The shoes I like most have that classic, traditional look to them -- typically black leather (or at least a close approximation). Though I do have shoes with cleats, my favorites are the ones that were actually designed for touring, and just have a ribbed sole that still gives a good grip on the pedals but still allow some walking.
So what's a person to do now if they want traditional-looking shoes that work well with traditional pedals but don't want to search eBay for older models? It's a tough market out there. Sometimes one can find things by searching foreign bike shops -- such as in the UK. But most of the big shoe companies have discontinued these kinds of shoes completely, so they aren't available anywhere. Here are a couple of options, though.
|Exustar SRT707: These look fairly traditional and have a fairly smooth sole which is also SPD compatible. One could leave the SPD part covered and use them with toe-clip pedals. They are getting hard to find, though. Nashbar has them, but supplies are dwindling (when I checked, they had nothing larger than size 40) and I don't know if they plan to get more. Velo-Orange had them for a while, but apparently not anymore. Some UK-based bike shops might have them, though.|
|Dromarti Storica: These are gorgeous and beautifully made. Available in black or brown. Unfortunately, they are also incredibly expensive at about $250. (Dromarti)|
|Quoc Pham "Fixed": Like the Dromartis, these are a really nicely made leather touring shoe, and almost as expensive (about $200). In this case, the sole is smooth and ribless. They also have some other styles. Available from Quoc Pham directly.|
That seems to be it. If anyone out there has tried some of the modern shoes, it might be nice to hear how they feel and work.