10 Stylish SPD Cycling Shoes Which Look Casual, Not Sporty

Shoes take up space and can be a little heavy, so sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to bring one or two pairs of shoes on a bike trip. Do you try and do everything in your SPD shoes, or do you suck it up and pack a set of street shoes too?

This decision would be much more simple if only there were stylish cycling shoes which look casual, and not sporty.


Here’s my list of the best stylish SPD casual shoes.


Image: Flickr.com/bluelug
Image: Flickr.com/Bluelug

The DZR H20 has got to be one of the best-looking shoes on this list. They are fully seam sealed, making them waterproof, and they’re finished with a sheepskin leather (definitely not vegan). One thing I’ve noticed with waterproof shoes is that they tend to ventilate poorly, so make sure you’re only using the H2O in cooler temperatures!

DZR Minna

Image: CultureCycles.com
Image: CultureCycles.com

According to DZR, the Minna is hands down, their best seller. The Minna is a collab shoe with artist Jeremiah Ball, graphics most noticeable on the sole and inside of the shoe. It’s a simple, low profile street shoe with a mix of finishes which will allow it to really fly under the radar.

DZR Strasse

Image: Urbanvelo.com
Image: Urbanvelo.com

Another DZR favourite is the Strasse – a mid top casual cycling shoe. I really like the mix of finishes on the shoe, as well as the black, grey and tan colour combination.

Quoc Pham Hardcourt Low

Image: UrbanBikeWear.com
Image: UrbanBikeWear.com

The Quoc Pham Hardcourt Low uses a consistent finish to provide a really simple and clean street feel to it. These shoes would blend in very well to almost any choice of clothing.

Quoc Pham Hardcourt Mid

Image: 321polo.net
Image: 321polo.net

The Quoc Pham Hardcourt Mid is pretty self-explanatory; a slightly taller version of the Hardcourt Low. This model offers slightly more ankle support with high-top sneaker styling. I love the reinforced nylon finish!

Quoc Pham Urbanite Mid

Image: Circles-JP.com
Image: Circles-JP.com

The Quoc Pham Urbanite shoes are much more classic in styling than the rest of the shoes on this list. They will suit everything from casual, right through to dress. As they are finished in leather, they are definitely not vegan. They’re available in three different leather colours – brown, tan and black, as well as a low top version.

Giro Chamber

Giro Chamber Cycling Casual Shoes
Image: Pinkbike.com

Giro have recently been putting together a great line of cycling shoes. The Giro Chambers are performance-oriented shoes, but with skate styling. They have been used by gravity mountain bike riders for the last few years which is demonstrative of their ability as a cycling shoe.

Giro Rumble VR

Giro Rumble VR Cycling Casual Shoe
Image: Flickr.com/Osamuito

I quite like the blue and brown configuration of the Giro Rumble VR. These shoes give off more of a smart-casual look, rather than street. The fact they’re less ‘street’ may make the Rumble suit your personal clothing choices better. They are also available in black, or alternatively in a womens version called the Petra VR in a black or grey.

Chrome Kursk 2.0

Chrome Kursk 2.0 Clipless Casual Shoes

The Chrome Kursk shoes are ultra low in profile and look great. Like most shoes on this list, most people won’t even know they’re designed for clip-in pedals!

Five Ten Kestral Lace

Five Ten Kestral Lace Clipless Casual Shoe

The Five Tens are probably the sportiest option here, but the design still provides a more out-there skate feel. These shoes are designed with performance in mind (like the Giro Chamber) which will likely make them a great travel option.


Many of the shoes above are NOT well-known for their longevity. The most casual looking shoes like the DZR, Chrome or Quoc Pham have been found to sometimes come apart, or crack the base where the cleats sit according to reviews. Conversely, the Giro and Five Ten shoes generally have excellent feedback when it comes to being resistant to damage.

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  1. Thanks for the effort of compiling this list. However, I still think SPD pedals are a waste of time for commuters and cycle-tourers, since they bring very little (if any) in terms of efficiency and they are a huge pain since they require special shoes, it’s not easy to find spares on the road and if badly setup they could lead to injuries since the feet are fixed always at the same position for long hours.
    The shoes shown above are good looking. But if built correctly, they will still have a very stiff sole that makes them very uncomfortable for any walk longer than 15 mins.

  2. Hi Joe. This list of shoes is most definitely for people (like myself) who find that the associated trade offs of clip-in shoes to be well worth the trouble. I’d never ride without them! I may compile a resource with discussion on the pros and cons of both setups in the next few months – I’ll try and do my own testing too. Keep an eye out. Alee 🙂

  3. When puling up on the pedals clipped in, you get the bonus of using your hamstrings (thigh opposing muscles) to add up to 40% efficiency body depending. I tend to use dual sided platform/clip ins. That way on the long hauls I can clip in to pedal more efficiently or clip out to change things up or when start/stopping more frequently. There are also shoes that enable you to pedal a platform AND a clipless system, so that you can walk, use platform pedals OR clip in. To each their own.

