I am looking for the type of "cycle touring shoe" we had before cleated, clipless became the norm. I have used clipless 'touring', i.e., non-racing, shoes without the cleat but the soles are thick to accomodate the inset cleat. The old cycle touring shoes had thin soles and without the heavy lugging of modern clipless shoes meant for cleats. Most cyclist don't use cleats. Why can't we find cycle specific shoes for non-cleat use? How about in the rest of the world where faux racing styles don't dominate as in North America?

  • Would regular walking shoes work? Have you any specific requisites for a shoe to be considered "cycling shoe" besides having a thin sole? Mar 12, 2012 at 21:19
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    Most walking shoes have thicker, softer soles than you really want for toe-clip use: they're less efficient, don't spread the load as well, and often have lugs or treads that catch on the pedal cage when you kick into the clip.
    – Useless
    Mar 12, 2012 at 21:47
  • I Googled "cycle touring shoes" and found this. But really, any light clipless should work for you. (Most cyclists don't wear a helmet either.) Mar 12, 2012 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


The Quoc Pham shoes are nice: they do recessed-cleat "touring" ones, but also plain leather shoes with thin, fairly rigid soles, suitable for flat pedals or toe clips & straps. They seem to have a US distributor, Mission Workshop.

I've seen the Dromarti ones advertised as well, but don't know about their distribution.

These Exustar ones are apparently useable if you just leave the cleat cover in place.

Finally, Vittoria have the 1976, and seem to have a few US distributors, so they might be worth a look.

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