What Else I Tested
Giro Trans BOA : The Giro Trans BOA was this close to being the best overall BOA cycling shoe in this guide. It’s got excellent support thanks to the BOA/Velcro closure combo, is breathable thanks to mesh ventilation panels, and I think it just looks cool.;
But Giro is slowly phasing it out in favor of new models. It’s also only available in a men’s fit starting at a size 39, so those with smaller feel could be out of luck. The Trans BOA only supports Look Delta cleats, while the Cadet supports both Look Delta and SPD, so the Cadet is the more versatile shoe all around.
Tomasso Pista : The draw of the Tomasso Pista is that cleats come included and pre-installed on the shoe, which is great for beginners. But recently, the price jumped up by nearly $40. It was previously available for around $85, which would have made it a great budget buy.;
The quality of the shoe itself is lesser than some of the other equivalently-priced models I tested, and the fit felt bulky in a way that other shoes didn’t, so it’s just not worth it at the increased price.
Giro Empire E70 W Knit : I was first intrigued by this shoe because it had laces a rarity in the cycling shoe market. And those laces ended up being its downfall, not because they performed poorly but because I was constantly worried they would get caught in my pedals or come untied during my ride. They never did, but the stress wasn’t worth it.;
Where To Buy Spin Shoes
Ideally, you would you buy spin;shoes from a local bike shop.; This gives you the opportunity to try on several different shoes and see which fits you best.;
Unfortunately, many shops have pretty slim picking when it comes to womens cycling shoes.;
If you find this to be the case, Id recommend shopping online from a website that offers free returns.; That way, you can try on a shoe and if its not comfortable, return it.
Look Delta Cleats Vs Spd Cleats
Almost every top spin bike on the market requires you to clip your shoes into the bike pedals in order to ride that’s why you’re shopping for special shoes for spin class, after all but the mechanism by which your shoe attaches to the pedal varies. The piece that clips in is called the cleat, and there are several styles on the market, but the two most prominent ones are SPD cleats and Look Delta cleats.
SPD cleats, or two-bolt cleats, attach to the sole of the shoe at two points. They sit at the center of the ball of your foot and provide a localized point at which the power transfers from your foot to the pedal.;
Clipping in and out of the pedals is a bit easier with SPD cleats than Look Deltas and so are favored by mountain bikers and those who ride in traffic who may have to react quickly to changing conditions. SPD cleats are also considerably smaller than Look Delta cleats and are therefore easier to walk around in off the bike.
Look Delta cleats, or three-bolt cleats, attach to the sole of your shoe at three points in the shape of a triangle. One point reaches toward your toes and two points sit at the ball of your foot. This provides a much larger surface area that attaches your shoe to the pedal creating a most stable base for your foot.
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What Size Should I Get
Because a lot of spin shoe brands use European sizing, youll want to check a conversion chart to find what number matches your sneaker size. You may even need to bump up a size to give your foot enough space during the ride, says Bradley, or sometimes a half size is all it takes, says Sabella, to account for the fact that spin shoes tend to be more rigid than sneakers. But the best trick of all when looking for a good fit is to get sized by a professional. In this age of Amazon, it may seem easier to order online, but the pros at;Wissahickon Cyclery in Chestnut Hill and Trek Bikes in Manayunk;will be able to help you find a pair thats best for your unique feet.
Tiem Slipstream Indoor Cycling Spin Shoe
$115-$130, depending on size and color
Would you prefer a shoe you can wear around the house or one that doesnt feel as awkward as a traditional cycling shoe? Enter these slip-on shoes from TIEM. They look and fit like a sneaker with a mesh and textile upper and a single Velcro strap, but feature a recessed two-bolt cleat system and a sturdy sole that will support your bodyweight out of the saddle.
I wanted shoes with a walkable sole-not hard like the traditional cycling shoe, shares one pleased purchaser. These are perfect! The fit is as expected and I can walk across hardwood floors without slipping or scratching the floor.
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Spin Shoes Can Protect Against Injury
An exercise bike is considered low impact on the joints, which makes it great for people with joint issues that prevent them from running, explains master trainer Samantha Clayton.
And when you wear clip-in shoes, they prevent you from slipping on the pedals and give you a more correct and natural cycling motion that can help to ensure the right muscles are being worked. This motion and proper alignment can also protect against cramps, low back pain, and potential knee issues, she points out. And those are just a few of the;benefits of owning your own indoor cycling shoes.
Thats why we rounded up the best spin shoes for indoor cycling based on fit, style, and comfort for men and women to help you get the most out of your workout.
One note: Not all cycling shoes come with cleats, the piece that connects the bottom of the shoe to the pedal. But they can be purchased separately for as little as $8just make sure the ones you get match your shoes and the pedals on your bike.
