I do not like the idea of foot retention and generally feel no need for it - whether cycling for transportation or going on long rides. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the very thought of having my feet connected to the pedals fills me with terror. The problem is, that I will soon be riding a fixed gear roadbike (Marianne's conversion was practice), for which it is advisable to use foot retention: When cycling over bumps or potholes, your feet can fly off the pedals on a fixed gear bike and the pedals can then "chew up your ankles" before you have a chance to brake. So yes, foot retention is recommended.
Some have suggested I try Power Grips if I am too nervous to use toe clips or clipless pedals. I have finally gotten up the nerve to give them a try... and so far they have been more or less a success. We installed these first on my Rivendell Sam Hillborne, so that I could get comfortable with them before putting them on the fixed gear. Here are my impressions so far.
Power Grips are basically straps made of a thick, stiff woven fabric, that mount diagonally on the pedals. It is easy to slide your foot in and out, but the diagonal position grips the foot firmly in place once it is all the way in. Note that we mounted these with the logo on the inside. There is also a beige version with an argyle pattern accompanying the logo.
I cannot overstate how scared I am of foot retention: I have tried clips and half clips, and was unable to use them. Power Grips seem easier and safer to me than either of these systems. They are also by far more effective than half-clips or loose toe clips.