It’s Spring and although it is currently chilly, I know it will soon be time for sandals! I’ve dusted off my warm weather shoes in preparation, and feeling a bit… uninspired… by my current collection. I seem to always be searching for THE perfect shoes, shoes that will go with everything, feel comfortable no matter what I’m doing, and look stylish and professional at the same time. Okay, this is probably a fantasy, but I do have high standards for my shoes.

My current collection - serviceable yet mostly uninspiring

My current collection – serviceable yet mostly uninspiring

First of all, any shoe I buy must be comfortable enough to walk to the Metro or a bus stop, to meetings and on outings. To me this translates into a slight heel and good arch support, plus some cushion between me and the pavement. (The mystery remains as to how my red reflective Cole Haan shoes remain my most comfortable shoe, since they fulfill neither of those categories…) Since I started biking, I have some additional requirements, but only a few – I don’t want to wear open-toed shoes on my bike, out of fear of injuring them somehow, and the super-wedge platforms make it hard for me to feel the pedals. So my new Dansko heeled sandals are not going to be bike shoes – open toes and a platform heel.

But this Spring, the trend is for *flat* shoes! What?!  you say – yes, all the magazine articles and ads are full of models in sporty looking flat sandals and loafers and other assorted flat shoes. It’s so refreshing. Additionally, many of the styles are menswear-inspired, oxfords and tuxedo slippers and kilties. These have my stylish bike shoe requirements – closed toes, sturdy heel, I can add insoles if needed, and most of them as professional-looking as well as stylish and casual. Here are some I am currently obsessed with:


I love the Nike X Liberty Air Rift trainers, because I owned four pair at one point; they were my favorite summer shoe. I thought Nike stopped making them, so I was pleased to see them return. Alas, I won’t buy a fifth pair, mostly because I don’t love the color of these, and besides, maybe I should move on.

I had to laugh when I saw that En Brogue had a whole blog post about Salt Water Sandals! I grew up in these, as did my little brother and cousin. I couldn’t wear them now because they are too flat, but even looking at the photos brings back memories of my new ones every summer. (PS – En Brogue is currently my new favorite style crush – she has the coolest flat shoes! #envious)

My cousin, my brother and I all in our Salt Water Sandals, circa no idea but probably 1982-1984

My cousin, my brother and I all in our Salt Water Sandals, circa no idea but probably 1982-1984

You can tell I’m totally in love with blush-colored shoes, can’t you? Those Finery London kiltie oxfords just make me swoon, and the gold Clark’s tasseled loafers, well, yes, lust. The Naturalizer Banner wedges shoes are the type of shoes I feel I should own, because they look so, well, business-y, in a casual sort of way, comfortable and practical. You call tell I like Clark’s, can’t you? I blame it on En Brogue again, especially after her recent report of next season Clark’s shoes. Clark’s is a company that I don’t normally associate with funky shoes, but they are doing a really good job of impressing me lately.

All of these shoes fall into my acceptable stylish cycling shoes category, so you could expect to see me in any of these shoes in the next few months. However, I don’t anticipate buying any of them any time soon. Let’s ignore the prices for a moment – I frankly don’t know what I’d wear any of them with! All could go perfectly well with jeans, but I don’t wear jeans that often, and definitely not to work. I’m in the process of completely redoing my wardrobe, complete with an appointment with a Nordstrom personal stylist for my birthday next month. And I’ve learned over the years that what I buy at the beginning of a season tends to not be the item(s) I wear throughout most of the season.

So I have to force myself to not buy new shoes any time soon, and continue to bike in the shoes I have.

But I really want these Danskos! Danskos have become my go-to comfy shoe, after years of denying that they could be cute and comfortable. Surely these would go with everything?!

But I really want these Danskos! Danskos have become my go-to comfy shoe, after years of denying that they could be cute and comfortable. Surely these would go with everything?!

Do you buy (non-bike-y) shoes based on certain criteria, the way I do? Or do you wear bike shoes, and change into work/dress shoes when you reach your destination? And am I the only one weird about not biking in open-toed shoes?!


5 thoughts on “Stylish Spring Cycling Shoes

  1. I have a little bit of an oxford fixation, but I also have a lot of shoes. I’m one of those who wears open-toe shoes on my bike sometimes, but it depends on the trip. I have some cycling specific shoes (Keen Commuter Sandal and a pair of Shimano bike shoes); if I’m wearing heels, I’ll often wear flats on the bike unless they’re chunky, which doesn’t bother me. By the way, as an enabler, I’d like to encourage you to buy that pair of Danskos. They’re pretty awesome.

    • I’m more than happy to have you be an enabler, I love those Danksos! Maybe I can use the “hive mind” excuse: “Everyone told me to get them!” Haha! I love oxfords too, especially spectator ones. I love my red ones but maybe I need a more “neutral” pair as well… : )

  2. My work shoes have to be absolutely comfortable and supportive. Don’t care what they look like much. Date or church shoes can be 2-4 hour shoes not entirely comfortable but interesting and good looking. No way would I wear open toe shoes on a bike. It only takes one time with even a small accident or miscalculation for bloody skinned off toes. Let alone sprained or broken ones.

    • That’s exactly my paranoia about open toed shoes on bikes. I always cringe when I see people out in flip flops. Sure, they probably aren’t going too far, but still… I used to love interested but not so comfy date shoes until I met The Mechanic, and now our dates are more active and require sturdier shoes. : /

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