Bicycle commuters like me face a conundrum: Use regular platform pedals and get about half the power out of our strokes (pulling up is just as important as pushing down), or use "clipless" pedals and deal with the accompanying annoying/ugly special shoes.
This means either toting an extra pair of kicks to the office or clacking around in bike shoes all day. Carrying extra stuff really cramps the streamlined life I'm trying to use, and bike-specific shoes are generally as ugly as any other item of bike-specific clothing. Neither option is a good option, at least for me.
Now, innovative companies have made casual shoes with clipless cleats in them before, but they usually look like they belong at the skate park or the natural foods store. I am a grownup in New York City, so I have held off on buying anything. That's not going to last long, because I just stumbled across these DZR Concubines: a pair of Shimano SPD-compatible casual clipless sneaks that I would probably wear even if they didn't hook me into my bike.
They also seem, from the description at least, to be pretty solid bike shoes: There's a special reinforced shank that let's you maximise the power you're sending to the crank, a burly webbing strap that'll help you get these slip-ons tight enough that your foot isn't flopping around inside, and, like I said, they hook into the insanely popular Shimano SPD clipless system.
My finger's still on the button, but if I end up purchasing, I'll let you know how they work. Anyone out there have experience with these? Let me know in the discussion below. [DZR]