The best road & Cyclocross shoes for flat pedals?

I have been cycling for about 4 years and have always used flat pedals and running trainers for my cycling. I have a lot of problems with flat feet & knee & ankle issues so I plan on continuing with flat pedals.

As I have always used running/casual trainers I would like to buy one or two pairs of actual cycling shoes and was looking for recommendations.

If it makes any difference I am currently 3.8 w/kg & based in the UK.

Most of my rides are either on the road or turbo trainer and I might attempt some Crit racing next year, so I was looking for recommendations for the best shoe to buy. Most shoes that I see are MTB shoes & lots of these seem to be aimed more at the gravity market. I was hoping to find something that would be best for pedalling efficiency, not too heavy and not look too much like a pair of skate board shoes :slight_smile:

I also race cyclocross in the winter, so was hoping for some additional recommendations for the best shoe for this discipline. I have always struggled when having to run in the mud, especially up steep inclines.

I was thinking maybe something like these Mavic XA shoes - https://shop.mavic.com/en-gb/xa-elite-ii-shoe-c2095.html#1028=3996

Unless anyone has any better suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

The better MTB shoes for flat pedals have a sticky rubber sole that gives you better grip on the pedals. Something like the FiveTens.

For racing cross, if I wasn’t wearing cycling shoes, I’d look at trail running shoes or even something like football boots - something with moulded studs or a deep tread sole.

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I’ve used Walsh fell shoes in the past on flat pedals, when the snow was that deep that it was hard clipping in and I decided to use flat pedals. The Walsh shoes have virtually no padding in the sole and a tread that helped keep traction with the pedals.

Have you seen a podiatrist? I am a massive over pronator and had insoles made for my cycling shoes, that along with a proper bike fit and all pain went away!

The issue with sticky shoes and flat pedals (as an ex-flat pedal FiveTen rider) is that they really lock your feet into one position, aggravating knee issues… its less of a problem off road as you move around but on the road the float of a clipless system is actually beneficial :slight_smile:

Funnily enough that’s why I don’t like riding SPD for anything more that long blue trails. I like my feet static on the mtb. SPDs on the mtb seem wrong my feet move too much when I don’t want them to but I can’t just jump of the bike.

I’d really not fancy racing crits with flats, too hard to sprint well. It might be a good idea to find a circuit to practice on before you’re surrounded by other racers.

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Thanks @splash I had considered trail running shoes, but wasn’t sure what they would be like actually pedalling with, might be worth me getting a cheap pair to try.

I’ll look into those @Raythebike, thanks for the suggestion.

@jeremybnz, I do actually cycle with custom orthotics, but these were not actually made with cycling in mind. Maybe I need to bite the bullet and get a bike fit done also.

I think those Mavics are an excellent choice, especially for cyclocross. I haven’t used them myself but the sole looks better suited for running up muddy inclines than alot of trail running shoes, and I will assume that the sole is also stiffer, for more efficient and comfortable pedalling.

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RE: CX shoes, if the concern is grip running up hills then you want to make sure to get shoes that support toe spikes. They’re a little annoying walking/running on pavement, but basically any other surface and you won’t notice them except that your toe is better anchored when you step.

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