10 Best Indoor Cycling Shoes

Indoor cycling shoes are a great solution for the enthusiastic cyclist. They can be seen as a cross between mountain bike shoes and road bike shoes as they come with extra rubber on the outsole. This prevents you from slipping in the cycling studio. The main difference between them and the rest of the shoes comes with the type of cleat. With a two-hole or SPD system, you can cycle on most bikes in modern gyms. The three-hole or Delta system is more efficient and it is sometimes used by professionals.

What you need to know before buying the best indoor cycling shoes?

Purchasing the best cycling shoes is often complicated. There are multiple designs and materials and if you are new to the sport, it can be a real challenge to deal with the choices on the market. However, there are a few main areas to look at, even if you are purchasing the most affordable indoor cycling shoes. It is important to look at the outsole, the upper and the closure system. The comfort of the shoes can also be influenced by their materials.

Outsole

The outsole is what makes the biggest difference. Plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber are used to create the modern outsole. In other cases, you can also find various combinations of these materials. At the same time, you will also have the ability to choose the shoes which come with plenty of rubber to ensure you are safe on the floors of your gym or cycling studios. In many cases, you have the ability to choose the two-hole design which is enough for the standard commercial gym. It works well in terms of energy transfer and it can also be enough when it comes to the best personal performance for the average cyclist.

Upper

The upper is somewhat different from design to design. From the synthetic materials to the leather options, there are many designs which can be considered. But some of them manage to be above the rest for performance. For example, an upper which is made with mesh insertions will prove better for breathability. With an average cycling class lasting an hour, this is quite important in order to maintain good ventilation for your feet. At the same time, the materials are also important for durability. Unlike road bike shoes, indoor cycling shoes will not get dirty so they need less maintenance. But at the same time, you also get the ability to choose a solution which will maintain its shape in time. This is important when it comes to proper support.

The areas of the upper which tend to show the most signs of wear are in the forefoot. It is here that you will start to see creases from the first cycling sessions. At the same time, you can also experience some issues in this area with the wrong materials. Since flexibility needs to be balanced in the forefoot, it is important to choose the shoes which fit well but which are also made with great support and flexibility.

Closure systems

There are various closure systems on the market. Velcro is one of the most efficient, popular and affordable systems to consider. The number of Velcro straps can differ from shoe to shoe but it is important to find the solution which works great for you. The three-strap system is great as it allows you to adjust the shoes towards the forefoot and towards the midfoot to offer the best fit.

But the perfect fit is also influenced by the design of the shoes. Often made to be more narrow for the best performance, the shoes you choose might actually need to be a 0.5 size larger for the best fit, especially in the forefoot.

Design

The exterior and interior design of the shoes is also important to consider. For example, a characteristic such as a low collar construction proves to be an interesting choice for the ultimate freedom of movement. It is also why these shoes have not yet been made with higher topes, similarly to shoes in other sports.

An insole with no seams is also important for the best comfort. You have the ability to choose a design which is comfortable to wear for hours. At the same time, it is also important to choose the shoes which work best when it comes to insole replacement. In many cases, you can add your own insole for the best support, especially if you need extra support for the arch. At the same time, you need to know that not all shoes come with a removable insole. If this is important to you, then you need to check before you make a purchase.

Women’s shoes vs. men’s shoes

There is a clear distinction between women’s shoes and men’s shoes. The shoes made for women are lighter, as with most sports shoes. While the weight difference is not large, it can still be recommended to choose the shoes which are right for you. Men’s shoes need to deal with extra weight in most cases. Some manufacturers even offer alternatives for the youth. With smaller sizes but the same cycling performance, youth indoor cycling shoes are just as good as those for adults. But you should also know that EU and US sizing are different even for youth shoes and you should check the sizing chart of the shoes before you make a purchase, especially for the youth. So which are the best shoes to consider?

Venzo Cycling Bicycle Bike Triathlon Shoes

With SPD locks, the shoes are comfortable on the feet while working with most indoor bikes. Made to fit most people, the shoes can actually run a size large, so you will need to go a size down for the right fit. With great flexibility and included materials for the best breathability such as the mesh of the upper, they are recommended for longer cycling sessions. Lockdown is ensured by two Velcro straps. But the shoes also stand out when it comes to flexibility with their low collar design. Even small accessories such as the heel pull tab recommend them among the proper shoes with great affordability.

Pros

  • Quick-drying materials
  • Velcro straps
  • Lightweight for SPD locks

Cons

  • Not true to size

Zol White MTB Indoor Cycling Shoes

Among the affordable cycling shoes, Zol’s design is highly recommended. Even if they are best for entry-level cycling skills, they come with great practicality. With added insole perforations, they act to keep your feet cooler and to manage moist more efficiently. They are also recommended for a good fit. It is why beginner cyclists can rely on the 3 straps of the shoes for the ultimate fit. Even the weight is not too much, partly due to the carbon composite sole. Even more, the shoes also look apart in a range where looks might not be the strongest point of the alternative designs.