  4. Hi Joe I concur with Alee and others. I use clip-in sandals (the Keens with the enclosed toe) when I’m cycle touring and commuting. I’ve been riding with them for over 10 years and done some reasonable walking in them. They’re not my sandal of choice if I’m not riding, but they definitely make cycling easier. I haven’t bothered with double sided pedals that can take a non-clip sole, but there is some sense to doing that.

  5. Hi, I have a giro rambler and they are definitivly NOT strong enought for everyday commuting.and they are NOT waterproof ( lot of rain in Paris…). But the shpe is good for walking ( better than dzr and chrome )

  6. I had a pair back in about 2008. They’re not great to walk in because the grip/tread on the bottom of the shoes is more hard plastic than rubber. They’re ok for riding, but not so much off the bike!

  7. I actually much prefer SPDs for my urban commute (10 mi., 1,600 ft climbing) mostly because I just feel much more connected to the bike. If I’m climbing, I stand often, if it’s raining I don’t have to worry about slipping a foot, and with the horrible roads around here I have much more control for missing potholes and general debris. After riding 40+ yrs with some kind of foot retention un-clipping isn’t even a thought. To each their own. (Also I have DZR Toscas. They are a bit narrow for a wide foot, but otherwise great!)

  8. Sorry Bud, the studies and the science have been in for years, cyclists DO NOT lift up on the cycle stroke. Period, end of story. 90+ percent of all your power comes between 1:00 and 5:00. There are some advantages to being clipped in but generating power on the upstroke isn’t one of them. The psychological warm and fuzzies you might get from thinking you are is an entirely different subject worth discussing.

  9. If you were to ask a knowledgable bio mechanic, engineer, physicist or pro team worth 2 shakes of a stick they may offer you more insight than I can – but not everyone cares to ask or is open to change their mind – I get that. So to you sir I say; most importantly, have fun on your bike (if you have one). The only end of story is when society is void! Do and think as you will. I will keep pedaling in circles.

  10. On the base that I love very much the Keen Newport sandal for walking ( with no spd ) , I recently try a pair of Keen SPD sandal and I return them … not enough effective to my taste for pedalling . The only plus for them , just like the Newport , is the very wide shoe box . A real releive compare to Sidi or any euro brand .

  11. I do. Consciously, when standing climbing. To the extent that until I get the tension dialled in on the pedals i can pull out of the clips. Makes climbing hill easier and faster. Up to you if you don’t want to, but generalising to claim “cyclists” don’t pull on the upstroke is something you’re not in a position to do, unless you’ve checked all of them.

  12. yes I do lift and push. load off the legs on the hills and there is a benefit. Don’t know WHERE you got this but it works when I us the technic. Plus side my foot isn’t moving out of position all the time and maintains the proper position to avoid injury from a bad setup. And when you come out of the saddle you are not slipping off the peddle and tearing up your shins.

  13. The Starbucks marketing juggernaut has convinced the American coffee drinking consumer that their low grade burnt beans make a superior cup of coffee. Specialized et. al. have convinced the bike riding consumer that four frame sizes cobbled up with stupid length stems and seatposts is superior to 20+ frame sizes. The average recreational cyclist has bought into the marketing strategy that they must emulate the “pros” or they are not “serious” cyclists. A lot of what cyclists buy and use flows from that mindset.
    It is a Quixotic folly to attempt to convince people that their illusions aren’t the real deal, and I’m not saying that what you feel isn’t just that. What matters is that “you” feel good about your equipment. It appears you do. Drive on brother, drive on.
    If you can muster up an open mind, you might find this an interesting read:


  14. that’s bad science. I have read this article: https://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/bike-fitting-the-myth-of-the-upstroke.html#tFdKJvL67Ml6fS7F.97
    and I have read this article:
    and I have distributed the power generation as much as possible to the upstroke for over 30 years, benefiting wildly from it going up the many steep hills in my area. The first article can show pictures of muscle groups and explain your rational all day; but in the end, I will pass you up a steep hill with ease if you aren’t adding torque on the upstroke.

  15. i must be one of those very few people then, because I generate a significant amount of power on the upstroke when the grade of climb goes over a certain threshold, which is very often in my case. attempting to climb big hills without clipless would be futile and dangerous for me, regardless of power produced on the upstroke. I am with you on the big money spending on stupid crap. I find lumping clipless in with the other items you list to be a bit off the mark though. I consider flat pedal riding to be utterly unsafe when climbing. The other stuff I agree with you though. I also do appreciate your civilty within our discource. I will rephrase my statement to be clear. No one of otherwise equal ability could pass me on a hill if they didn’t up-stroke. if I am pulling up, I am creating torque, and producing a slight relief to the down leg, producing a micro recovery on long climbs that add up to significant time improvements up steep hills since I am not going as deep into anarobic as I would without pulling up. I am fresher as I reach the top of a climb as well. An expensive study would surely prove this. Luckily, I don’t need the study to know it.

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