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The 5 Best Cycling Shoes of 2021

The 5 Best Cycling Shoes of 2021

Amanda Botton |

Having comfortable shoes when riding is very important to enhance your performance. In addition to comfort, other features might be important to you depending on what type of riding you do - whether off-road trail riding, road biking or commuting. As an MTB rider grip and durability might be what you are looking for, while for a road bike shoe weight and breathability will be essential.

We have put together our favourite 2021 cycling shoes to help you find the best bike shoes for you. 


Specialized Recon 1.0 Mountain Bike Shoes

Recon 1.0 are high performing mountain clip-in bike shoes that have earned their right as the public’s favourite due to their comfort, durability and efficiency. 

The Recon comes with a Body Geometry Sole and footbed which, backed by science, is designed to boost power, improve riding efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries by optimising knee, hip and foot alignment.

The mountain bike cleats have a STRIDE toe-flex innovative design, where the outer sole has a TPU injected forefoot that provides you with natural and comfortable movement off the bicycle. Yet it still contains enough stiffness - 6.0 index stiffness - that it will optimise your pedal performance on the bike. 

Combine this with its double threat and SlipNot rubber threat, and you have an MTB pair that is both efficient on the pedal and offers incredible all-terrain traction, as well as being super comfortable off the bicycle. Specialized has also extended the heel for a more natural walking feel. 

The cleats are super easy to slip into and out of due to its three Velcro closures and fit design. They are built to mould to your foot for all-day comfort and all types of riding conditions, whether you are going down narrow single trails, wider dirt trails or a cruise Sunday off-road ride. 

Specialized Recon 1.0 Mountain Bike Shoes

Road bike shoes 

Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes

The best mix of style, innovation and performance. 

Torch 1.0 from Specialized are top road bike shoes that attribute a broad range of leading-edge technology features that will offer rides the best-of-the-best when it comes to road riding, and that at a budget-friendly price!

The Specialized road cycling shoes are built with a Body Geometry design that is scientifically proven to improve your pedal efforts and power output. As well as reducing pressure and wear on your hips, knee and foot.

The clip-in cleats are incredibly lightweight - only 290g - and easily mould to the foot for excellent all-day comfort due to its nylon sole, synthetic upper and ergonomic design. Along with 6.0 stiffness index for the perfect balance between stiffness, lightweight and comfort.

The Torch 1.0 has a Boa L6 Dial system that makes it super easy to put on and take off the shoes in seconds. The dial also makes it possible to do micro-adjustments to the cleats on the go. 

These Specialized bike shoes offer riders the perfect combo of everyday comfort, Body Geometry, performance and affordability.

Can be used on both standard bicycles and electric bikes.

Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes

MTB Cleats

Specialized Rime 1.0

If you are looking for durable, tough and capable MTB cleats, the Specialized Rime 1.0 is your best choice. 

These cleat shoes come with a Body Geometry, like all other Specialized pairs, but the Rime also comes with additional innovative technology such as a DWR layer and X-PEL water management system which decreases water absorption and quickly dries the pair. 

On top of that, the Specialized pair also includes a Stiff Lollipop composition plate, SlipNot rubber sole, cushioned foam midsole and a relaxed fit for incredible comfort, traction and better pedalling performance. The Rime 1.0 has a two-bolt platform pattern that is compatible with all the major mountain pedals.

Specialized Rime 1.0

Shimano AM503 - Black

Another highly recommended MTB pair is the Shimano AM503. These cleats look and feel like normal everyday sneakers but with added high performing mountain bike technology. 

The cycling cleats are built with Shimano Pedaling Dynamics which makes the pair perform both on and off the bike. SPD works as a power transfer system by providing riders with more pedal boost, better riding stability and improved pedal efficiency. Perfect for the tougher off-road treks. 

The Shimano cycling shoes also come with a pedal channel that makes the underfoot platform flat and more stable, which will provide you with better comfort everywhere you go - both when riding and when walking down the street. 

The pair is incredibly versatile and comes with essential trail protection like raised ankle collar, paddings, robust toe cap and sidewall sole which will help shield your foot and ankle from branches and rocks that might hit you on the trail. It also comes with a defined underfoot pattern and a rubber outer sole for improved grip.

The cleats have incredible breathability due to its synthetic upper and come with extra toe space. 

Shimano AM503 - Black

Flat platform shoes

Specialized Roost Flat Canvas MTB Shoes

If you do not like the clip-in system, the new Roost Flat Canvas from Specialized is a great option. Even though the pair comes with a flat platform it still offers incredible pedal connection and grip due to its SlipNot ST rubber sole so you have control through the rockiest of paths. 

The shoes have excellent breathability that will keep you cool on any ride - especially on those hot summer days. It sits snug but comfortable on the foot due to its Relaxed Fit and cushioned foam midsole. The Canvas and textile upper offer extra protection and the Body Geometry sole will optimise your pedal efforts and efficiency.

Specialized Roost Flat Canvas MTB Shoes

Women Cycling shoes

Shimano AM503 Womans MTB Shoes - Aqua Blue

If you are looking for women shaped MTB cleats, you are in luck! Shimano launched a brand new MTB pair that is specifically built for women - the Shimano AM503 Women’s MTB Shoes. It comes with the same design, sleek look and high-performing riding technology as the Shimano AM503 only it is shaped to fit a female foot. 

Finding the best bike shoe for you comes down to personal preference and what type of riding you want to do. Whether you prefer a clip-in system or flat platform. Whether you are going to ride on trails or on the road. These factors all affect which pair will best suit you.

Shimano AM503 Womans MTB Shoes - Aqua Blue

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