Pros

  • Carbon composite sole
  • Perforated insole
  • Great fit

Cons

  • Clips not included

Louis Garneau Women's Actifly Indoor Cycling Shoes

Specifically designed to bet the heat, the shoes are great for breathability. With an impressive upper which is mainly made with mesh materials with perforations, the shoes are recommended during the summer or for the cyclist who wants to go beyond the one-hour training mark. Made with synthetic leather, the shoes feel natural and they are made to follow the contour of the foot. It is why you might even consider going half a size up for the ultimate fit. With a breathable tongue, two straps and a heel pull tab, the shoes are practical but the way they look makes them stand out even further.

Pros

  • Recommended for longer cycling sessions
  • Distinct design
  • Composite Sole

Cons

  • Not true to size

Giro Empire E70 Knit Cycling Shoe

If you are a fan of knit materials, the shoes can be a top solution. Made for the 3-bolt design, they are recommended for the experienced cyclist. With materials which are mainly appreciated for their durability, they represent a real solution for the best aesthetics even after hundreds of miles. With an EVA footbed, they are comfortable as well. The best part is that they are available in multiple colors so that you can easily pair them with your cycling clothes. However, they are not the best solution if you have wide feet.

Pros

  • Knit upper construction
  • EVA cushioning
  • Recommended for experienced cyclists

Cons

  • 3-bolt only

Zol Predator MTB Mountain Bike Indoor Cycling Shoes

Made with injected fiberglass, the shoes come with a light outsole, perfect for most cyclists. As they are also affordable, they can be considered if you are cycling in a commercial gym, where the 2-bolt design is found. The shoes perform well and part of this performance comes from the lockdown. With the carbon fiber design Velcro straps, they are easy to fit. The shoes also come with a large heel cup which ensures your in-shoe stability. The materials used by Zol are dominated by mesh for proper moisture control.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Lightweight construction
  • Recommended for beginners

Cons

  • Not the most durable design

Pearl iZUMi Women's W All-Road v4

Made with overlays and mesh materials, the shoes are recommended for durability. If you are cycling multiple times per week, durability becomes ones one of the most important aspects to consider for your get. Shoes are no different. With a nylon composite outsole, the shoes are lightweight. They also fit well as the straps are designed anatomically not to make you uncomfortable while cycling. With SPD compatibility, they work for most indoor bikes.

Pros

  • Reinforced with overlays
  • Great for durability
  • Anatomic straps

Cons

  • Not the most affordable design

Fizik R5B Donna BOA Shoe with Fuschia Trim

Women need reliable cycling shoes. Fizik made their shoes with carbon-infused nylon which maintains a lightweight profile. The upper is not made from mesh but it is still dominated by perforations on the sides for breathability. Lockdown is ensured with 3 straps which make the microtex materials feel quite snug. With a design which is specifically made for women, the shoes can be a recommended option if you are looking to upgrade from your entry-level options.

Pros

  • Designed for women
  • Microtex materials
  • Carbon reinforced nylon

Cons

  • Narrow forefoot

Tommaso Pista Women's Road Bike Cycling Spin Shoe

The shoes are among the most versatile options to consider. They are not made with the most expensive materials but they perform above the average entry-level design. With a fiberglass sole, they are durable and lightweight. They are also covered by a 2-year warranty. With the classic 3 straps lockdown and mesh insertions, the shoes can prepare you for what to expect from the premium designs when your skills improve.

Pros

  • Fiberglass insertions
  • Great value
  • Good breathability

Cons

  • Not for experienced cyclists

Pearl iZUMi Women's X-Project 2.0

Women who are serious about cycling can choose the X-Project 2.0. The shoes are comfortable and easy to fit. Made with two-way straps, they represent one of the recommended options when it comes to proper fit. The sole is made with a unique tapered carbon fiber plate for an improved power transfer. This material is currently being patented by the manufacturer.

Pros

  • Two-way strap lockdown
  • Tapered carbon fiber plate
  • Rubber tips on the outsole

Cons

  • Not made for beginners

Shimano SH-TR5 Cycling Shoe

With perforated upper which also includes mesh materials, the shoes are quick to dry. Made with good comfort levels, the shoes come with a padded collar. Their practicality is improved by the heel pull tab. Their three-hole design recommends them for serious cycling skills.

Pros

  • Great for experienced cyclists
  • Recommended for practicality
  • Quick to dry

Cons

  • Not the easiest to clean

Conclusion

The best cycling shoes are always the ones which fit the best. Since fit is so important, you need to find the shoes which are supportive but which also give your toes a bit of room. In some cases, you may need to go half a size up or down, but in the end, the shoes need to help you cycle better.

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