A bicycle that meets your specific needs, as well as getting the proper cycling shoes can make a huge difference in your riding. Cycling shoes have stiffer soles to efficiently transfer power from your feet to the pedals and to protect your feet. The lack of stiff soles in sneakers, for example, allows your feet to collapse through the arches while pedaling, which may cause pain, tendon problems and a burning sensation on the bottoms of the feet.
The key differences between cycling shoes and most other sports shoes are:
Stiff soles for protection from the pedals and to ensure that no energy is lost in transferring power to the pedals.
A snug fit so that your feet can’t move around in the shoes while you’re pedaling.
Little or no cushioning in the soles because this would interfere with pedaling.
Lightweight, ventilated uppers to keep your feet cool and dry and to keep the shoes lightweight.
Special fixing points for the cleats, which engage the pedals.
If you love rolling up the miles but you enjoy stopping to admire the view almost as much. Look at footgear made for touring. It's flexible for comfort with rubber soles and recessed cleats for walking. Off-road styles work, too.
If you love off-road rides and races. Then you'll want a lugged sole, recessed cleat, snug-but-comfy fit, light weight, decent sole stiffness (not too stiff) and secure fastening system.
If you've been on off-roader but now you plan to get a road-specific bike. Then you may want to continue using your off-road shoes. Just get the same pedals for your road bike that you have on your off-roader.
If you're a serious triathlete. Then check out triathlon shoes, which are designed for high efficiency but also with features to get you in and out quick.
If you ride metric centuries and group rides that are more social than competitive. Then you'll do fine with a mid-line road shoe because it'll be more flexible and comfortable than the full-on road race model.
If you enjoy hammering on the road with your buddies sprinting for every city-limit sign. Then get a lightweight, high-end road shoe with super-stiff sole for exceptional energy transfer and extra-secure strap system.
ycling shoes fit more snugly so your feet won't slip around inside when you're pedaling. This is also why you should always wear special cycling socks with your shoes. These are thin so they won't stretch out the shoes, ruining the fit. You can help maintain the proper fit by stuffing your shoes with newspapers to let them dry properly after rainy/wet rides that soak the shoes.