I recently bought a nice road bike after it became apparent that my comfort bike was not going to be the best choice for longer rides. I'm riding for recreation/fitness-no racing. I was hesitant about the drop handlebar at first, but found I adapted to it quickly. The pedals came with "hoods"-I tried them but took them off. After just a couple of rides I felt more confident on the bike, but I seriously doubt that I will go clipless.
Now that my rides are longer, I'm trying to add cycling gear without going overboard by buying things that I (personally) do not need. I did purchase bike shorts-that was a good decision.
Now for the shoes: aside from use with clipless pedals, what is their function? I believe I read somewhere that the soles are stiffer and provide more support than a sneaker would? I've been wearing athletic shoes and have noticed some minor pain across the top of my feet after a long ride; am wondering if I might benefit from cycling shoes? My foot position while riding is comfortable. Would mountain bike shoes work in this situation? How do they differ from road bike shoes?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.