The Chainlink

   My current commute is about 12 miles one way, and I prefer to ride on flat pedals for the commute. Yes, I'm familiar with the benefits of riding clipless. I enjoy my speedplay pedals and Northwave shoes on a nice ride, but not for commuting.

   Are specialized flat pedal shoes worth it? There have been a few reviews of DZRs (herehere, and here) and I know of several other companies making flat pedal shoes - Fiveten, Chrome, Giro, Specialized. But, but it isn't clear to me if the shoes are any stiffer than say Vans or Converse. Do I spend the money on another pair of shoes (we all have that N+1 syndrome) or just keep wearing "stiffer" normal shoes. 

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I just use mountain bike shoes or bike sandals without any cleats installed. They're easy to walk in but provide enough extra stiffness to make my feet happier.

For the bike sandals, I've been happy with both Keen and Lake.

Thanks, Anne. Do the mountain bike shoe's lugged soles create any problems on flat pedals?

I've never had any issues.

I rode the vast majority of my 11,000+ miles last year wearing Keen sandals. They are plenty stiff, designed to handle the wet, are machine-washable, and just ROCK.

I wear Keanes as well when it's not too cold. I get the stripey tan lines on my feet as well as a result.

curt(is), based on your response and V W's comment, I picked up some Keen sandals and a pair of Keen hiking shoes on eBay.  The quality is outstanding.  They should do me for a long time.

Excellent.

Mine lasted a long time. I hope you get lots of good use out of yours.

I will say my 5/10's are more comfortable than vans. The sole is a bit stiffer, but not rigid.   They are also quite comfortable off the bike. 

You should try this website "Runnerscan - https://runnerscan.com"To find the right footwear for your needs – shoes that can stand in for long periods of time for people have flat feet or shin splits troubles, or if you looking just for a good pair of sneakers for sports activities, like indoor soccer. And with so many different brands and models out there, it might be pretty hard for the rookies in the world of shoes to select a pair that will suit the feet most.

For me, no. I love BMX pedals (either plain, or with SPDs on one side) for everyday riding because the large platform makes it comfortable on virtually any shoe. I have two or three pair of SPDs for riding clipless, but for platform pedals I ride whatever normal shoe I feel like wearing (e.g. boat shoes, not exactly known for stiffness), which seems to me part of the point of riding flat pedals. 

I've ridden in Chrome shoes without cleats, and I do think they're stiffer than just typical Vans and Converse shoes.  They're also constructed in a way that makes them handle the wear of cycling a little better IMHO.  There's enough variations in flat pedals, though, that I'd bet your mileage in terms of stiffness will vary a lot compared to others on different set ups.  

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