I haven't been on a bike since I was a child. I have had had weight-loss surgery due to being extremely over weight.

I now have a bike but my feet keep sliding off the pedals or just don't feel secure so I've been looking into the different types of shoes.

I have a basic mountain bike I can't afford to buy shoes plus new pedals so my questions is what are the best affordable shoes to wear on normal pedals so I don't keep losing my footing?

  • 1
    What kind of pedals do you have? (A picture would be good.) But generally speaking you want shoes with a reasonably stiff sole, and, for the classical "platform" pedal, many people find "hiking" shoes to be a pretty good choice. Sep 22, 2016 at 3:13
  • 2
    Need a picture of your shoes and pedals. My guess is new shoes will only help a little and new pedals a lot. Pedals need not be expensive - $15 should get a cheap but reasonable enough set of 'bear trap' pedals - used ones come up often enough.
    – mattnz
    Sep 22, 2016 at 5:32
  • 2
    I doubt buying shoes will help much at this point. Instead its more likely to be a technique thing. Get a few months of riding in and then you'll know more about what you need. Try unweighting the pedal on the upwards swing, but not coming completely off. Trainers/jogging shoes/comfortable lace up shoes should be fine.
    – Criggie
    Sep 22, 2016 at 9:12
  • Toe clips might also be a good option here - many cyclists have them lying about in a box when they graduate to clipless. Ask about your location if there is a bicycle cooperative, or a fixup group. Just being on the bike is the best thing you can do, and keeping it up is even better.
    – Criggie
    Sep 22, 2016 at 9:15
  • 1
    A cheap skate shoe combined with BMX style pedals (the ones with the pins) could be an option. Seems to work for a lot of kiddies.
    – OraNob
    Sep 22, 2016 at 9:50

3 Answers 3


You may look at changing your pedals, instead of your shoes. Many companies make flat pedals with pins to keep your foot/shoe on the pedal. enter image description here

Keep in mind there are trade offs. Your current pedals may have no grip, but you can probably ride them barefoot, in flip flops, etc. More agressive pedals will most certainly keep your feet from sliding off, but are also famous for causing shin and leg injuries when they catch you unawares.

You may also look at cages which will hold your feet in place as well, but are a bit harder to get out of (meaning you may get your foot stuck and fall). enter image description here

Either of these styles of pedals should be purchasable for about the same, or less than a new pair of shoes, and should likely last longer than any cycling specific shoe.


Firstly congratulations on the life change!

Without knowing what type of pedals you have just now it's hard to advise but I'd go for a pair with pins, ie Shimano saints, Superstar Components, Wellgo. You can get Wellgo's for about £15 online. These and pretty much any shoes will see you right.

If you can afford a pair of Five Ten shoes and pedals with pins then you will be glued to the pedals. They are amazingly grippy, and they will make you look very cool (subjective).


There are several ways of solving this problem; different shoes is certainly one way.

I recommend shoes such as

enter image description here

These are really designed for Mountain Biking. Like any bike shoe they have a stiff sole, which helps with keeping your feet on the pedals, and stops you hurting the arches of your feet, which can occur with ordinary runners / tennis shoes / sports shoes. The rugged grip pattern also helps the shoes grip the pedals.

A key advantage of such shoes is that they are ready for when you want to change pedals to so called "Clipless" pedals (which you actually clip into). When and if you take that step, you will have completely solved the "foot retention" problem. These shoes have a section in the sole that will accommodate SPD pedal cleats. You can use them without cleats though.

The picture comes from an Australian website, but I'd expect you can get them or something similar where you are.

I have worn an older version of these shoes for 5 years.

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