Best cycling shoes

Footwear

Metal and plastic cleats have two, three or four holes used to screw them onto the outsoles of certain cycling shoes. Cleats with more holes are generally bigger and grasp more of the bike pedal.

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Which cycling shoes are best?

A good pair of cycling shoes can work wonders for cyclists who want to pedal faster and bike farther without harming their legs, feet and ankles. Whether through cleats, clips or simple ergonomics, these accessories can truly help you “become one” with your bike.

The Venzo Men’s Road Cycling Riding Shoes and Tommaso Pista Women’s Road Bike Cycling Shoes are top-tier cycling shoe models. Other cycling shoe products may have more specialized qualities that would better fit your biking needs.

What to know before you buy a pair of cycling shoes

Advantages of wearing cycling shoes while biking

Cyclists wearing running sneakers can only propel their bike by pushing down on the pedals, an inefficient process that doesn’t engage all the muscles in their legs. With high-quality cycling shoes fastened to pedals through cleats or clips, cyclists can move their bike with both the rising and falling of their legs.

Getting used to cycling shoes while biking

Cyclists who’ve bought their first pair of cycling shoes should make sure they know how to use them before heading out to the bike trail. Shoes with cleats, for instance, are fastened to a bike’s pedals with a twist of the ankles — a motion that’s awkward at first, but second nature once you’ve practiced it a few times.

Protecting your cycling shoes

Cycling shoes aren’t made for walking and can break down if used outside their intended purpose. To keep your cycling shoes in tip-top shape, take precautions such as carrying a pair of backup sneakers or removing their plastic cleats whenever you need to walk around in them.

What to look for in quality cycling shoes

Snugness

Cycling shoes should be tight enough to feel like an extension of your feet, but not so tight that blood flow is restricted. By purchasing cycling shoes that are comfortably snug, you’ll protect yourself from strain and improve the efficiency of your pedaling.

Pedal fit

Certain types of cleats are designed to fit onto certain types of bike pedals, so check the cleats of your new cycling shoes to make sure they’re compatible. Similarly, bike pedals with toe clips should be paired with cycling shoes that fit them snugly.

Materials

Cycling shoes made from light, strong materials such as carbon fiber may cost more but will also last longer and better guard the feet of cyclists. The laces, buckles and clips of cycling shoes should also be sturdy and secure once fastened.

How much you can expect to spend on cycling shoes

Entry-level cycling shoes for men cost around $50-$150 in price, while high-end men’s cycling shoes can cost $300 or more. Women’s cycling shoes vary in price between $70 for cheaper indoor cycling models and $250 for rugged, top-of-the-line pairs.

Cycling shoes FAQ

Why do some cycling shoes come with attachable cleats?

A. Cycling cleats are plastic shapes designed to fit into the recesses of certain bicycle pedals. By linking their shoes to the pedals using cleats, cyclists can engage all the muscles in their legs and pedal vigorously without worrying their feet will slip off.

What’s the difference between cycling shoes and running shoes?

A. Running shoes have flexible bottoms designed to absorb impacts as a runner’s feet push off the ground. Cycling shoes, in contrast, have rigid soles that can better cling to bike pedals.

What are the best cycling shoes to buy?

Top men’s cycling shoes

Venzo Men’s Road Cycling Riding Shoes

Venzo Men’s Road Cycling Riding Shoes

What you need to know: This quality set of men’s cycling shoes can be used for outdoor and indoor cycling.

What you’ll love: These cycling shoes, available in black and white, have excellent ventilation and a flexible design that accommodates the wearer’s foot. They come with cleats that can be removed for outdoor walking and indoor exercises.
What you should consider: The cleats must be manually removed/attached and can easily be misplaced.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top men’s cycling shoes for the money

Gavin Pro Road Cycling Shoe

Gavin Pro Road Cycling Shoe

What you need to know: These bargain men’s cycling shoes are durable, breathable and functional for indoor and outdoor activities alike.

What you’ll love: These Gavin cycling shoes are a particularly sturdy set of footwear, featuring tough laces and reinforced soles that can endure rough outdoor cycling. A side-mounted dial adjusts the slack of the laces, while three slots let wearers install different kinds of cleats.
What you should consider: The thin padding around the soles can make prolonged cycling uncomfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s cycling shoes

Tommaso Pista Women’s Road Bike Cycling Shoes

Tommaso Pista Women’s Road Bike Cycling Shoes

What you need to know: These women’s shoes are stylish, functional and comfortable, supporting the feet during long bike rides and exercise regimens.

What you’ll love: Artificial leather and mesh ventilation make the Tommaso Pistas breathable and comfortable, while their fiberglass soles accommodate wider feet and protect them from strain.
What you should consider: This shoe set doesn’t come with cleats, and some owners have reported issues with the functionality of their clips.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s cycling shoes for the money

Gavin Elite Road Cycling Shoe

Gavin Elite Road Cycling Shoe

What you need to know: If you’re looking for women’s cycling shoes that are affordable and functional, check out this sturdy pair.

What you’ll love: These shoes offer comfort, lightness and durability at a bargain price. The Velcro strap layout of these shoes makes them quick to put on and take off, while their general design is highly compatible with Peloton products.
What you should consider: These cycling shoes don’t come with cleats and according to some customers, tend to come in smaller sizes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top unisex cycling shoes

Venzo RX Bicycle Unisex Road Cycling Riding Shoes

Venzo RX Bicycle Unisex Road Cycling Riding Shoes

What you need to know: The comfortable design of this unisex pair of cycling shoes accommodates feet of varying sizes.

What you’ll love: Venzo RX Bicycle Unisex Road Cycling Riding Shoes are made from lightweight, breathable materials that protect and support the cyclist’s feet. These shoes also come with a pair of clip-on cleats designed to link with Peloton bike pedals.
What you should consider: The buckles of these shoes may wind up breaking after repeated use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Coleman Gailloreto writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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