“On your bike” is usually a term you don’t want to hear as it means you’re being told to scamper off, yet when to comes to practising for track cycling they are words you look forward to being told. But, when it’s wet and cold or you just want to practice inside, indoor cycling is the way to go. You curse your shoes as they slip and slide on the pedals and you look at the person next to you with envy. They are cycling effortlessly and you wonder what makes them so special. Oh, their footwear!
Though specific shoes for indoor cycling are far and few between, you can get more generic cycling shoes that can cater to your needs. Cycling shoes are designed to make your ride more pleasant as well as providing you with added power through the design. Foot safety is also catered for.
So, when you go shopping for shoes for your indoor cycling what is it that you should be specifically looking for and what are the best shoes out there? Here we will guide you through the world of indoor cycling shoes and then present you with our list of the best footwear on the market.
Cycling footwear types
As we mentioned, companies are starting to produce shoes that are designed for indoor cycling yet if you find it hard to get your hands on a pair, there are other options available. Mountain bike shoes, road shoes and universal mount shoes will all serve the purpose of giving you the support and comfort you need. But what are the differences between all these choices and which one should you settle on? Let’s break this down further…
Made for the outdoor cyclist, road shoes have a hard sole with minimal flexibility. This allows for the best performance when cycling while the 3-hole connection point on road shoes provides security between your foot and the pedal as well as allowing for maximum positioning. They are lighter in design than Mountain Bike shoes.
Mountain Bike Shoes
These shoes can be worn both indoors and outdoors are compatible with Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) via the 2-hole design. SPD cleats can be attached to your shoe which allows your foot to be placed in the right direction for a more tailor-made fit. Mountain bike shoes also have a raised lug that prevents the cleats from making contact with the floor. Why does that matter? It matters because, unlike road shoes, the raised cleats allow you to walk around without fear of slipping over.
Universal Mount Shoes
Universal Mount shoes are like a hybrid of road shoes and mountain bike shoes. They are in effect road shoes tweaked to accommodate the 3-hole Delta cleats of the traditional road shoes, as well as the 2-hole SPD cleats. Universal mount shoes are an ideal option for those of you who want the experience of a running shoe yet have the freedom to adapt the shoe for SPD cleats when indoor cycling.
Which shoe is the one for me?
When it comes to deciding if you need road shoes, mountain bike shoes or the universal mount footwear, there are several things you need to consider: the pedals on your indoor cycling bike, which cleats you need and also how well the shoes fit.
As you have seen, you have two cleat options available with cycling shoes, the 3-hole Delta cleats and the 2-hole SPD system. Look at your bike and see which system it supports. Some indoor cycling bikes have a dual system that accommodates both styles of cleats. So that means whether you have road shoes or mountain bike shoes, you are covered and good to go!
With shoes, it’s always about performance plus comfort. You don’t want to find that your shoes are ill-fitting or make your feet tired. Lightweight shoes with breathable materials will keep your feet from overheating as well as not adding weight or pressure onto them. You want to enjoy your ride!
Straps or laces?
With cycling shoes, it is more preferable if you have a pair that has a strap enclosure system. Laces can get caught up in the pedals of the bike and it’s harder to loosen the laces while cycling as your feet are secured into the pedal. Straps are easier to adjust and tidier.
Soles and ventilation
Nylon sole shoes offer more flex and are less weighty than their carbon-based counterparts. This means that your feet have greater freedom of movement while cycling without putting extra pressure on your ankles and knees as would be the case if you choose a shoe with a harder carbon-sole shoe.
Perforations seem like a great way to allow heat to escape from your shoe, but your feet will feel like they are stuck in a steam room. The ideal cycling shoe will have a mesh material with plenty of opening.
You are all set!
Now you know the different options available in cycling shoes and what makes a great pair of footwear as you start pedalling, you are good to go for choosing a pair of indoor cycling shoes that will keep you and your feet happy as you cycle your heart out! It’s time to look at some of the best indoor cycling shoes that enthusiastic spinners love.
Best indoor cycling shoes
Whenever it comes to the “best” it’s a matter of which shoes meet your needs. Just because you hear people swearing that their Tommaso shoes are the greatest, doesn’t necessarily mean that those are the ones for you. The ideal pair of shoes are those which give you the efficiency, power, support and comfort that you are desiring. Whatever pair of shoes those are is up to you to decide. Now, that’s out of the way, here are some of the more popular styles available.
For all the female biking enthusiasts out there, these shoes offer versatility. Whether you are out for a walk or heading for an indoor cycling workout, the Multi Air Flex will provide you with the comfort and support you need. Your heel is supported by the internal retention cup while the nylon outsole flexes with your foot. To save your feet from getting too hot, the mesh and synthetic leather are breathable with air circulation offered through the EVA insole. SPD compatibility means you don’t have to worry if you find that your indoor cycle only supports SPD cleats (which aren’t included). Available in seven different colours. You can have one pair for each day of the week! Now, that’s true versatility!
The Boa reflective shoe offers an ergonomic design with s hardened outer to provide your feet with the support and comfort you need. The insole braces the arch of your foot while the Boa L6 closure system along with the strap ensures that the shoes fit snugly against your foot with padding that will keep your tootsies comfy as you pedal and pedal and pedal….
From a company that has won numerous design awards, the R5 Road Cycling shoe embraces intelligent design with comfort. The carbon reinforced nylon outer provides efficiency while the R5 Powerstrap ensures an all-round fit that makes your feet feel cosy. The hardened outsole offers amazing power transfer to the pedal and is compatible with Delta cleats. Fizik takes pride in making shoes that are chosen by the most discerning of top athletes and the R5 is a great example of the quality and passion of Fizik.
