Originally Posted by nav
I rode using a pair of Crank Brothers' Mallet pedals both with and without cleats for a while (depending upon how lazy I was each ride, I didn't always feel like putting on my cycling shoes). They work relatively well as platforms as long as you have grippy shoes and they're not wet. If they get wet, good luck staying on them; they're very slick and there's no real studs, just the two end plates. The egg beater part of the Mallet mostly stays out of your way when used as a platform. When you're using cleats they're harder to clip into than the "can't miss" Egg Beaters due to the platform.
If you're going to ride in tennis/skate shoes and in non-moist weather you should be fine with them. If you're planning on riding clipped in a lot you'll be annoyed by the platform at first but you'll probably be able to get over it.
Well, I've found that the platforms are pretty easy to get into. Just wiggle your foot a little bit and you're in.
To the original poster, the mallets work fine without cleats. They work about as well as those cheap plastic pedals. Though, there is an option of switching to the taller traction plates which will give you more grip.
Riding without clips (and with) would recommend a shoe with a tall well spaced tread pattern. This will allow the egg-beater to "sink in" and out of the way and allow the shoe to graps around the traction plates.