Feel Confident To Perform Your Best On The Bike While Protecting Your Feet
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Verywell / Chloe Jeong
Whether youre cycling at home or in a spin studio, wearing the right pair of shoes can make a huge difference in your performance and comfort. With a stiff, firm sole, cycling shoes with cleats allow you to lock into the pedal, ensuring proper alignment, a smoother ride, and more controlreducing your risk of injuries.
With your feet locked in, youll maintain a nice sturdy base and lower the risk of kicking yourself with the pedal as your shoes won’t slip, says Brooke Emory, fitness consultant and master trainer at Motosumo, a live, interactive platform for at-home cycling classes. Youll also get a much smoother and more powerful pedal stroke allowing you to pull upwards with your hamstrings and glutes instead of always pushing down and relying on your quads.;
Here are the best spin shoes on the market.
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Tommaso Pista Cycling Shoe Bundle
One of the most common gripes about cycling shoes, especially for women with narrow feet, is a boxy heel cup that doesnt stop the heel from sliding. The fix: these Tommaso Pista shoes, which are designed with a firm, no-slip heel back that is supportive and snug.
With more than 800 five-star reviews, five attractive color variations, and three carefully placed Velcro straps, they are earning raves from female cyclists.
Ive been spinning for almost a year and have torn up 2 pairs of regular shoes using the toe cages on my bike. After monster blisters, I finally said enough is enough and ordered actual shoes for my bike. These fit so perfectly! cheers one five-star reviewer, of the No. 1 ranked womens cycling shoe on Amazon.
Ventilation is very important when choosing a bike shoe, notes Jones. The reason: Unlike outdoors where the wind is whipping by or in a spin studio equipped with fans and a commercial-grade air conditioner, you may find your feet sweating, slipping, or rubbing after a ride in your living room.
Fortunately, these shoes from cycling company Shimano, which are specifically designed for cycling indoors, feature an entirely mesh upper for superior ventilation.
How To Install Cleats On Spin Shoes
Youll need a small wrench or screwdriver in order to install cleats onto spin shoes. First, turn the shoes over and line up the holes on the cleat with the holes in the shoe. Use your wrench or screwdriver to attach the cleat to the shoe by screwing the bolts or screws into the holes. Tighten the bolts or screws a couple turns, so theyre level with the cleat.
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Best Overall: Tommaso Pista Womens Cycling Shoe
Cleats sold separately
Lightweight and sleek, this cycling shoe from Nike excels in both function and design. The external plate and user-provided cleats provide a secure, solid connection to the bike, while the stiff internal plate helps you get the most power out of each pedal. With lightweight mesh on top and vents on the sole, the shoe is designed for good airflow.
The adjustable Velcro straps offer a snug, supportive fit that keeps the shoes in place. They also feature rubber-tipped studs built into the bottom plate, making it easier to walk to and from your bike. Available in sizes 5 to 15 and in several eye-catching colors, these shoes will boost your performance and enjoyment at spin class.
Closure: Velcro straps;|;Cleats: Not included;| Compatibility:;Delta and SPD
Why You Should Trust Us
This isnt my first foray into writing about cycling for Wirecutter: Ive reviewed the Peloton indoor cycle as well as folding bicycles for commuters. Im also a New York Citybased certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor . However, as Im not a certified indoor-cycling instructor, for this guide I polled a Facebook group of people who are, asking those instructors to describe the types of shoes they saw participants use and to share the brands and models of shoes they recommended.
I also interviewed:
- Jennifer Sage, president and founder of the Indoor Cycling Association and a coach, personal trainer, and mountain biker based in Vail, Colorado, who has been an indoor-cycling instructor since 1996
- Josh Taylor, global senior advisor and master instructor for Spinning, the original indoor-cycling company, and a former pro bike racer
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So Why Should You Buy Your Own Indoor Cycling Shoes
It’s worth shelling out for your own indoor cycling shoes if you’re 1. looking to improve your performance on your bike and 2. plan to spend a fair amount of time spinning your wheels. People who cycle three or four times a week really need a shoe thats been tailored to their foot so they get the proper anatomic support, Quay says.
What’s more, indoor cycling shoes are actually designed differently than sneakers . The insides are built taller and thicker than the outside to support the foot.” This will help keep your legs in proper alignment while you’re pumping them.
Venzo Bicycle Road Cycling Riding Shoes
These sleek, award-winning Venzo cycling shoes get points for their versatility: They come with removable cleats that are compatible with every pedal type on the market, including indoor exercise bikes and road bikes.
The sole is tough and stiff, ensuring equal weight distribution, plus its heat-insulated to reduce friction and odors.
Comfortable shoes that are lightweight and dont smell? Its no wonder this pair is the No. 1 mens cycling shoe on Amazon.
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What Else Do I Need To Know Before I Buy
Shopping for a pair of indoor cycling shoes can feel overwhelming, since they serve a totally different purpose from any workout shoes youve worn in the past. But its not that hard! Think of these shoes the same way you think about a running shoe, says Rilinger. Comfort is king.
