Having the right riding shoes can be a critical component to your success as progressing as a rider. You don't want to be riding in slippers or sandals. You want to ride in "skate" style shoes. I personally prefer Nike SB's to ride in. Nike SB's are super padded and I never get heel bruises or foot pain after riding. I prefer to ride in low tops, while others prefer high tops. If you have a tendency to whip yourself, high tops are for you as they will protect your ankles from impact. You may also find you are less likely to roll your ankles if you wear high tops. You don't want a shoe that is thin and flimsy that wont provide adequate support while you ride.
Now the question remains what brand should you support, by purchasing their product? If you decide to move away from the shoe giants, check out Elyts. They make really nice shoes, that feel similar to Nike's with the amount of cushion and protection they provide. Elyts are are going to run you around $70.00 but then again, so is nice pair of Nike's. In the end, it boils down to personal preference just dont ride in running shoes, crocs or slip ons.
It never hurts to ride in your Lucky socks either!