For about two years I was searching for a good pedal system. I landed on the idea of going back to clips and straps and I was fairly happy with that. However, winter presented a problem because my heavier shoe/boot just felt terribly awkward in there.
I was in a neat shop called Phat Moose Cycles when I first came across these.
1. Not very expensive. Really they are just straps and some hardware so you think they'd be dirt cheap - but they're not. I have seen some sites where folks complain about the price and have taken to making their own versions out of leather belts and such.
2. I can wear normal footwear year round. I do have a nice cross shoe that I use for commuting because my commute is somewhat long and the stiffness of the shoe helps with energy transfer (but that's for another time). I can wear winter boots or I can wear a cleated shoe - any option will work. This is particularly useful when I am just jumping on the bike to goto the corner store.
3. There's still a decent feeling of security in the pedal but it's easy to get your foot free if it needs to get out fast!
4. You can buy them in extra large lengths if you have bigger feet, or perhaps are using them for the aforementioned winter footwear.
5. I think they look kind of cool.
6. Made in America.
As for the cons,
1. Phat Moose didn't have the black ones available so I had to get these cream-coloured ones with a diamond print pattern. They only come like this or the black. Take the black if you have a choice!
2. You need to have the proper pedal. Took me a while to find something I liked.
3. Figuring out how to install them took a while. Their old website wasn't really helpful and neither were the package instructions, but I understand that both are now vastly improved.
4. The trick to them is a combination of stiffness and flexibility. Because I accidentally continue to step on and crush the one on my right pedal, the stiffness has decreased and the flexibility increased. Essentially that means it's breaking down a bit and that it tends to flop a bit when I am trying to get the right side in. Ideally this wouldn't be happening.
In the final analysis I can say that I have used the same set for over 18 months now, including a full winter of commuting and they are otherwise (see #4 above) holding up very well.
Next time I am in Ottawa I will be looking for the black set.
All in all I recommend these to you if you want to wear street shoes or other normal walking footwear, like simplicity of design, want a device that lets you in and out easily, and like me, need something other than an open pedal.