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Best Cycling Shoes

Ultimate Guide to Cycling Shoes & 5 Best Cycling Shoes Brand

Bikes · Guides

Did you know the first bicycles weren’t called that at all? Back in 1817, one of the first two-wheeled bikes was actually called a “swift walker.” It had no pedals so you had to push yourself along, and it was constructed from wood, iron and leather.

Now, we ride much more modern bicycles not just to get from place to place, but also to burn calories, build strength and stamina, and improve our mental health. But like all forms of exercise, cycling requires specialised equipment so you can train optimally and to your best.

One key piece of equipment many overlook is a good pair of cycling shoes. You can ride around in any training shoe, but if you cycle regularly, you’ll benefit more from having shoes specifically made for the exercise.

So what are cycling shoes, and what makes them special? How do you pick good ones? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to cycling shoes so you can make the most out of your bike rides.

                

What are Cycling Shoes & What Makes Them Different?

Cycling footwear is specifically designed for the sport of cycling. They have stiffer soles for more efficient energy transfer while you push the pedals. There are two main forms—flat-pedal shoes and clip-in shoes. Flat-pedal shoes have flat soles similar to sneakers, while clip-in shoes feature cleats that clip directly to the pedals.

Beyond that, there are five categories of bike shoes, depending on the intensity and type of cycling you’ll be doing.

  • Road bike shoes have stiffer soles and wider cleats, so they offer maximum power transfer. They feature 3-hole protruding cleats to connect to clipless pedals. Not designed for extended walking.
  • Mountain cycling shoes offer stiff, grippy soles that provide traction on rough terrains. They either have 2-hole cleats set into the sole, or flat, sticky rubber soles without cleats.
  • Cyclocross shoes are for athletes who engage in cyclocross racing. These are mountain bike shoes with spots on the soles where you can fit spikes for more traction when running or hurdling obstacles.
  • Indoor cycling shoes are walkable bike shoes with grippy soles and recessed 2-hole cleats. These are used in spin studios and other indoor cycling training.
  • Casual bike shoes are almost like sneakers and are mostly for recreational riders or biking commuters. They still feature stiff soles but are more stylish than more competitive cycling shoes.

You must choose the correct shoe type for your cycling activities, so you can maximise your performance and minimise the risk of injury.

Shimano XC702 SPD Shoes - Black

$299.00$260.00

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Why You Need Cycling Shoes

There are several advantages to owning a pair of bike shoes instead of using sneakers or any other type of athletic shoe you might own. Besides minimising injury, you’ll also benefit in these ways:

#1 – More efficient cycling

Stiff soles ensure maximum power transfer onto a pedal, so you waste less of your efforts. The power transfer is the energy moving from your legs onto the pedal strokes, which creates the forward motion. Better power transfer means you’re less fatigued despite long rides and more efficient about the energy you use as you cycle.

#2 – Better comfort and fit

Cycling shoes clip or grip onto the pedals, giving you secure footing as you pedal. Better footing also means you feel more comfortable even if you’re cycling for long periods of time. The stiff soles also suit cycling better, since your foot doesn’t wrap around the pedal, creating painful spots.

#3 – The smoother overall experience

You’ll feel more stable and secure with cleats or treads that grip onto your pedals, which enhances your overall riding experience. Your pedal strokes also become smoother since you work less to keep your legs in place. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Cycling Shoes

The best way to choose the right cycling shoes for you is to look at the pedals of your bike. Check the pedals themselves or read your bike’s manual to see which cleat system is compatible with these pedals. Different bikes have different pedal fits depending on their purpose.

For example, a mountain bike has pedals compatible with an SPD cleat (2 holes), so you should buy mountain cycling shoes with 2-hole cleats. Meanwhile, road bikes are compatible with Delta cleats (3 holes). 

From there, find shoes that fit those kinds of cleats. They should fit snug but not too tight since they’ll stretch with time. Moreover, they should feel comfortable as you’ll be wearing them for prolonged periods while exercising.

  Specialzed-s-works

The Best Cycling Shoe Brands

Now—there are plenty of cycling shoes out there, so where do you start looking? We’ve rounded up some of the top cycling shoe brands in 2022 to help narrow your search to the best biking footwear.

Shimano

Whether it’s their top-of-range S-Phyre or the more casual AM503s, Shimano has shoes available for a range of budgets. But you’ll never lack in quality no matter which shoe you get—Shimano shoes are comfortable and breathable, making them perfect for long bike rides.

The brand offers great aesthetics without sacrificing functionality. The soles are adequately stiff for excellent power transfer, while the shoes themselves are lightweight. The tongue can be a bit fiddly, however, so ensure you fix it comfortably in place before going on a circuit.

Shimano AM-903 SPD Shoes - Black

$229.00$190.00

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Specialized

Specialized has many product ranges, from the Torch to the Recon to the S-Works. They have a reputation for sleek aesthetics, although visual appeal doesn’t compromise shoe function. Their higher-range shoes feature carbon soles, while the mid-range varieties are made of nylon.

The brand itself has a Body Geometry department that studies the human body and how it interacts with bikes. It then uses this data and research in the development of its shoes, to good use. Specialized shoes offer great support while remaining stiff for good power transfer.

Cycling Shoes for the Best Ride

It’s clear by now why you should get cycling shoes—you’ll ride better, perform better, and feel better. Choose the best shoe that fits your biking needs (whether that be road cycling or spinning class). This way, you’ll maximise performance and minimise injury and wasted energy.

If you want to shop for the best cycling shoes, check out Crooze! We carry both Shimano and Specialized brands, with options for mountain biking, road biking, and more. 

Visit Crooze today to get your new pair of cycling shoes, then hit the road knowing you’re in for the ride of your life.

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