Cycling In Sandals (Pros & Cons)

Last updated on August 27th, 2023 at 04:27 am

With summer in full swing, sandals become a staple footwear choice to beat the heat. 

But can you wear your comfy, breezy sandals while riding a bike? 

Some cyclists may tell you to never wear open-toed shoes while biking, but sandals can certainly work for casual rides if you take the proper precautions.

In this post, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of biking in sandals, along with tips to help you ride safely and comfortably with strappy summer footwear.

Can You Ride A Bike In Sandals?

Yes, you can ride a bike in sandals. But cycling in sandals may be best for short, recreational rides rather than long distances.

Can You Ride A Bike In Sandals

The lack of support and potential for feet to slip off pedals make sandals less than ideal for vigorous cycling.

Also Read: Cycling Bibs Vs Shorts

But for a quick trip down the bike path on a sunny day, sandals can work just fine.

Pros Of Cycling In Sandals

Here are some of the benefits of cycling in sandals:


One of the main benefits of wearing sandals while cycling is comfort.

Sandals allow your feet to breathe and don’t constrict toes the way closed cycling shoes do. This added breathability can make all the difference on a hot summer day. 

Not only will your feet feel cooler, but you’ll also be less likely to develop blisters or other foot problems caused by sweaty feet.

Sandals are also lighter and more flexible than cycling shoes, which can make them more comfortable too.

Plus, wider strapped sandals offer more foot support than flip flops.


It’s convenient to be able to ride a bike in your everyday footwear.

With sandals, you don’t have to worry about lacing up or adjusting straps. And there’s no need to carry extra cycling shoes or stop to change footwear.

Simply slip on your sandals and you’re ready to go!

It’s one less piece of gear to think about when you want to ride casually around town.

Pros Of biking In Sandals

Cons Of Cycling in Sandals

While cycling in sandals can be comfortable and convenient, there are some drawbacks to consider. Here are the main ones:

Also Read: Can You Bike On The Highway?

Lack Of Support

One of the biggest drawbacks of biking in sandals is the lack of foot support. Rigid cycling shoes are designed to hold the foot in place and evenly distribute pressure.

Softer sandals may allow feet to shift while pedaling, which can lead to soreness.

The lack of a very stiff sole can also reduce power transfer when pedaling.

Safety Concerns

Cycling in sandals can be risky as they don’t provide the same level of protection as shoes.

Loose fitting sandals can get caught in bike chains or pedals, posing a safety hazard. Sandal straps may come undone mid-ride.

Plus, your toes are also exposed to potential impact if they are too far forward on the pedals.

Sandals run the risk of slipping off pedals, especially if pedaling hard while standing up out of the saddle. Sweaty feet may also cause the sandal to slide around, creating foot fatigue.

Weather Limitations

While sandals can be comfortable in hot weather, they are not suitable for all weather conditions.If it is raining or cold, your feet can get wet or cold.

This can be uncomfortable and lead to health problems. 

Plus, if you cycle in wet conditions, sandals can become slippery, which can lead to accidents.

Also Read: Cycling With Contact Lenses

Tips For Cycling In Sandals

Here are a few tips to stay safe while biking in sandals:

  • Wear sandals with straps that securely fasten around your foot. Flip-flops or loose slip-on sandals can easily slip off when pedaling.
  • Pedal smoothly and avoid jerky motions.
  • Ride on paved surfaces if possible.
  • Consider using pedal cages or toe clips on your bike. These can help keep your feet anchored on the pedals when wearing open sandals.
  • Go a little slower and avoid steep hills or rugged terrain.
  • Be prepared to put a foot down.

Can You Ride A Bike In Flip Flops?

Yes, you can technically ride a bike in flip flops, but it’s not the safest or most comfortable choice unlike sandals.

Still, flip flops are ok for short leisurely rides!

When biking, your feet need to grip the pedals firmly and pedal with power, which is very difficult in flimsy flip flops that provide little support.

Bottom Line

If you plan on cycling for long distances or at high speeds, it is recommended that you wear proper cycling shoes for safety reasons.

But for a short ride in the summer – cycling in sandals is the way to go!


Are There Cycling Sandals With Clipless Pedals?

Yes, there are cycling sandals that are compatible with clipless pedals. These sandals have a cleat attachment that allows them to be used with clipless pedals. 

However, not all cycling sandals are compatible with clipless pedals. So be sure to check before purchasing.

Some popular brands of cycling sandals are Shimano, Keen, and Teva. These brands offer a variety of styles and features.

Are There Cycling Sandals Designed Specifically For Women?

Yes, there are cycling sandals that are designed specifically for women. 

These sandals are typically narrower and offer a better fit for women’s feet. Some popular brands that offer cycling sandals for women include Shimano and Keen.

Can Sandals Be Worn For Mountain Biking?

While sandals can be worn for mountain biking, it is not recommended. 

Mountain biking can be more rugged and demanding than road cycling, and sandals do not provide the same level of protection and support as other types of cycling shoes. 

It is best to wear shoes that offer more protection and support when mountain biking.

Is It Safe To Wear Sandals While Cycling?

Wearing sandals while cycling can be safe as long as you take certain precautions. Make sure that your sandals fit properly and provide enough support for your feet. 

You should also avoid sandals with loose straps or other features that could get caught in your bike’s pedals or gears.

Alternatives To Cycling Sandals For Warm Weather

If you prefer not to wear cycling sandals, the best alternative is cycling shoes with mesh panels for ventilation, with breathable socks.

Certified bike mechanic based in Orlando, Florida. With over 15 years of knowledge and experience in the industry, I can help you diagnose issues and fix them.

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