Back in the 20th century I had some Sidi bike racing cleats that were a bit like this. They were built like leather-soled dress shoes, with a kangaroo leather upper, and cleat on the bottom (and a titanium shank!)I found this I thought was interesting and it makes me think sports shoes are very new. This one is 100+ years old looks like a dress shoe with some spikes.
The leather was so soft it moulded to your foot and you could see the outline of your toes on the outside. Back then cyclists used toe clips and straps to hold their feet down to the pedal, the shoe upper itself didn't need to be stiff and reinforced.