, so anyone who would be off their bikes for prolonged periods of time can go for a more mobile and grippier bike model.
It's also not as thick underfoot as footwear like the 2FO DH Clip, ME5, or Ventana, and doesn't separate sharp impacts as well. However, for XC bikers who spend more time in the seat, the Dominator is an outstanding pick.
9. Shimano SH-MT701
If you are browsing for non-cycling trainers for cycling, then let us introduce you to the Shimano SH-MT701. The Shimano SH-MT701 is the ideal combination of a cycling shoe and a normal shoe. These shoes seem to be regular shoes. They may not, though, have traditional shoelaces.
Instead, they use a BOA dial. Your shoe will tighten when you switch with it. Shimano SH-MT701 cleats are also compliant with Shimano SPD pedals.
Don't worry if your bike doesn't have SPD pedals. Only flat pedals are needed. Because of the smooth heel, these shoes have enough grip for your foot to not slide as quickly.
You'll be able to walk effortlessly thanks to the lightweight yet sturdy sole. Their breathable design will also come in handy during the summer months. The key drawbacks of these trainers are their marginally higher weight and minimal color range as opposed to athletic shoes.
10. Sandugo MTB Shoes
The new MTB shoes from Sandugo are among Sandugo’s most famous and durable cycling shoes, that has recently received a makeover. The new Foray replaces the stiff plastic outsole with a softer rubber outsole that aids off-bike traction. Around the toe, the shoe switches from an entirely Boa closure to a combination of hook-and-loop and Boa.
Around the same time, these shoes don’t really stand out from any particular genre. It's a little bulky and doesn't bring down the same amount of strength as a cross-country shoe such as the Giro Cylinder, but its shock resistance and safety are inadequate for trail riding. It's also a below-average hiker due to the typical outsole outline and tread layout.
Cycling shoes are specialized footwear that has been designed and developed for maximum performance. These shoes are made of unusual materials, patterns, and technology. Making a pair of high-quality cycling shoes necessitates a considerable amount of talent and craftsmanship. It has been established that the higher the standard and lighter the weight of a bike shoe, the more costly it is.
You can also read about Best Cycling Shoes with Cleats.