gilipollaswrote a review of Shimano A530 SPD Pedals on July 9, 2015
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These pedals are inherently a huge compromise, and I take that into account when giving them a 3-star rating. These are used on a commuter bike.
First, the good: Classic SPD durability and reliability. They work all the time, and they almost always give a nice reassuring 'click' when you're clipped in. They aren't too heavy. They look nice, especially in black. They're built well for the price. You can find them on sale pretty often for ~$50. You can ride with cleats and with regular shoes (this is the main reason you would buy this pedal).
The bad: The bearings are a bit stiff, so the pedals don't roll over to the same position every time, meaning you're always looking at your pedals to make sure you're on the correct side. If the bearings were smoother, and the platform fell to the bottom all the time, that would help. Speaking of the platform, it's not that great. It's a good shape and size, but there really isn't a lot of grip. If you're wearing skate shoes while it's dry, you'll be fine, but if you try to ride in any other shoes, and heaven forbid in rain or snow, you're going to slide off the pedals if you apply any real torque to them.
I realize that you buy this pedal as a compromise, but it's too much of a compromise. The SPD interface works well, just like all Shimano SPD's, but the lack of consistent pedal orientation makes them hard to deal with. But the real deal breaker is that the platform just isn't that good. If the platform was really grippy, or had some pins or set screws in it like true MTB platforms, these would be worth it, because then you could actually trust the platform.
As is, they're too much of a compromise for me, and don't do either thing well enough to warrant using them. I'll be switching to XT or XTR trail pedals, with double-sided cleat entry, and enough of a platform that I can ride them with street shoes on if absolutely necessary.