It's currently not in my budget to get cycling-specific shoes, or more than that, if I were to get cycling shoes, I'd probably want to go all out and get cleats and clipless pedals, which is definitely not in my budget at the moment.
I've been using a pair of shoes that are pushed as a lightweight camping/hiking shoe- grippy sole, super thin, light, and fast-drying, and easy to cram into a hiking pack with limited space...which = flexible.
I appreciate the grip and lightness, but am completely aware that the flexibility of the sole is counterproductive to efficient pedaling. I'm pretty crafty in the shop, so I'm wondering if anyone has experience in making rigid insoles- I could scroll-saw something out of aluminum plate, but I could see that eventually taking on a curve if I walk around on them for long enough. Maybe thin veneer plywood (I could choose the veneer strategically and laminate it myself).
Lately I've been considering getting a fiberglass repair kit- fiber mesh and resin: trace the existing insole onto the fiber mesh and make several cutouts; resinate each piece, building up layer by layer, until I have a lightweight, rigid, shoe-shaped plate, ~1/8" thick.
So I ask- any suggestions, or anyone with enough fiberglassing experience to tell me if I can get rigid enough in 1/8" thickness?