Cycling shoes have cleats that allow you to click into the pedals similar to snow skis. Once your feet are connected, pedaling is more efficient (like turbo charging your bike) and your cycling experience will become more pleasurable and effective.
Tips on Buying the Right Bike Shoes
Bike shoes need to be a snug fit around your heel and across the bridge of your foot. A little bit of room is fine; keeping in mind that your foot will swell once it gets hot.
Your feet should always feel good once the shoe is removed.
Each shoe manufacture has different dimensions. It is recommended that you try on as many different brands as possible. Some brands will be more suited to people with wide feet and others will be more suited to narrow feet.
Not all shoes are compatible with all pedal and cleat systems. It is important to check that you can attach the appropriate cleat for your pedals to your new shoes.
Why pay more? The more expensive shoes will generally have a stiffer sole and a firm, more supportive fit. Stiff shoes ensure all of the power from your pedaling is transferred onto the pedal and not wasted by the shoe flexing. An expensive shoe will also be lighter and have a ratchet strap for a tighter fit.
Stiffer sole than most other bike shoes. The advantage of having a stiff sole for cycling is that it increases efficiency and spreads out the load on your feet. This makes you much more comfortable during long rides as localized pressure is reduced.
A stiff sole and road cleat does make walking more difficult.