Sure. They're great for casual riding because they're comfortable, stylish and ideal for walking when you're off the bike. The more you get into cycling, the longer distances you'll start to ride though, and you'll probably discover why riders prefer shoes made for the purpose.
What happens with regular tennis shoes and sneakers is that the flexible soles and cushioning materials allow the pressure points on the pedals to stress the feet as you ride (see video). This causes two problems: a loss of pedaling efficiency and worse, on rides over a couple of hours, it can lead to a painful condition called hot foot.
For these reasons, if you're riding regularly, we recommend getting cycling shoes to improve your comfort and enjoyment. This purchase is no different than selecting special footwear for running or shooting hoops. And biking shoes are available for similar prices depending on what features you require. One great advantage of specialty cycling shoes, is that they usually last a lot longer than other sports footwear (because they're mostly used on the pedals), so you really get your money's worth.
All cycling shoes are built to increase pedaling efficiency and prevent discomfort. Designers incorporate sole stiffeners that ensure that every ounce of pedaling effort makes it into the pedals. And these same stiffeners prevent the pedals from digging into your feet so you won't suffer hot foot. You'll find different closure systems on various shoe types from laces to Velcro to both.
One important detail is what pedal system you'll be using with the shoes. If you're riding with standard pedals without toe clips and straps, consider adding them because they'll help you pedal better and faster by keeping your feet in place and by allowing you to apply power through more of the pedal stroke (they also make sure your feet can't slip off the pedals).
If you're ready to upgrade or are already using clipless pedals, we need to know which pedals you have so we can make sure the shoes are compatible with your cleats (the pieces that attach to the bottoms of the shoes and engage the pedals).
We stock a wide selection of cycling footwear for both road- and off-road use. The best way to select a pair is to think about how you'll use the shoes and then come in to try on several pairs to find some that fit. The fit is specific to the type of cycling you're doing and we'll help with this.
For example, if you do a weekly group ride with friends during which you stop for breakfast and some window shopping, a perfect shoe might be one of our walkable models. These resemble athletic shoes and are fit like them, but they feature reasonably stiff soles for cycling comfortably. They've got grippy treads on the bottom and recessed spots for your pedal cleats if you're riding clipless pedals. Of course, there are special models for cyclists who rarely walk in their shoes, too, which fit more tightly. Come by and we'll set you up with cycling shoes that you'll love.