My question was really clipless -vs- clippless w/ pads -vs- pads.
And, I think the resounding answer has ended up being — whatever you like best.
I’m not sure what I like less yet. In spin class, I love clipless. Riding on roads, I love clipless . . . mostly.
I’m *still* not 100% comfortable unclipping when an emergency occurs (lose speed, come to a stop sign, etc). But, I’m getting better.
The only thing I like about the pads is, I can just jump on my bike, no matter what I’m wearing. . . . it’s nice when the kids wanna ride around the block.
I *think* if I continue to like pads and clipless, I’ll end up buying the *better* pedals.
But, for now . . . I still have no clue 😀