Ride faster and smarter thanks to Tommaso. The firm fibreglass sole boosts power transference so that you are pedalling with maximum efficiency. The upper envelopes your feet while the mesh fabric allows your feet to breath, providing you with comfort and you don’t have to be concerned that you hopped on the wrong bike as the Pista’s are compatible with both 2-cleat and 3-cleat systems. So what are you waiting for? Slip on your shoes and cycle the day away!
What? An SPD pedal system on this bike? Well, lucky I have my Venzo’s, they can fit any system. So, bring it on! What a relief, huh? With the low cut design, these shoes will be a dream to wear while the synthetic mesh uppers offer cool relief to your feet. Worried about the shoes getting wet? Well, if they do, these babies will dry out fast. Fit, performance and dryness. Sounds too good to be true, but it is. It’s time for you to get a pair of Venzo’s.
With these shoes being used by a range of professional riders as well as ironman competitors, you can take comfort knowing that your feet are in good hands. The Premium Nylon shoes are designed with the triathlete in mind and that means that they will handle the most strenuous of cycling activities. Need to put your shoes on in a hurry? The velcro system is designed for that very purpose while giving your feet the support they need. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, what isn’t there to love about these shoes?
The fluorescent yellow will definitely make you stand out in the gym as you indoor cycle your legs off. But if that isn’t your colour, there are five other colours to choose from. But Santic isn’t just about looking stylish, they offer cycling shoes that you don’t have to take off as you transition from riding to walking. Fashion and practicality in a shoe. That’s what it’s all about. Being self-locking means that your feet are kept securely in place as you pedal with the raised rubber block at the front of the shoe providing balance and grip. On top of all that, if you break your shoe, Santic offers a Lifetime Breakage Warranty. Simply amazing.
For all the club and sports riders out there, Shimano has the shoe for you. The RP-100 has a double strap system that ensures your foot stays put while your cycling while the reinforced glass fibre sole gives you the firmness you need to pedal effectively. Any worries about your feet get hot and wet are alleviated through the breathable mesh and ventilation of the sole.
Whether you’re cycling indoors, outdoors, on-road or off-road, Giro has your feet covered. The agile microfibre upper offer comfort with energy transfer offered through the nylon plating in the shoe. Keeping your foot firmly planted on the pedal is done through a combination of stainless steel and rubber lugs underfoot. Giro always strives to offer the most innovative products that will enhance the rider’s performance and that commitment can be found in these cycling shoes.
The ZOL Predator may sound like some kind of malicious alien, but there is nothing to be afraid of here. These shoes will keep your feet firmly planted on earth as you cycle thanks to the three-strap system and carbon fibre heel cap. The sole is injected with fibreglass to proved you with the firmness you need yet without costing you suppleness in movement. Though one of the cheaper shoes on the list doesn’t mean that Predators are lacking in quality. Loved by many earthlings who use these in their spinning class. Time to get some ZOLs on your feet.
Want a shoe that is about as waterproof as you can get? Then take out your cash and buy a pair of Crossmaxes. The Clima Mavic build in conjunction with the neoprene cuff will keep your feet as dry as a bone. But it’s not all about keeping you from getting your tootsies wet, it’s also about security. The hook-and-loop strapping system along with the dial makes these shoes envelop your feet while providing you with efficient power transfer to the pedal. Made specifically for the cross-country cyclist in mind, the grip will ensure that you stay on your feet.
The Diamondback shoe may look delicate, but don’t allow yourself deceived by appearances. They are a substantial shoe designed for a comfortable anatomical fit so you can feel snug as while indoor cycling. Compatible with both 3 bolt and SPD cleats makes these shoes universal for any spinning class with the 3 straps ensuring they fit securely as you pedal away.
Giro makes the list again with the Apeckx II. A solid shoe created with an upper that is welded and bonded to provide the ultimate in foot relief and comfort. The bed of the shoe is made from anti-microbial EVA so that you don’t have to fear a case of “stinky feet” during your indoor cycling session. If you have wide feet, it may pay to get a size up from your normal shoe size.
With the SH-MT501s we have a crossbreed of an outdoor hiking shoe with a mountain bike shoe. What does all that mean? Simply this, these shoes won’t weigh heavy on your feet and will give you all the functionality you are looking for in an indoor cycling shoe. Though a lace-up shoe, everything is kept neat and tidy with the top strap so you can pedal without having to be concerned that a wayward lace is going to be caught up in the bike’s mechanics. Light, practical and tidy indoor cycling shoes all thanks to the brilliance of Shimano.
The iZUMi P.R.O is all about a shoe that is technologically advanced for the benefit of your feet and your cycling. With a seamless design to minimise pressure on your feet while still allowing them to breath. The sole and upper are created to allow you to deliver the maximum power in your pedalling and the double boa reels allow for micro-adjustments to ensure the highest comfort and security. It’s time for you to wear some Pearls…
In the world of indoor cycling, you can choose whether you want to have road shoes, mountain biking shoes or universal mounting shoes. The difference lays in the cleat system provided by the bike with road shoes offering 2-cleat support, mountain biking shoes have 3-cleats and universal mounting shoes cover both systems. If you are wanting shoes that you don’t have to take off when you have completed your indoor cycling session, then your best option is mountain bike shoes with their raised lugs allowing you to walk without having to fear slipping on the ground.
We have provided you with a lot of options to choose from in our list with a majority of the shoes having a strap enclosure system. That wasn’t a deliberate choice but rather reflects the popularity of strapping over lace-up shoes. Laces can come undone and tangle in the pedals as you are cycling which means pain for you. Straps offer a safe and secure option while providing you with quick release if you need to loosen your shoes in a hurry.
Happy indoor cycling!