Now I'm not a very cool guy. I don't dress well. I don't ride cool bikes. I don't listen to cool music. To that end, my shoes aren't that cool either. I have a beat up pair of Puma Baskets, which have served me very well, but they're on their last legs. I got these, but their colors are too bright to ride a bike with. I've also got these weird formal Pums that I bought at some crazy discount in West Hartford center like seven years ago at a crazy discount (I paid like $15 and they were $200 shoes). They're really sleek and cool, but I couldn't find a picture of them online. I've never seen them anywhere other than my feet. I've got some boots and some cross country ski boots. I've also got a pair of Answer cycling shoes-- great shoes except for the stupidly oriented middle strap. Since there are many times that I ride a bike to work with clipless pedals (I don't agree with the Shoes Ruse), I wear my cycling shoes while riding and then get there and switch to those formal Pumas I was talking about.
This is a blog post of a decidedly first would problems. You're probably thinking that I'm a total narcissistic jackass at this point, but I really want to tell you about these shoes I bought!
Anyway, many of you have seen those sort of dorky "sport/touring" shoes on Nashbar. They're probably exactly what I'm looking for except that they're not edgy and bike culture-y enough. SPD-compatible BMX shoes look pretty cool, but I can't figure out BMX things at all. So, you can imagine how happy I was to find that someone wanted to make cool spd-compatible shoes that are neither one of those things. These people call themselves DZR shoes and I bought their GMT-8.
They work and I like them. I've had them for three weeks now. They take a little bit of effort on the owner's part, because one must cut a hole in the sole to mount the cleat. It took me about twenty minutes to get all that right, but it wasn't that hard. You do lose a cool little graphic on the sole of the shoe, though. They're stiff enough. The toe box has a hard structure between the rubber sole and your foot, but it's not hard under your arch and heel. It provides more than enough stiffness for all the riding I've done in them-- commuting, rides on my 'cross bike off road, some mountain biking. I wouldn't do a 50 mile mountain bike race or 'cross race in them, actually I wouldn't do any race in them, but short of intense riding, they do the trick. The rubber sole has actually come in handy in a few hike-a-bike situations a bit, it grips better than a hard plastic mountain bike shoe's sole.
Walking around is very pleasant for the most part. The insert could use a little but more padding and has minimal arch support. It's not terrible, but it's not great. I'm probably going to replace it with something from CVS. The shoe's flex, though, is 85% as good as a regular shoe, which I think is. The recess for the cleat is very, very well designed: no tap dancing at all, but clipping in and out is a breeze when the cleat is aligned correctly. I've worked standing up in them and walk around a bunch and feet haven't started hurting. The same can't be said when I do the same in cycling shoes.
My complaints are: toe box is a little big, DZR claims you can use these shoes with clips and straps, but you have to open up your straps a lot. Also, the laces are slightly on the long side. Especially if you're riding fixed, tuck them in.
So, that's it. They're a good comprise (85% of the good things about regular shoes and cycling shoes) and look pretty good.
I own a pair of wingtips, too.