I posted this on an earlier thread:
I've been riding clipless pedals since they first came out, and thought they were a godsend compared to what I had been using for the previous 20 years: cleated shoes, toeclips and straps. Clipless pedals provide consistency in release of the shoe from the pedal.
The only serious accident caused by any kind of pedal restraint system was the first day I used clipless pedals. A friend loaned me his pedals and shoes to try them out. I was so used to being really secure to the pedal with toe straps that I twisted my body to my left looking for traffic as I entered an intersection, and inadvertently unclipped my right foot and went over the bars. If I would have stopped for the stop sign it would not have been a problem Those new-fangled clipless pedal just didn't hold my foot securely enough; they were too easy to get out of.Before the Look pedal, riders rode with metal toe clips which were secured to the pedal platform, and lashed their feet to the contraption using a leather strap, named the “toe clip strap”. (Apparently, the same guy who named the toe clip strap wasn’t available when Look was divining the name for the clipless pedal). Since the toe clips were screwed to the pedals, the rider was similarly screwed should they need to disengage from said pedal
I first started mountain biking years ago with single release SPD cleats. I just couldn't get out of them fast enough at the top of hills and would frequently go down. Switched to multi-release and what a difference. I could easily disengage and never accidentally disengaged. I have never fallen since. Now I user multi-release SPD cleats with M540 pedals on my cyclo-cross for commuting and pleasure. I have never fallen or disengaged when I didn't want to since switching to multi-release many years ago. My advice is if you are going with SPD, get the multi-release.
I also always dismount/stop/mount with one foot still clipped in and have never fallen.
It just seems natural to me and really helps me with my 30+ mi commute - I can't imagine riding any other way now .My wife, on the other hand, just never could get the hang of it and gave up after numerous falls (I still have her pedals for back ups / trainer ).
2012 Felt F55X
I prefer not to use clipless pedals. I don't want to risk falling over into traffic or onto a curb. I've been told they frequently need adjusting. I don't want my feet locked into one position - can't be good for the joints. Another thing - you'll probably need a padded shoe liner with road shoes because of discomfort on longer trips.
I've had no falls with toe clips and I usually just ride MKS touring pedals. They are wide, elegant and grip the sole of mtn bike shoe adequately. I use toe clips when its raining or on longer trips when I will feel more tired. Though I seldom ride dirt, I prefer mountain shoes so if my bike does break down, I can walk more comfortably.