Pro tip: Theres no better way to understand how a shoe feels than trying it on, says Rilinger. For example, some harder materials may rub against your ankle bone. You will only know that by trying it on.
You want to make sure that the shoe feels good across the widest part of your foot, says Rilinger. “Theres less flexibility in a cycling shoe than a running shoe, so its not going to stretch to accommodate your foot as you break it in,” she says. You also dont need quite as much toe room as you do with running shoes, says Quay. Your toes shouldnt be making contact with the front of the shoe or uncomfortable in any way, but they may feel a little more fitted than your average sneaker.
When you’re trying out a spin shoe, dont freak out if your heel slips a little on the back. When youre walking, you generate more heel force than when youre pedaling, says Quay. So instead of walking around, just kind of roll up into the balls of your feet and barely lift your heels and put the pressure up in the ball of the foot. That can indicate how much of a heel hold the shoe has for you.
The Giro Cadet Cycling Shoe Comfortably Cradles Your Foot As You Ride Thanks To The Combination Of A Boa Closure And Comfortable Ankle Padding That Doesn’t Make The Shoe Feel Bulky
Size range: 36W – 43W, 39M – 50M
Fit: Runs half-size small
Closure: 1 BOA dial, 1 Velcro strap
Cleat compatibility: Look Delta, SPD
Pro: BOA closure tightens uniformly, Velcro straps stops toe shifting, nice padding around ankle, split tongue, breathable, very lightweight
Cons: Slippery when walking around off the bike, runs slightly small
After testing 11 pairs of cycling shoes, you might think they’d all start to blend together, but the Giro Cadet shoe very quickly set itself apart. The BOA closure allows for uniform tightening across the shoe which led to an exemplary feeling of security, and the added Velcro strap ensured that my toes didn’t shift back and forth as I rode.
It’s the shoe I favored for personal use, so it’s also the pair I clocked the most miles with. There’s no considerable break-in process, so I was able to have productive rides right out of the gate, and the shoe has done nothing but get more comfortable over time. Where lesser shoes caused pinching, hotspots, and occasional numbness, I was able to all but forget about the Cadets and get lost in my ride a surprisingly tough metric for some of these shoes to hit.;
I have a high instep, so where other shoes would cut into the front of my ankle, the Cadet compensated for it with a flexible tongue that has a slit cut down the middle of it to account for the tendons that flex in that area as you ride.
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How To Choose Cycling Shoes
As you decide how to pick cycling shoes, the first consideration is if you’ll be riding on road or trail. For road cycling shoes, look for lightweight construction and good ventilation. The usually come with either 3-hole or 2-hole cleats. Common compatibilities are SPD, Look and Crankbrothers. Find road cycling shoes for women and men.
If you’re mountain biking, you can use clipless mountain bike shoes or mountain bike shoes for flat pedals . Clipless MTB pedals are made with recessed cleats, making them easier to walk in. They’re best for non-technical and cross-country riding where pedal efficiency matters. Consider shoes for flat pedals if you’ll be getting on and off your bike or doing technical riding. Find mountain biking shoes for men and women.
For riders looking just to move about town or commute, there are also casual cycling shoes that look more stylish and are easier to walk in. If you plan to bike in wet weather you can also add a shoe cover. ;Find casual cycling shoes for men and women.
Specialized Torch 10 Road Shoes
I love the Specialized brand, says Clayton. As an avid road biker, I find them to have the exact support I need. While some of the shoes from cycling company Specialized run over $400, this more affordable pair boasts many of the same features and technologies at a more reasonable price point. That includes a Boa dial for a perfectly snug fit, a moderately stiff sole and lightweight body, a three-bolt cleat pattern, and their unique Body Geometry construction, which offers arch support, stabilization, and pain prevention.
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Our Pick: Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex
The Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex met all our criteria better than the other shoes we tested. With lots of ventilating mesh, these shoes topped our test for breathability, an important attribute for indoor cycling, where you dont have wind resistance to keep your feet cool. The rail-like lugs run nearly the entire length of the soles and are more level than those of some MTB shoes, which slant somewhat steeply from the toe down to the heel. The three Velcro straps cinch over a nicely plush tongue and hug the foot cozily, while the padded heel collar locks the rear of the foot in place, with no up-and-down slippage while youre pedaling. As the name suggests, these Garneau shoes did feel more flexible than other shoes I tested, but not so much that they didnt provide a solid pedal stroke. In fact, in my estimation, their flexing just made them feel more comfortable. And Im not alone in recommending the Louis Garneau Multi Air Flex for indoor cycling: Shoppers on and the Dicks Sporting Goods site rave about these shoes comfort and style.
The Multi Air Flex comes in a womens version with four color options and in a mens version with three color options. Larger- or wider-footed women and smaller- or narrower-footed men, respectively, may be able to choose shoes across the genders.